should I ask for a more junior role since hiring for the job I want is on hold?

A reader writes:

During my lengthy job search, I have run into the following situation: I will get an interview, make a great impression with the hiring manager, and it seems to everyone that I’m a good fit for the job. Now, I understand that often they will find someone even better, but in these cases the hiring process gets stalled due to budget cuts. This just happened to me for the third time (with different companies). This last time, the in-house recruiter finally returned my email with a phone call, explaining that the hiring was “on hold” for this position, and that he didn’t know when it would start back up again.

As I have said, this is the third time this has happened to me, and I feel as though I should do something about it. This is a mid to advanced level research position at a biotech company and I really want this job. I believe that during the conversation, he said that there were only some entry-level positions still open. Should I offer to temporarily work at the position at an entry-level salary, until the budget problem gets fixed, and then work for the salary appropriate for the position?

I feel this would be a win for both sides. Even at an entry-level salary, I would make more than I’m making now doing odd temp work, I could get up to speed on the particular job duties, and they could temporarily get a professional-level worker for entry-level pay. Should I propose this idea to the in-house recruiter?

No. You will look desperate and become a less attractive candidate for the position you really want. They will wonder why you’re willing to take an entry-level job if you’re as good as they hopefully think you are. This may or may not be fair, but it’s highly, highly likely to be their reaction.

They also probably don’t really want to hire you for an entry-level position; they want to hire someone who is well-suited to and excited about doing that work. You can’t assume you’d be a strong candidate for those positions just because you’re qualified for something higher up — after all, there are tons of researchers who would be terrible receptionists or junior-level communications people, or whatever. “Entry-level” doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be great at it.  Furthermore, they don’t want to hire you for that job, knowing that you’ll be biding your time until the job you really want opens up (at which point they’ll have to hire for the first one all over again).

I think you’re struggling with your lack of control in this situation, and you’re searching for a way to exert some control over it (“I feel as though I should do something about it”). Unfortunately, the reality is that you can’t. Your piece of this equation is to be an awesome candidate. Theirs is to have the right position open for you and to want to hire you. Neither of you can do the other’s part.

I can understand why you’re frustrated though. It does suck.

Update: The first commenter below pointed out that I may have read this wrong; the letter-writer sounds like she’s actually saying that she’d like to propose taking the original position (not an entry-level one) but at an entry-level salary. Whoops!  If that’s the case, my second paragraph becomes irrelevant, but the rest of my answer is the same: If you offer to work for an entry-level salary, you’ll devalue yourself in the employer’s eyes and become a less attractive candidate. You’ll also have trouble ever getting that salary increased, since you’ll have shown you’re willing to do the job for less.

{ 54 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    I read this differently then AAM – I read it as OP offering to do the position they applied for, but for less money until the company is able to offer the higher salary. (not that OP wants to do the entry-level job until the higher level one opens up)

    Still, I do agree that this is an awful idea. Since most companies won’t know when the budget is going to recover you could be agreeing to work at this lower salary for a very long time.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Uh oh, I think you might be right and I read it too fast. My answer would be the same, but my reasons would be slightly different. I’ll add an addendum to the post.

  2. Unfortunately, Alison's correct*

    Everyone says a) never take a job for which you’re overqualified, and b) never hire someone overqualified.

    Unfortunately that is correct.

    OP, I was in your shoes last summer. I wasn’t desperate for your job or anything, but I learned an organization I wanted to work for was hiring for a newly created in position. It was the perfect job for me! For the me of 5 years ago, that is. During the interview, I discussed that obviously they’d conceived of this as a job for a new grad, but actually I was bringing a lot more to the table and since they were growing this was a win-win: I join this org I like, and b/c I’m bringing more skills/experience to the table, they get to benefit from my doing more in the role than a less experienced person could.

    It hasn’t worked out that way.

    Despite all that talk, they just see me as a junior, entry-level staff member. Attempts to do/contribute more are shot down. An opportunity arose to redesign my role and make it more senior fizzled out.

