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Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

And I am saying there are so many companies these days offering trash wages especially to science staff and stringing out the hiring process that I need to know where to direct my efforts.

Especially since I have a job now, I don't want to take 3 days off for separate interviews, have my references bothered, and more only to be offered $15 an hour and have to tell them politely to get bent and start the whole process over again. I think it is worth it to lose a few opportunities rather than go through the experience I had of 3 rounds of interviews for the wages of a garbage man.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Nate W. » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Here is an interesting law that was enacted. This law essentially makes this debate a moot point in MA. It prohibits employers from asking salary history before a job offer and requires employers to post a compensation range for the position.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/busi ... story.html

Good if you are a Bean town biotech employee?

Steven Z, go to the library and use a database called Privco and Illect Merchant. You can then compare the financial strength of the companies you are targeting. Companies that are doing well financially are more likely to compensate you fairly than those doing poorly and venture back start-ups are less likely to compensate you well unless you have an equity stake in the company and it does well (that's how these tech start-up guys in Silicon Valley get rich when they do an IPO; it is mostly hype).
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:15 pm

Neither the size nor financial condition of a company is necessarily reflective of how good their offers are.

My last job at an F50 company was an awful permatemp h#llhole. They bought state of the art analytical equipment for $250k a pop, maintained expensive contracts for them, then let them sit unused after one 6 month project. The chemists operating the equipment and developing the methods didn't even have health insurance. I have never been so disengaged in my life while I was there.

My current job at a smaller company I have a lot of decades old instruments that I maintain myself. You'd think this is a podunk company but they do great and treat their workers well. I am painfully aware that if I ever tried to switch jobs I'd be looking at at at least 30% paycut probably more and inferior benefits.

That is one reason I don't even bother looking. I don't want to risk it. There are a lot of crapo companies out there in this profession. Instead I save and invest a large portion of my income so I can either retire early or retrain out of the profession entirely rather than play with low ballers and staffing agencies ever again.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:47 pm

Nate,

While the expectation of that MA law is that it will do some good and help balance wages, salaries are actually determined by negotiation in most cases and not by laws and regulations. All this does is set up a number, to be stated by employers. They'll all use a low number, and then the final offer will be determined by negotiation (upwards). Those who can negotiate (just like now) will get the best offer.

This will be just like the law that was passed about prosecuting telemarketing companies. Perhaps you can remember how we were all going to stop getting those calls, that there would be a new "Do not call list" and blah, blah, blah. Just like that law, there are so many loopholes that I don't see anything changing. It will hold for a while and then people will start working around it, just as telemarketers do today (had three today already).

With regards to negotiation, we've got to get everyone on the same track with that ability, men and women. When both groups of entry-level scientists understand the basics of negotiation, then there could be the potential of an equal playing field beginning from day one. Of course, take a picture of those same people a decade later and there will still be big discrepancies between one person and other. They will still separate out based on how a person has negotiated throughout each annual review, and of course based on performance.

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:53 pm

Steven Z. wrote:Neither the size nor financial condition of a company is necessarily reflective of how good their offers are.

My last job at an F50 company was an awful permatemp h#llhole. They bought state of the art analytical equipment for $250k a pop, maintained expensive contracts for them, then let them sit unused after one 6 month project. The chemists operating the equipment and developing the methods didn't even have health insurance. I have never been so disengaged in my life while I was there.

My current job at a smaller company I have a lot of decades old instruments that I maintain myself. You'd think this is a podunk company but they do great and treat their workers well. I am painfully aware that if I ever tried to switch jobs I'd be looking at at at least 30% paycut probably more and inferior benefits.

That is one reason I don't even bother looking. I don't want to risk it. There are a lot of crapo companies out there in this profession. Instead I save and invest a large portion of my income so I can either retire early or retrain out of the profession entirely rather than play with low ballers and staffing agencies ever again.


Steven, you would probably enjoy your job more if you were in an environment with newer equipment and better technology. It's effort to find another job, but from the complaining you do, you seem like the perfect candidate to go after a new post. And, no one here (or anywhere else) advises you have to seek out staffing agencies. I would just politely decline their calls and do the search myself if I were in your shoes. We spend so much time on the job that someone who is unhappy at work is really in an unhealthy situation. Think of your health and happiness as one really good reason to find a better environment

Dave
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:41 pm

Finding a job isn't as big an effort as finding a job that isn't awful permatemp crap.

