Copyright 2006 Margaret Stead
According to the Society of Human Resource Managers, US, 53% of all job applicants lie to some extent on their resume. What if you have been ‘economical with the truth’ on your ‘home-made’ resume/cv and, as a result – have been offered an outrageous salary? It happens!
I guess the natural reaction would be to say that being ‘Overpaid’ is on balance a superior position but in fact, I believe in practice it is almost without exception a damaging situation for all concerned.
Imagine you were given a hundred thousand spondulicks rise in pay because the recruiters believed (perhaps from your FAKE resume) that you were fully capable of handling a national emergency. (see Malcolm Brown’s outing)
At first it would be such a thrill wouldn’t it? Especially when you got your first salary cheque and found that you were paying more TAX than you’d ever earned salary in a month. (You could pay off the credit cards with relish. ‘Take that!: Amex. Eat me!: Virgin: The end is nigh!: Barclays) Then what? You could plan a holiday – if you would dare leave things unattended. If they’d let you take a holiday!
You would know however that at any minute of the day or night, someone might SEE ‘The Emperor’s new clothes’ and raise the alarm. Could you live with that?
Your employer is watching every move you make in anticipation of your ‘Doing something’, to justify the outrageous fee thay have paid you. They are becoming so IMPATIENT and critical that you wonder if they would have anytime for Superman, nevermind your increasingly limited ability to ‘make things happen’.
Colleagues are jealous of your limelight and are slipping ‘innocent’ sounding comments about you into everyday chats with the boss, like ‘banana skins’ on steps. They’re NOT out to get you. They are just being helpful.
The morale is: Avoid the trap – find out what you are worth BEFORE you negotiate your salary and if for whatever reason they offer a salary crazily in excess of your wildest dreams, ask if you can ‘Sleep on it.’ This will ‘fix’ the sum in people’s minds.
Then, overnight, you can decide whether they were genuinely enthusiastic about your potential or compensating you in advance. If the former, you can come up with a performance-related bonus system that will bring you within range of earning this above average salary, whilst taking ‘home’ a salary that is TRULY commensurate with your talents.
Sensibly offer this arrangement at your next meeting and you might hear a sigh of relief AND renewed and validated respect for your judgement.