    I’ve realized they must not respect me for having agreed to come in to the org in the role I accepted. Perhaps my agreeing to fill this role cast doubt on the veracity of my previous accomplishments. Back when they interviewed me, they were impressed with my credentials. Now those credentials are irrelevant to them: I am what I am in this current role. Since I didn’t respect myself, they don’t respect me.

    It seemed like a good idea, just like it seemed like a good idea to you, OP. I wish it were! It makes perfect sense.

    One last note: Another downside is the lack of ability to *use* my experience. An entry-level staff person might get indignant that they’re not allowed to contribute more b/c they have an over-inflated sense of their abilities. At my stage in life with 5+ yrs experience, I’ve discovered I feel frustrated here not getting to contribute my ideas not out of self-righteous indignation, but b/c I actually do have valid experience to contribute, and I miss using my brain! You’ll feel the same way, OP.

    Worst of all: with this job on my resume now, I bet I’m going to have a harder time landing a new role than I used to. Ugh.

    1. Janet*

      So very very true. Due to a job relocation for my husband, I had to do some “desperation job searching” where I did not have a position and needed to find one quickly. I accepted a job for which I am very overqualified just so I could start making money and not go crazy being at home again. I also figured that the company would be overjoyed to get someone with far more experience for a lesser salary. Wrong!

      This quote is so true: “Despite all that talk, they just see me as a junior, entry-level staff member. Attempts to do/contribute more are shot down.”

    2. Piper*

      Yep. I’m so there with you. The job I took wasn’t supposed to be entry-level, but it was definitely below my previous job (from which I was laid off). I took it because the company was a great company, they were thrilled with the near decade of experience I brought, and it was supposed to be a very important position, despite being at the specialist level instead of manager. Totally not what happened. They basically threw out everything they said in the interview and treat me like an inexperienced assistant. Which, isn’t what the job was supposed to be either.

      So we have several problems going on here, but one of them, I’ll admit was because I took this job, knowing I was way overqualified to begin with. However, had I known they were going to pull a total bait and switch on me so that it didn’t even resemble the job description I was hired for, I definitely wouldn’t have taken it. I thought I could survive in a slightly lower level job for a while at this big name company, but turns out, I’m miserable. I never, ever should have accepted the offer.

      And what’s worse, like you said, it’s so hard to get a better job now because so many hiring managers skim the first title and miss the rest, so I look like a lower level employee than my actual experience. When I was laid off (last year, during a recession), I got calls for really good jobs (actually turned down a different job to take this one – so, so, so, so stupid). Now I get calls for crap that I would have been interested in 5 or so years ago. Not a fun place to be at all.

      Now I feel as though I have to prove myself at the management level again because I’ve been in this job for almost year that is so very entry level with no opportunity for growth.

      So yeah, moral of the story is, don’t sell yourself short. It will bite you in the ass eventually.

      1. Lauren*

        I am going through a similar situation with bait and switch. Apparently my job description was just a thought, and not definitive as to what I would be doing at my new job. I get to justify all the tasks listed from my job description and half the responsibilities were decided to no longer be important.

        AAM – How does one deal with a new job that bait and switched on the job description? I know its horrible to leave a job before 1 year, but I feel like i am wasting a year of my life on something that I wish I never took in the first place.

        What does one tell future interviewers about a gap in resume or worse have to explain that you left for this bait and switch reason?

        1. Piper*

          I’m sorry you’re dealing with this situation. It’s really an awful feeling.

          My old boss went so far as to make me create presentations to present to him and roomful of people to “justify” and “convince them” why I should be doing what was written in the job description they sold me at the interview and the experiences in my background that matched and exceeded those things. Then he would tear me apart in front of said people (even if other people agreed with me and tried to “justify” my job along with me). It was like these were just exercises for him to wield his power. I have never, ever had to create presentations to justify my existence in a job before. It was so humiliating.

