Kelly was a lawyer making a six-figure income when she was laid off in April of 2010. Since then she has worked to make herself more marketable by going to school to obtain a Master’s degree with the hope of becoming a college teacher. She took out student loans to pay for both her additional education and to use the money to supplement unemployment.
Even with unemployment and student loans, money is extremely tight. She always enjoyed her large salary and is not used to living below her means. Now, she is still responsible for the student loan payments that have come due and car payments in addition to rent, utilities, and groceries. Her car is in need of repairs and due to the high price of gas, she limits her trips and stays home much of the day. She has very little in savings and has had to begin to rely on credit cards to get her through this lean time.
Meanwhile, she has applied to hundreds of jobs and has been offered six different jobs, all of which she declined because they did not “meet her salary requirements”. This begs the question:
In today’s economy should you stand firm on your salary requirements?
Although it may hurt your pride, the best bet is to take a job that is below your salary requirement. The Wall Street Journal online reports, “Many employers are bypassing the jobless to target those that are still working, reasoning that these survivors are the top performers.”
In addition, CNNMoney interviewed Rich Thompson, vice president of learning and performance for Adecco Group North America, the world’s largest staffing firm, who said many employers choose to not consider the unemployed because, “it’s a tough process to determine which unemployed applicants were laid off even though they brought value to their company and which ones had performance issues.”
As recently as February, 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun to look into whether or not this practice is discriminatory. There is also concern that because more minorities are out of work than whites, the policy to only hire those employed negatively affects minorities at a greater rate than whites. However, currently, while this practice seems discriminatory, it is not illegal.
The economy won’t always look like this. It will get better. The point is to survive and ride out the lean times, and the best way to do that is to take a job, even if it “is below your salary requirements.” The Huffington Post reported in June, 2010 that the Labor Department’s most recent data reveals, “there are about 5.5 people looking for work for every job available.” To be offered a job in this economy is quite an accomplishment, and should not be turned down immediately.
Swallowing your pride and taking the job will offer several benefits:
1.) You will once again have health insurance,
2.) You will have a steady, reliable paycheck, and, most importantly,
3.) You will now join the ranks of the employed.
Even though the majority of Americans disagree with employers deciding to only hire those who are employed, it is not illegal. When you obtain a job, you are now a candidate for those positions that are currently only hiring the employed. Hopefully, you will then be able to find a better job, more in keeping with your salary requirements.