The Question of Salary

Dear employers,

Please include a salary with the job description that you posted, even if it’s a general number, a minimum amount, or a range. Just give me a number.


I recently went to an interview where the salary was not listed with the job description. I thought I did really well at the interview: I got along with the interviewer, I had enough experience, and I believe I showed confidence that I could do the job well.

The woman I interviewed with asked my expected hourly rate and I told her a number that I didn’t think was unreasonable for the position. It was also a comparable rate to a similar position I had at the time. After the interview, the woman told me that I could expect a call from her the next day (Wednesday) to set up a second interview on Friday. I was stoked.

Two days passed by without a call. On Thursday I sent her a friendly email just to ask about the second interview. I got a response back stating that I was no longer being considered for the position. Needless to say I was pretty crushed. I later found out from a mutual friend that the reason I wasn’t asked to the second interview was because I had asked for too much money. The position was entry-level (which also wasn’t written on the job description) and was paying just over minimum wage.

I was actually pretty relieved when I found that out. It wasn’t that I wasn’t qualified for the position. They just wanted to pay less money than what I know I’m worth. Had I known initially what price they were willing to pay I wouldn’t even have applied.

What a waste of my time and yours, Employer, that we had to sit through that interview and send emails back and forth when we both should have known that I wasn’t going to be hired anyway. Who knows how many times this has happened to others as well. I know that hiring someone new can be an expensive process for companies and can take a lot of time, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself.

Posting a salary or hourly rate that you’re willing to pay can weed out candidates immediately. If I see a job is willing to pay $100k a year, I know that I’m likely not qualified for the position, even without reading the job description. Likewise with a job that pays minimum wage; I won’t apply because I am over-qualified. Providing a salary range to potential candidates can allow them to gauge if the position would be a good fit for them before you, the employer, ever has to review their application.

So please, employers, post that salary for both our sakes.

Let’s Start with my Unemployment

So I’m unemployed.

(Well technically I have a part-time job, but for all intents and purposes of this blog, let’s just say I’m unemployed because I’m only working about two shifts a month).

I finished my postgraduate program in December and since then I’ve been looking for a full-time job. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it’s tough out there. It’s tough to find a job that I’ll actually like and it’s even tougher to find a job that I’m actually qualified for.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about how there’s a gap between what post-secondary schools are teaching us and what jobs require from potential employees. I agree with this completely. In university I learned how to write well and how to think critically, but what entry-level jobs are asking for are usually at least two to three years of relevant work experience. Even after completing my postgrad program, where there was a compulsory internship placement, I’m still having trouble finding something I’m qualified for and something I actually want to do.

So what options do I have now?

  1. I can do another unpaid internship and hope for employment afterwards, but I’ve done the whole internship thing, and I’m really at a point in my life where I want to be more independent. I’m sure I’m not the only 23-year old post-postgrad student still living at her parents’ house but come on, Mama needs her own place!
  2. I can take a job that I don’t like. I’ve actually applied for a couple of these jobs. Entry-level jobs that don’t pay well, involve a lot of travel and are not very fulfilling. I’ve seen quite a few of these job postings while looking for jobs in the marketing industry. I’ve even gone on a couple interviews for these jobs, but upon hearing more about the position I turned it down. After I finished undergrad I actually made decent money working as an office assistant for a small company, but I hated the work I was doing. I don’t want to be stuck in a job I hate again.
  3. I can keep plugging away with my job search and hope something good will come my way.

I realize that this post may perpetuate the stereotype that millennials and Gen-Yers are entitled. But why is it so bad that I’m not going to settle for something I don’t want? Why shouldn’t I be determined to land a job that I like with a decent salary? I know I may not get every single thing that I want and I know that no position will be perfect, but damn if I’m not going to try my best to find a great fit.

I’ve been getting more interviews recently and have fine-tuned my job search to better suit my wants. I know that I’ll find something soon. I also know that I’m just starting my career and I’ve got a long road ahead of me with a ton of options and different directions to take, but I still want the first step to be a good one.