          Eventually, I just gave up and stopped trying to contribute in any meaningful way. And like I said, my new boss is totally different, but the damage is pretty much irreversible at this point and I just need to get out, which obviously, has been quite difficult.

          Best of luck to you!

    3. Piper*

      Also, +1 for this quote:

      “Despite all that talk, they just see me as a junior, entry-level staff member. Attempts to do/contribute more are shot down.”

    4. Alison, could you post on this?*

      Hi Alison,

      This is my situation too! Relieved to hear I’m not the only one who’s gotten themselves into such a stupid jam (by taking a job I was overqualified for). It’s clear I need to search for a new job, because there’s no room for growth here and I can’t build my skills (or even use most of them). Since there are a few of us in this boat, I’d be so grateful if you could do a post on it!

      How can we sell ourselves in our cover letters, resumes, address the issue of why the hell we took this below-level job? My case: 6 years progressively responsible experience in 3 orgs in name-brand nonprofits, managing large projects (though not people) with significant quantifiable achievements. Currently 10 months into an associate role (i.e., it only required 0-2 years experience). I can be creative enough describing what I do to sound better than it is, but the longer I stay the harder that’ll be since I don’t get to be part of the teams that affect change. Besides, any achievement I’d be allowed to do here would be one I already did 5 years ago at my first job.

      I’m thinking a resume with a very strong skills summary in the top 2/5 of the page with a sentence describing me as “6+ yrs experience in xyz etc etc” followed by a bullet point/chart-type thing summarizing those skills (tailored to the job I’m applying for). Of course my jobs will then follow in reverse chronological order, but I hope the sales pitch skills summary will grab them first rather than the stupid junior title and short duration of my current job?

      I’m an excellent cover-letter writer, which will come in handy. Your advice has made me even better, too!

      Do you think I’m right to assess that I (and Janet, Piper, and the other commenters in my shoes) will have a hard time finding a new job this time around? I’m worried that’s the reality. Nothing I can do about it if it is, but I guess somehow it would comfort me to hear you say, “Yep, as a hiring manager, I’ve gotta say your resume/cover letter will be less likely to result in an interview this time around, which will make your search longer (though not impossible).”

      Thank you!

      1. Piper*

        I’d love to hear Alison’s take on this, too. My “accomplishment” situation is the same as yours. Been there, done that. At my first job out of college almost 10 years ago, so this current job is just a disaster on my resume. Not only was it originally lower level than I wanted to begin with, but then they made it even worse by pulling a bait and switch and totally changing the job description to something even lower!

        I took because it was supposed to be an important role with lots of growth opps in a very large project at a name brand company and the pay was actually good because of the original job description and the size of the company. Plus it was a contracting job and I knew my husband and I were going to be relocating relatively soon, so I thought it would be better to have a short-term contract job on my resume than to peace out from a permanent position so soon (he’s already relocated and I’m still looking for a job so I can, too).

        I *know* it’s hurting me because of the types of jobs recruiters are contacting me about. The last time around, like I said, I was getting contacted about good jobs that were not lower level, now it’s jobs I would have been looking at about 6 years ago (right along with a nice big pay cut).

        I’ve been here 11 months now and the longer I’m here, the longer I stagnate and I do not know how to explain it away. I’m having a heck of time getting a job in our new city (I not only have distance to deal with, but also this awful job smack at the top of my resume).

      2. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I think the way you’re describing doing your resume is a good way to handle it … and also trying to switch jobs as soon as you can (which it sounds like you’re doing). You also want to have a good narrative explaining why you ended up in this job — and most hiring managers do get that the economy is terrible and people have made compromises. You might also have some other compelling reason you could mention — really wanted exposure to X, or whatever.

        Will you have a hard time finding a new job because of this? Well, it might be a bit harder than otherwise, but far from impossible. Seriously — people get hired with less-than-ideal resumes all the time. One of the best things you can do to help yourself might be networking stuff (sorry to advise that, since I personally hate that) — can be an easy way to leapfrog to the head of a line.

