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Risk manager agonizes over salary negotiation


Used to doling out advice on business matters, a risk manager turned to a popular advice columnist for help solving a job search conundrum.

“Jaded,” a 34-year-old working in risk management, was seeking a mid- to senior-level position and had a “wonderful panel interview with a billion-dollar health-care company,” according to Wednesday’s syndicated Ask Amy column.

“It could not have gone better,” Jaded wrote. “I was thrilled to receive a voicemail a day after the interview requesting a call-back.”

The problem? The salary was too low and when Jaded tried to negotiate the recruiting manager “balked at the idea of negotiating.”

“Amy, they treated me as though I was the first applicant in history to negotiate a job offer. Am I out of touch with the current job market? Since when did employers become so resistant to counteroffers and salary negotiations?”

Columnist Amy Dickinson wrote that she shared the questions with Brenda Wells, the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance at East Carolina University. The professor’s take: “Risk managers are in the business of protecting profit and people. They could always tell an applicant they don't have the money to offer, but no reasonable employer should be offended at a respectful attempt to negotiate.”