I went and it was good. However, the tasks and skills we discussed varied from what I (and apparently the majority of job sites out there in the world) would consider the tasks of an Administrative Assistant. We discussed my writing and copy editing ability, whether or not I'm comfortable with giving presentations, writing and editing RFPS, dealing with deadlines and my organization skills. Still, I thought that I had good rapport with them and I expected to get invited back for a second interview. (He told me theirs was a two interview process, which I thought was ridiculous for an admin job.)
I went back for my second interview this past Friday and met with some members of their marketing department. I had a great interview. Again, I had a great connection with the people and discussed my writing ability, copy-editing, organizing, etc. I asked the creative director to sum up the job and really, the way he described it, it's a project coordination position, keeping projects flowing properly, being a central person keeping track of multiple parts of a project. I was excited. It's the kind of work I thought I'd love to do.
The frustration and confusion comes in with the HR Chick, I think, that sat in on the meeting. I went in very open minded. It would be an hour's commute to and from this office. I would need to coordinate daycare and bus scheduling for Andy. I had no ideas of the hours of the job, the title or even what they were offering as a salary because it wasn't the job I applied for initially. Of course, the original listing is now gone from CareerBuilder. So, when they finished grilling me about these non-Admin skills, they asked if I had any questions and I was, perhaps, more honest than I've ever been in an interview situation. I asked for concrete details about the job, like the hours.
She got a little snippy and said that was the kind of information they don't release until an offer is made. I countered with a comment saying that if the hours and salary don't work for me and my needs, I'd remove myself from their consideration. So she caved, slightly, and said the job would be from 8 to 5. Later in the interview, I told the project coordinator that my bottom line number, the least I could work for, was $30K.
The hours would really suck for me because that means I'd have to leave before seven. Andy's bus comes at 8:12. Wayne leaves at 7:15. Andy gets off the bus at 10 until 4. Wayne gets home at 6. I would be getting home at 6. So the timing alone will create logistical issues. The money is a huge factor because I have to consider what I'm getting on unemployment, the cost of childcare, the commute and other incidental expenses. I am not getting into a situation again where I am essentially working for nothing.
This morning someone called me to offer me a job as an admin assistant at $30K/year- the bottom number I gave them when we spoke. When I told the person who called me that the position I interviewed for last week was more of a project coordinator position than an administrative assistant she seemed confused. Good to know I'm not alone. I talked to her and was honest. I said, when I interviewed last week, the position we discussed was a project coordinator job and I've done some research and I know that the median salary for that type of job, in York, is significantly higher. I am interested, but can you touch base with Michael and determine what the position is that I am being offered and get back to me?"
So she was going to get back in touch with the CEO, come up with a job description and I'm waiting to see what happens there.
In hindsight, $30k just won't work. Additionally, I have no problem taking an admin job. I want to be working and the joy of being an admin is the ability to leave work behind you when you exit the building. That said, if you're going to give me project coordinator tasks, then I want the title and the pay that goes with it. If you want to call me an admin, then don't grill me about my writing skills, proofreading skills, organizing and things that go with a different title.
In the meantime, I did a little research. The median salary for a Level II Admin in York, is $39,000. On the low end, it's about $32. So no matter what, they're low-balling me. It is great to get the job offer, but there are issues. What the heck IS the job? Admin assistant, project coordinator, marketing, office admin? Secondly, just because I said that $30k is the minimum I need doesn't mean that is what I want or what my skills and experience deserve. I've been very upfront with these people and I am really interested in the job but the fact is, I am not going to do higher pay work, with less money, and a crappy title.