I Needed A Job, But… – Michael Dennis, CBF

Toot Your Horn

In the 1990s, I was interviewing for a position as a credit manager.  The negotiations were going well.  The CFO and I had discussed an annual salary.  I met with the company President and I thought the interview was largely a formality.  It was not.

The President told me he wanted to offer me two-thirds of the amount mentioned by the CFO.  I responded that I knew of at least two people who would be excited about working for him for that lower salary.  I told him they were good at their jobs, well trained, diligent, detail oriented, etc.   The company President asked why he shouldn’t hire one of them. I responded that he definitely should do so.   He asked why I would offer these candidates, and I responded that I thought the position would be a great growth opportunity for either of the two individuals I had mentioned by name.

The President finally asked me the right question. Why should I hire you for one-third more than I can hire one of the two people you recommend?

I responded that this was the right question, and my answer to this question got me the job.  I said that by hiring me, you get someone able to start with the status quo and improve on it from there.  In contrast, the other candidates would have to grow into the job.  I added that for one-third more he would be hiring someone who could make an immediate impact on his company’s bottom line.

I was confident.  I was calm.  I was right.  My final comments went something like this:  If you want to stay within your new budget, these candidates are arguably the best you are going to find, and they are worth every penny.  If you want to hire the teacher rather than one of the students, hire me.

Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

I got the job at the original salary.  To me, the lessons are:  (1) be willing to toot your own horn because no one will do it for you and (2)  if you are going to toot your horn anyway, make sure you do it loudly.

That’s my opinion.  What’s yours?

Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is  www.coveringcredit.com

The opinions presented are those of the author.  The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors.  Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.

6 Replies to “I Needed A Job, But… – Michael Dennis, CBF”

  1. I once had a similar situation and they did hire the person for the lower salary. Thank you for this good advice. Obviously, I did not toot loud enough.

  2. Michael,

    Why didn’t you accept the job but ask him if Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would be acceptable as the 3 days you would be working? That way, you would have a 4 day weekend.

  3. You never told me the whole story. Now I know. As I recall, you did not get a raise for two years after you were hired at the higher salary.

  4. Very inspiring story and couldn’t agree with your philosophy. The only difference between then and now is that in the 90’s economy people had more choices. These days it’s very tough out there for a lot highly qualified people to obtain the salary range that they feel their entitled to.

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