Last night I interviewed with a lovely couple who own a Chinese antiques store. It’s a fabulous opportunity to help run an online store and really get some great experience in building a marketing plan pretty much from the ground up. I loved the couple, and unlike the impression that I formed during my museum interview a few weeks ago, this time I was so excited to hear of all of the job details. Every new responsibility mentioned sounded even cooler than the last, from client relations to social media, and even helping pack and ship some smaller pieces. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was that the business is run out of the couple’s home, which is only a small step up from working out of my own home. However, the hours would be perfect, and there’s a certain comfort of working in a beautiful space with very nice people.
There was only one problem. When they asked how much I’d like to make, I decided to take the conservative route, and just said “I’m making X amount now, and would like to stay in that range if possible.” I know that typically you’re supposed to aim high, but I got the impression that I’d be lucky to get what I’m making now. And I was right. One of the partners seemed optimistic that they could offer something in the range, or else set up a commission system. The other partner was like, “What? I don’t even make that!” Which is totally fine, I guess, but I don’t make enough to be able to afford rent on my own in this town. I’m not sure how so many people make so very little money and still get by here. Even more importantly, I don’t want to have to have two jobs just to make ends meet, and I don’t want to turn 31 and know I’ll never make enough money to afford to buy a car or put down money for a house. At this rate, I will never be even close to paying off my student loans, and children are completely out of the question.
I’m not sure what to do. If I had to guess, I’d think that they’ll probably offer me about 10k less than I’m currently making, and that will not work. I’m actually making about 10K less than I should be at the moment, so to take another step back could be a massive blow to my earning potential in the future. I think that they will give me an offer, too. They liked me, and actually told me that I was their number one candidate. I know all I can do is wait to see if they give me an offer, then try to see if it will work with my budget.
Even though I’d rather not, I could always go back to waiting tables a couple of days a week, or see if there’s some other fun part-time position I could pick up. It was indicated that I could work flexible hours, and they seemed rational enough to realize the importance of paying bills. Even cooler, they also are big fans of food, wine, and traveling. It would be great to work for people who wouldn’t put up a fight if I wanted to go away for a long weekend, as long as I figured out a way to get my job done.
I dunno. Guess at this point I’m just over-thinking things.
Have you ever taken a HUGE step back on the pay scale? Would you do it again?