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  #1  
Old 11-17-2019, 12:17 AM
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Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
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Default What's so bad about citing pay as a reason for looking?

I think actuaries are well aware of what companies are paying, for example, GEICO pays barely enough for someone with 4 roommates to live in Chevy Chase on a diet of ramen whereas Liberty Mutual pays a pretty comfortable salary.

So if an actuary from GEICO wants to get a job at LM, actually scratch that because I know LM is pretty transparent about compensation, let's just say [insert giant consultancy/insurer here], what's so bad about mentioning pay as a motivator for leaving? Assuming both sides of the interview are actuaries, both would be well aware of the situation here.

Therefore, what's so bad about mentioning pay as a motivator? It's quite obvious, and I don't see any good reason to shy away from the discussion, yet I hear loads of advice from people not to go this route during an interview.

When I'm interviewing candidates myself, I am pretty comfortable with talking about what we're willing to pay as I understand everyone wants to feel appreciated and the #1 reason why anyone even wants to look for a job is to well, get paid so they can earn a living. Yeah I guess making an impact is nice but $$$ talks, no shit Sherlock. You're looking for a job and I need someone to do work and we pay from $X - $Y and the offer within that range will depend on your qualifications.

I believe if you're of the type that discourages this discussion, yet asks why candidates are looking, I guess you want to be lied to because...

I want to be challenged

I want greater responsibility

I want to make people happy

I love insurance and insurance accessories

...uhh...ain't nobody gonna believe that shit, son. And, I think you have a problem with the truth which is not a good way to start off on a working relationship. Let's cut to the chase, where's my money, man!

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Last edited by Colonel Smoothie; 11-17-2019 at 12:27 AM..
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:59 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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I don't really think the conventional wisdom is that it's bad to cite pay as a reason. Most people advise (I agree) that it's not good to cite that as the only reason, or usually even the main reason.

So, I guess if you seeing people that claim that you shouldn't even mention it as a reason, I'm kinda surprised and curious where you're seeing that?
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:59 AM
The_Polymath The_Polymath is offline
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Leaving an employer is rarely about pay only in my experience.

Usually its a bad boss, or work is not interesting. When those two things are off, your pay will then come much more into focus.

Also, the reason you dont say its just about pay is because it is too mercenary. People tend to not like that in a potential employee.
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:04 AM
windows7forever windows7forever is offline
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I have not seen anyone discussed pay in public. It may be a culture thing. While in college, it's pretty transparent that which professor get paid at what close range within nearest 5k. Sometimes there's a salary report found on department website.

Response like I want to be challenged or have greater responsibility implicitly signaled the person wants to be paid more, because higher levels usually get more challenging assignments than lower levels and get paid more.

I have not heard someone said the reason is to make people happy, so I do not know what the story is behind that reason.

Being flexible or have flexible schedule is another reason.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:02 AM
Underpaid Underpaid is offline
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The perception is: people that are open about money being the big concern are more likely to bring it up again and then leave for more money. And it also seems people that post about it on the actuarial outpost seem to change companies frequently.
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:02 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Polymath View Post
Leaving an employer is rarely about pay only in my experience.
Not only is this actually true (in general), but HR people mindlessly believe that it's much more true than it actually is.

Or, maybe to be more fair - HR people will drone on endlessly about how important it is for everybody to be aware of this key indisputable truth, and when asked for any evidence-based reason to believe it, they cite compelling studies like "It's obvious" and "Everybody knows this", or sometimes going with the inspiring "It is known". Putting it that way is more fair, in that - maybe they're right, but I've never seen one actually provide evidence or logic or even quantification around how a person leaving for money is different (are they 20% more likely to leave in the next year? 50%? Bueller?), despite having asked a few times at work and also a college professor doing HR management (he told me that it's just accepted on psychological principles, which isn't the worst answer in the world).

Since the OP mentioned a known exceptionally cheap company, would be worth adding that I think that's the rare case where it's ok. Some companies are known to be low-paying, and sometimes you just have people that are in low-paying jobs for other circumstances. If you can honestly say "I have five exams, I was hired below market and I wanted this location but there weren't many jobs, I've done great work and really advanced my programming skills, but they are still paying me the same $50k and haven't given any indication that will change", I think that's pretty legit.

Would also say that there's an element of "playing the game". If you don't know that you're not "supposed to" say it's all about money, what else don't you know?
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:14 PM
The_Polymath The_Polymath is offline
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I found a lot of the pre-senior role conversations to be pure theater. You're essentially telling the interviewers what they want to hear.

It sometimes feels very fake. Like an out of body experience. And given that the people you are talking to likely are reasonably high up the intellectual totem pole, it is also likely they know that you are giving canned responses. So they have to play their part as well.

Things change as you gain more experience though. You need to have some real plans to talk about with the interviewers, as well as some bonafide experience to back this up. I found these interviews a lot better in terms of content.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:02 PM
CowboyGuy CowboyGuy is offline
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IMO, one of the most important things hiring managers look for in the candidate is to make sure the candidate is not a jerk.

That's the prerequisite. Qualifications and experience are secondary. Your personality, having the ability to get along with others etc. are primary.

Now our culture and tradition is such that, if you talk about money openly with a hiring manager, you will come out as a jerk. Not saying money is not a valid reason to change jobs, but you'll want to do everything in the interview you can to not sound off as a jerk. Even if that means hiding your true feelings about money.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:11 PM
The_Polymath The_Polymath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyGuy View Post
IMO, one of the most important things hiring managers look for in the candidate is to make sure the candidate is not a jerk.

That's the prerequisite. Qualifications and experience are secondary. Your personality, having the ability to get along with others etc. are primary.

Now our culture and tradition is such that, if you talk about money openly with a hiring manager, you will come out as a jerk. Not saying money is not a valid reason to change jobs, but you'll want to do everything in the interview you can to not sound off as a jerk. Even if that means hiding your true feelings about money.
The thing is, you can easily fake not being a "jerk" for a few hours.

Then what?
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:18 PM
CowboyGuy CowboyGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post

Therefore, what's so bad about mentioning pay as a motivator?
Nothing. But its not considered appropriate to mention that as the only reason. Pretty much what Westley said above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post

the #1 reason why anyone even wants to look for a job is to well, get paid so they can earn a living.
Ain't nobody got a problem with that. But earning a living is different than maximizing your earning and making that maximization your sole priority. Again, I'm not saying its not a valid reason to change jobs. But if you can live off on $150k and if this much money aligns with your qualification and experience, you need to have some other (solid) reasons for asking for $190k.
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