Always Check The Fine Print Of A Job Offer

I interviewed with an advertising agency and they offered what I thought would be a fulfilling job. The clients were in an industry I was passionate about and the commute was better than my current job. We had discussed general compensation and we were seemingly well aligned. When I got a verbal offer, I was excited. However, I was stunned when the written offer came and I saw that the compensation was more than 70% commission. The compensation I needed was a salary with a possible bonus. Their pay offer was too heavily variable for me. As a single mom, I had to turn the job down. I needed a more stable salary but more importantly I felt that was something they should have discussed in the interview It didn't feel like they had the same integrity I did.

AVA Advice: 

What a disappointing experience for you and your family! Your clear personal assessment going into the interview process of your needs (target industry, commute time and compensation) was well done and you stuck to what you knew you needed. Companies often use a mix of variable and fixed compensation to get to the total compensation you identify in your interview. However, it doesn't mean it is what you will be paid. You weighed up the risk of not getting the full 70% commission consitently and your ability to get another job. It's a lot of work and time to get this far along in the process only to have to turn it down. Some job seekers create a comprehensive written checklist to use during the process. And when you discuss compensation be sure to differentiate between hourly or salary pay versus bonus or commission compensation, and as you did, make sure if fits your personal financial needs. 

AVA

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