I like my current job. I value having benefits and decent pay and working for a company that doesn't treat their science staff like disposable pipette tips over having state of the art analytical equipment. Every job has its downsides. It is also nice to have job security as good luck finding another chemist who can figure out the customizations I made nor my unique methods.

However, back to topic. I consider salary my number one screening criteria for jobs after no staffing agency involved. I don't want to get in too deep with the large numbers of companies that place abominably low value on their science staff. I also suspect a lot of the companies that get offended by asking about pay are the type of companies that think they are so awesome they don't have to offer competitive pay.
Last edited by Steven Z. on Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby RSD » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:12 pm

I think that at the PhD level, any discussions about salary should be handled carefully and only with the HR staff, not the hiring manager or other interviewers. If I want to hire a PhD, I want someone who will be engaged, interested, and totally plugged into their job. They need to be interested in the science first and foremost, or they won't succeed. Asking me about salary makes one seem like you are just looking for a paycheck. Nobody disputes that you work to get paid, but perception matters.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Nate W. » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:51 pm

RSD wrote:I think that at the PhD level, any discussions about salary should be handled carefully and only with the HR staff, not the hiring manager or other interviewers. If I want to hire a PhD, I want someone who will be engaged, interested, and totally plugged into their job. They need to be interested in the science first and foremost, or they won't succeed. Asking me about salary makes one seem like you are just looking for a paycheck. Nobody disputes that you work to get paid, but perception matters.


I can understand wanting someone fully engaged scientifically. From the candidate's perspective, wouldn't you want to negotiate with the hiring manager, not HR. The hiring manager knows what intrinsic value the candidate brings to the organization and what that might mean monetarily. HR doesn't know this and at large companies and universities they often have wage divisions that try to set compensation entirely based on equity among similar type employees.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Nate W. » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:18 am

Steven Z. wrote:Neither the size nor financial condition of a company is necessarily reflective of how good their offers are.

My last job at an F50 company was an awful permatemp h#llhole. They bought state of the art analytical equipment for $250k a pop, maintained expensive contracts for them, then let them sit unused after one 6 month project. The chemists operating the equipment and developing the methods didn't even have health insurance. I have never been so disengaged in my life while I was there.

My current job at a smaller company I have a lot of decades old instruments that I maintain myself. You'd think this is a podunk company but they do great and treat their workers well. I am painfully aware that if I ever tried to switch jobs I'd be looking at at at least 30% paycut probably more and inferior benefits.

That is one reason I don't even bother looking. I don't want to risk it. There are a lot of crapo companies out there in this profession. Instead I save and invest a large portion of my income so I can either retire early or retrain out of the profession entirely rather than play with low ballers and staffing agencies ever again.


Steven, I want to help you out here.
Steven Z. wrote:Neither the size nor financial condition of a company is necessarily reflective of how good their offers are. My last job at an F50 company was an awful permatemp h#llhole.


The key word is on average. I promise you this F50 probably has a net loss in profits and/or has declining profits or growth compared with its peers. Look at what the financial analysts are recommending in the biotech sector now. One company is Thermo Fisher; it has a strong balance sheet and strong cash inflows. Plus, its stock is doing well. Big deal you say, this means more private investors are pouring money into the company by buying its stock. More money for hiring and at better wages with better benefits. So, I will bet you that for the same position, you will find a better position with more compensation and better wages at a company with ThermoFisher's financial status than that stodgy F50 pharma company.

Please check out the PrivCo or Merchant Intellect data. Quite helpful for a job search. See my comments for the person seeking employment after 8 months thread. There are some other helpful comments that might apply in your situation. I don't think you will lose 30% of your pay by switching companies; just chose the "right" financially healthy biotech company.

In this profession, it is almost always about the money. Follow the money. Poor financial health of the company means on average worker compensation, benefits, and conditions stink.

PS: Despite the what is said on TV and in academia, inventors and investors (stockholders, VCs, angel investors, and private equity investors) are the people who create businesses and jobs in the private sector, not the US government or even technology transfer offices. Many academic PIs even those on scientific advisory boards perpetuate this myth with their graduate students.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby D.X. » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:43 am

For a Person in academia looking to Transition out, seriosly don't bother with all this talk about company's financial spread sheet etc. etc. ist about getting a Job and getting experience. Worry about where your compensation falls on the distrubition curve later - and understand that later on, other trade-offs become relvant.

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