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Recruiter Upsets Newly Graduated Friend By Telling Him His Salary Expectations Are ‘Delusional’

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Redditor Natural-Blueberry577 works for a recruitment company and went out of their way to help out a friend who was struggling to find work.

When things didn’t pan out as expected, the Redditor inquired what went wrong.

What the friend said prompted a matter-of-fact response that caused drama.

The Original Poster visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (ATIA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for calling my friend’s salary expectations delusional?”

The OP explained what happened.

“I work in recruitment at a company and my focus is graduates who are looking for their first or second job out of university.”

“An acquaintance of mine, who graduated the same time I did asked me for advice a couple weeks ago at the pub because even it had been a year or so he’d not found a white collar job, asked me if I had any roles he’d be a good fit for.”

“I said sure, and mentioned one to him and sorted him out with an interview (outside of my company process so it’s not like I stood to gain commission of him or anything either).”

“Then, I hear from the company that he rejected their offer and that he was rude about it too.”

“I asked him earlier today and He scoffed and said he had a finance degree, so he wasn’t going to consider anything lower than £35k [$49.37]starting and ideally wanted £40k [$56.42] (he was offered £22k [$31.03] at this role).”

“I asked him if he was serious and he told me he knew how much he was worth.”

“I turned around and said to him that he was delusional for the following reasons: in the UK £30k [$42.31] is top top money for a fresh grad, and you have to work at a Big 4 consultancy, or a law firm or hedge fund or somewhere top tier. Hell, doctors start off at about £28k [$39.49]!

“I also said that £30k starting was very optimistic because he had no work experience, and didn’t go to a Russell Group (sort of like the USA Ivy League).”

“Not only that he came out with a 2:2, which to a lot of employers (let alone the ones who’d pay £30k+) that was an automatic rejection. I told him that really, especially given the pandemic a starting salary of £22k was actually pretty good.”

“He was pissed off at this and told me I was part of the system keeping him down. Later I’m getting a text from his girlfriend saying I was out of line and that I wasn’t trying hard enough, and that I should’ve recommended him to banks (which is also laughable, because banks don’t use recruitment firms so I have no ‘contacts’ there).”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.

“NTA. He needs to hear this. Whether he chooses to do something useful with the information is up to him.”

“If he doesn’t calm down, you should reconsider this friendship.” – GreekAmericanDom

“NTA. When you have no experience, didn’t go to a top school, or Daddy isn’t the boss you start at the bottom. Your dude is delusional.”

“Also, you got him a good entry level job that he burned. The trash took itself out.” – PtEternity29

“NTA. I have worked in finance for 31 years in the UK, and what you say is true. The graduate recruitment is tough and places few and far between.”

“I know people who got on them but that was due to them working summer jobs during their university years at various banks.”

“If you are not in a graduate program then you start at the bottom, which is what i did and now i am earning a very decent amount, but i worked my way up.”

“I have come across people like him and who think they know it all, they are the ones that do not listen in training and then go on to make a big mistake.”

“I think it is time to let that friend go do not put him forward for any other jobs as you really do not want to piss off the companies you work with.” – Heartsuk

“NTA. But did you give him an expected salary when you provided him with the job description?”

“We really need to break the habit of posting job ads with ‘competitive salary’ or ‘salary dependent on experience.'”

“And as a graduate with a 2:1 from a Russell Group university (not in finance admittedly) I started at £18k [$25.39] in my Central London job. £22k isn’t bad. Still not great for London, but certainly not unlivable.” – ausernamebyany_other

“NTA. He claims the system is keeping him down. Nope. He’s not living in the real world.”

“A simple search of the Internet would give him a typical and realistic salary range for someone with his qualifications. He’s ignoring this and blaming everyone for not giving him what he wants.”

“Maybe he got away with it during his childhood, but he’s now in for a serious reality check – the business world isn’t going to change just for him.”

“There are others who are waiting for those jobs and will be happy with £22k for their first year…” – Count2Zero

“NTA. You went out of your way to help this person. Good on you.”

“They were rude when it didn’t do their way. You tried to use your experience to help them have realistic expectations. You can lead a horse to water but toy can’t make it drink. Too bad for them.” – _-TabulaRasa-_

“Lol clearly not the AH. Oh dear he’s going to have to learn the hard way OP. I’ve a fair bit of experience recruiting grads in the UK, and, not that you need me to say this, but I completely agree with your assessment.”

“Tbh I don’t think you said enough, you should have gone further and let him know the truth – a degree is simply a tool to get your foot in the door of a business.”

“Once there, you are a ‘trainee’ and only moderately useful to them. They are investing in you, you have limited value fresh out of uni.”

“The first company I was recruited for would only accept grads with a first, with a ‘Desmond’ he’s going to be bloody lucky to get anywhere close to the salary he wants. He’s delusional.”

“I would send a strongly worded message back – it’s not acceptable him being rude and damaging your reputation, you won’t be assisting him again as he clearly has no respect for you.” – KarenJoanneO

Overall, Redditors agreed with the OP’s opinion about the friend’s overly ambitious salary expectations.

They also thought what lacked most in this situation was some gratitude for the OP.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
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