        1. Piper*

          Alison, thanks for weighing in on this. About how much space in a cover letter should this kind of explanation take up? A sentence? A paragraph? I definitely feel like I must address it because people wonder about it. I’ve tried short versions and slightly longer ones, but I’m not seeing consistent results with either.

        2. Thanks!*

          Thank you for advising, Alison! You sound more optimistic than us that it’s possible to get your career back on track after backpedaling into a role you’re overqualified for. That’s so encouraging! It’s hard to start the search for something better when it feels like you made such a huge mistake.

          What intrigued me most is that you agreed trying to a find a new job as soon as possible is indeed the right course of action. Some friends/family are telling me not to leave so soon, stick it out, see if I can grow here. But I’ve had three good jobs before, so I know what one is: it’s one that allows to work using & building your skills on projects that are aiming to achieve a significant result for the company. If you aren’t allowed to do that, you won’t have anything to offer to a future employer.

  3. Student*

    If you’re willing to take a job with less responsibilities and less pay, then just start applying for such jobs. Trying to press a company to create such a position and give it to you isn’t likely to go well. Applying for an existing, lower pay position might actually get you someplace.

    1. Nichole*

      Company culture has a LOT to do with if that is a viable plan or not. In some organizations, who you know at that particular site is still a key factor in getting a job, so taking a lower level position can help get you in the door and build relationships with the right people. In other companies, the attitude is that the right person will be plucked ready made from the job pool, so if you take a lower level job, from then on everyone assumes that’s where you belong. If you go from a lower level job in one of those companies to another company with the same mentality, you’re in a huge nasty cycle.

  4. JP*

    It seems to me that if they accepted your solution, they would have no reason to fix their budget problem and possibly never would. Plus, as others mentioned above, if you’re willing to work for $X, then $X is what you’re worth to them. Why should they eventually offer you $Y when obviously $X is enough to get you going? Although I totally understand the desire to get in at any cost, I think you’d just end up frustrated and underpaid…all you can do is reiterate how interested you are in the position once they can offer you a salary that matches your experience and hope for the best.

  5. Obvious*

    Not related to this job but I have to say it…

    I got a phone call in the morning to come in for an interview today, I went this afternoon and I was offered the job on the spot. AAM, thank you so much and all the other posters for your contributions. My advise is be prepared and show confidence whenever you go for an interview but also tell the truth – always.

    1. Sigh.Sigh.Sigh.*

      Obvious, congratulations on your success!

      Alison provided the advice, but you were wise enough to read it and apply it to your own job search; so your newly acquired position is due mainly to your own diligence.

      Again, way to go on the new job! It really made my Friday to read about your success.

  6. Natalie*

    One additional, more pragmatic thought – it might not actually be easier to the company to hire you for less money, particularly if you’re talking about a large, bureaucratic corporation. At my company, any change (up or down) to a specific position requires layers of approvals and justifications. I’m not involved at the end of the process, but I assume HR and legal come in to make sure no shenanigans are afoot, too.

    1. Piper*

      Yeah, this is definitely true. Most job titles, especially in larger companies, are assigned to specific salary ranges. They can’t just go changing the titles or the salaries all willy-nilly.

      1. Stells*

        Yep – exactly. Once you get to a certain # if employees, it becomes too risky to not standardize your salaries. It sucks during economies like ours where unemployed people are willing to take a cut to work for Company XYZ, but the reality is that if we paid you 30% less to do the same job as the other X number of people we have in that role -well, it’s a potential lawsuit waiting to happen. If you’re any type of minority in that role – the only race, gender, sexuality, age, religion, etc – then a lawyer could EASILY convince a judge/jury that you got the lower salary because of that. And while the OP may not ever do that (although I’ve learned not to underestimate the bitterness of the underpaid and overworked), in 2 years when you haven’t gotten a raise up to what the other 10-20-50 people in that department are making, you might be more willing to explore your options. It’s just not a good idea for the business in the long term – and any business that agrees to it (over a certain size, of course) is the kind of company that values short term profits over long term benefits….and that’s not the kind of place you want your paycheck depending on

  7. AD*

    I’m intrigued by the fact that the recruiter even mentioned the entry-level positions. I wonder if it was possibly HIS suggestion that she take one, in which case, this would be a whole different situation.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I figured it was something like, “There’s nothing else here right now, just some entry-level spots” — but maybe the OP can weigh in and clarify.

      1. Stells*

        I think you’re right. We tend to do that especially when it’s a REALLY GOOD candidate – we want you to know that the reason we’re not offering it to you is us, not you. If that makes sense.

  8. K.*

    This has happened to me twice and honestly, it never occurred to me to do anything other than chalk it up to yet another thing that sucks about job-hunting. They were clear that they had no idea when or if they’d be filling the roles, and as far as I’m concerned we’ve both moved on. If I’m still looking when the positions become available again, I hope they’ll consider me.

    The situations aren’t quite analogous because as far as I know, no junior-level jobs were open at these places, but if they had been, I wouldn’t have applied. I have applied to some jobs for which I’m overqualified and every time, I’ve heard straight-up “You’re overqualified” – like, that’s been the reason I don’t get the job. So I’m trying hard to stick to applying to jobs commensurate with my education and experience.

  9. Stacy*

    I have nothing advice-wise to add except to say that the “lack of control” factor is one of those life lessions that applies to the job search, (and dating, for that matter), that can be frustrating at times.

    All you can do is be your best self, seek out opportunities, not get jaded, be cautiously optimistic, and find happiness in other areas of your life while working towards other things.

  10. Kimberlee*

    I totally read this situation differently than you guys did.

    I read it as there are entry-level research positions available, and that this senior level research position is the one in question. Not that she’d be looking at a totally different department, just probably what she was doing 5 years ago.

    In which case, I think it makes sense to go for it. They would, as she mentioned, get a great researcher at a great price, and then when this senior position opened up, it would be natural to promote her internally, and then hire another entry level researcher (which is probably easier to find than an experienced one).

    Though I think she would have to frame it as “Here’s what I’m interested in doing, if I applied for this entry-level position, could I be in a position to be promoted to senior researcher when these budget issues are resolved?” In which case, the obvious risk is never getting the promotion.

    1. jmkenrick*

      I don’t know that you’re reading it differently. I think you’re outlining the very senario that the OP is hoping for, but the answers are trying to emphasize that this senario is unlikely.

      1. Jamie*

        I agree with your take on this, and I agree that it’s very unlikely.

        The way the OP and Kimberlee are seeing it makes sense on paper – but in the real world it would never work.

        In one company I went from Office Manager to a System Admin with the highest percentage raise in company history. Until the day I quit people still complained to me when we were out of coffee and left folders on my desk so I could file them.

        The perception of more junior employee can be tough to shake. It’s easier if you move up organically and grow in the company, but if you are allowing yourself to come in as entry level and you have higher value skills it can be seen as telegraphing lack of confidence or respect in your own abilities. Let’s face it, outside of our parents no one will believe in us if we don’t believe in ourselves.

        I get the logic – and it sucks – but unfortunately perception may not be everything, but it’s almost everything.

        1. Piper*

          “I get the logic – and it sucks – but unfortunately perception may not be everything, but it’s almost everything.”

          So very true. At my current job, I get raised eyebrows and shocked looks when I talk about my past experiences and jobs. Most people assume I’m a kid just out of college and the are astounded to realize that I actually have several years of experience and no, this was not supposed to be the entry-level job it turned into.

          And it’s a hard ship to turn around. I recently got a new boss (I put the blame firmly on my first boss’ shoulders for what happened to me with people’s perceptions and the bait & switch) and my new boss is desperately trying to turn things around (bless his heart), talking up how impressed he is with my background and what I can bring to the table, but it’s too late. The damage is already done.

  11. Anonymous*

    I am the OP, and yes, I meant taking the SAME higher level position, agree on a fair salary, but just do it at an entry level salary until the next quarter or so when the budget issue gets straightened out. I did NOT mean applying for a different position.

    But yes, I can see how that might not be a good idea. But I am out of money & have had to borrow money from family to pay the mortgage. And minimum wage temp jobs are not livable.

    I just cannot understand why so many companies seem to be unable to sustain a hiring process from beginning to end.

    1. Kimberlee*

      The way I see it, if you’re out of work, and this (the entry level version) is a job in your field that would make more than the alternative, I think you should just go for it. Some companies/orgs will be douchey about it, in terms of not seeing you as an advanced researcher or whatever, but I think you’d still be making progress in your career, and you’d be free to continue applying for other jobs if they took you up on doing the job at an entry-level salary and then they screwed you over. Ultimately, I think that you still end up making progress from where you are, and that’s good, and if the company ends up being awesome, you can work your way up!

        1. Nichole*

          It’s true that in many companies, the OP has zero chance of actually getting promoted if s/he applies for and gets a lower level position, but at the same time, to me it seems better than what this person has now in terms of being considered for something else. Long term, entry level steady job until something better comes along > string of crappy temp jobs. If it must be explained away anyway, something that involves working in the field in some way seems easier. Of course, the “taking this until something better comes along” attitude is exactly what employers are trying to avoid when they dela with overqualified applicants.

    2. Corey Feldman*

      While I agree with Alison Green in theory, as you said the bottom line is you are out of money. So if that means taking a job at lower pay until they fix the budget, or taking a JR level job in your field, or hell flipping burgers, the economy sucks do what you got to do to survive.

      1. Anonymous*

        ^ this! i am currently in a position that I am overqualified for. I am actively looking for a new job and unhappy is an understatement for my feelings about this job. But my situation is still 10x better than the situation of someone who can’t pay their bills – sure I hate my job, but I can at least relax in my home after work is through. I can go to the gym to work out stress, etc. You get the idea. One is better than the other.

        Also, to be actively employed while looking for a job, as we all know, is an advantage in itself. So even if OP doesn’t find a good fit with this company or grow there, just the fact that she is employed again will still be a positive step. There’s always going to be something that could hypothetically torpedo your candidacy – unemployed over 6 months, not staying at jobs for long enough, possible age discrimination, having a single strand of hair out of place at your interview, blah blah blah. I think that to be actively employed in OP’s field, overqualified or not, will be an improvement over the current situation.

        I really couldn’t agree more with AAM from the perspective of someone who is employed and looking for a new job. As someone with close to 7 years of experience, I also have to be sure not to sell myself short. I don’t know that I’d be able to follow that advice if I was out of money though, especially in this economy. :(

        I still wonder whether the company would actually go for it, though. I’m inclined to think they wouldn’t.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I totally get that, but in that case, it would actually be better to take a job for a similarly low salary someplace else — because if the OP offers to do it here, there’s a good chance it’ll torpedo any chance of ever getting a job offer from this company (at any salary), even though they currently like her, because it’ll make her a less appealing candidate. If she’s convinced that she’s a top candidate for this job once they’re moving forward on it again, then a better option would be to take a lower-paying job somewhere else and hope that this company eventually comes back and offers her the position she wants there.

          1. Tamara*

            What about suggesting to take the job for fewer hours at the same rate? This would put less of a financial strain on the company while they work out their budget, allow the OP to still value her time at the same rate, and get the ball rolling on training. There would have to be clear expectations on both sides, especially regards to timelines, but it seems like she would still be able to draw the line at what her time & experience is worth while still expressing her interest in being involved with the company & this particular position.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Hmmm, maybe. Depending on the company, though, if the position is on hold, it’s on hold. (And it might not be for financial reasons; it could be restructuring, trying to figure out what they really need, or whatever). And if it IS financial, they might not be willing to commit to moving forward before they’ve resolved the issues one way or the other. That said, this would be a better idea than just offering to work for an entry-level salary … although you’e still got to worry about coming across as someone without options.

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Also, there are other downsides to doing it, like permanently messing up your salary history, which could be an obstacle if you’re dealing with a company that wants to know your most recent salary, etc. Obviously, if your financial situation is dire enough and you just urgently need money coming in, that doesn’t matter, but it’s something to factor in.

          1. same Anonymous poster*

            Great points. I guess I was just stressing the (obvious) point that eventually the need for money might overshadow those things, which kind of goes back to the post you made about quitting your job in a recession – you emphasized that savings are critical and allow you to act from strength instead of desperation, and this is a great example of why! :)

            That’s not to say that the OP didn’t have any savings to begin with (we all know how long job searches can last in this economy), but it did remind me of that point.

  12. KayDay*

    I would like to add a very qualified dissent from AAM’s comment, just to complicated things a little. In some organizations, that have a good reputation for promoting from within, taking the lower level position/pay might be a good thing. One well known non-profit in my area frequently hires way over-qualified entry-level project staff and interns, in the hopes that they will be promoted once a more senior level position opens up. Most are promoted with in 4-9 months (assuming they do a good job). From what I understand, they have are pretty open with job seekers about this, so everyone goes into this situation knowing that this person is taking a lower-level position while waiting for a better position to open up.

    1. Anonymous*

      One well known non-profit in my area frequently hires way over-qualified entry-level project staff and interns, in the hopes that they will be promoted once a more senior level position opens up

      I trust they include viewings of “Kind Hearts and Coronets” as part of the training process, then?

  13. Just Me*

    Just speaking generally on this topic of hiring, salaries, and so on, I have never worked for a company that had the flexibility to just change salary ranges, titles and so on to fit specific situations. Yes it has happened, when a big cheese wanted a certain person but overall there was little of any room for fanagaling (sp?) of job titles and salaries associated with them . You negotiated salary within the range and that is about it. That has just been my experience.

    OP, I completely understand why you want to do this. I am
    somewhat in the same position, altough employeed but wish to change directions in careers. Not qualified to move high up, too qualified to lateral or entry level. What do you do?

    I am sorry to not have any good answer but at least know you are not alone. Good luck !!

  14. Anonymous*

    I was surprised to hear of all the negative reactions/experiences from people who have accepted lower level positions. I am curious to know how you feel about accepting a lower level position at the hiring manager’s suggestion. I recently made it to the final round of interviews for a manager position with a pr firm. After my last interview I was told they needed someone with more direct pr management experience (I would be changing from marketing to traditional pr which are slightly different industries). The hiring manager then offered to pass on my information so I could meet with another manager to discuss a coordinator role. I think the company Os great and they seem to have a great staff that gets along. My interview for the juior position seemed to go well and I’m curious if it makes me any more likely to be hired given that they suggested I try for the junior position rather than just cutting me loose? And likewise since I seem to have piqued their interest not once but twice?

      1. Anonymous*

        Based on what has been discussed it sounds like the coordinator position is pretty similar to my previous position as a specialist. I was hoping to move up after years at the specialist level. I thought being asked to interview for the junior position meant I would be a clear choice but now I’m questioning that since they are still considering other candidates.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Ah, I see. Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t consider the invitation to interview to mean that you’re the top candidate — just a promising candidate, possibly out of several.

    1. Stells*

      I think this is a situation in which the hiring manager is pretty much telling you that you aren’t qualified for the job they were interviewing for, but it sounds like they thought you might be a good addition to the company, just in a role that you meet the qualifications.

      In that case, there’s no harm in interviewing, because the hiring manager has already told you that you aren’t their ideal candidate.

  15. Yi Wei*

    I was faced with this recently (and I am a fresh graduate). I added the HR girl on LinkedIn in case I would be able to be picked up in future. Hope I did the right thing!

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