Author Topic: Salary Negotiation  (Read 10176 times)

windawake

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Salary Negotiation
« on: November 05, 2013, 03:10:05 PM »
I'm happy to share the news that I just got a job offer for a job I'm really excited about. I haven't accepted yet, I asked to take a day to think it over and review the offer/benefits but did relay that I'm excited about the opportunity. What is some of your advice for salary negotiations/your experience with it? I am fresh out of graduate school in public health with some pre-grad-school and during-grad-school work experience under my belt. They interviewed me yesterday and were very enthusiastic about me being a good fit, and offered the job earlier this afternoon. I would be happy to accept their current offer, but I've heard that companies expect one to negotiate. I have a meeting with my career adviser tomorrow but I'd like to get some other thoughts as well.

For reference it's a project coordinator position at a group practice for university physicians. They've offered $48.5k with 22 days PTO, 6 holidays, and 3 floating holidays. The health, dental, and vision plans sound good and they have a really generous 401k matching (6% company contribution automatically and up to 2% additional matching).

Thanks!

Winter's Tale

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 03:22:33 PM »
If you can, check out any books or articles by Linda Babcock.  She wrote "Women Don't Ask" and "Ask for It".  Good stuff.  Ask a Manager might also have some good advice.

Winter's Tale

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 03:22:58 PM »
And congratulations on the offer!

savingtofreedom

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 03:35:36 PM »
I agree with Winter's Tale - Ask a Manager is a great resource.


I would also recommend reading Lean in by Cheryl Sandburg - I wish I had read this in college.

Have you one any research online for comparative salary/benefits?

Congrats!

Melody

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 04:13:24 PM »
Congratulations!

To offer a counterpoint, be careful if this role is an official graduate program - if it is there will generally be (almost) no room to move on the salary (regardless of prior experience) - they have hired you into a no experience required role, even if you used your experience to get you through the interview. However, as you have the post grad qualification (if the other graduates only have a BA) you may be able to subtly ask "has this offer already been adjusted to reflect my educational level" and they may give you something (perhaps an amount equal to the tuition reimbursement that would be offered to over employees in your role. ) But if you're happy with the offer and the benefits, and it is a graduate program, don't stress too much about the money, it will come with experience. To ask for more might come across as a bit Gen Y entitled.  However, agree if it's not a graduate program, it's worth seeing what comparable jobs pay, and negotiating if it's not already above average.

ender

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 04:49:33 PM »
This answer and other perspectives there should be able to help.

SmackDab

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 04:59:39 PM »
Long-winded answer coming…

First of all, congratulations!

Second, I was in your position just last week.  I was offered a job in a different department with my current employer.  The salary offered was substantially higher than what I was currently making and, all things considered, I would have gladly accepted the offer as-is.  I really struggled with the question of whether or not to negotiate for more.  In my case, since I was staying with the same employer, salary was really the only potential point of negotiation (benefits are pretty much fixed).  I asked a friend what she thought, and her response was to tell me to ask myself the following questions:

1. Do you really think you’re worth $offer + $x? (i.e., are you objectively justified in asking for a higher salary?)
2. If there was no possibility of negotiating, would you still take the job at the offered salary?

After thinking about it for a long while, I came to the conclusion that THESE QUESTIONS ARE BULLSHIT.  Re: #1, determining one’s “worth” in $$$ is highly subjective…until you start asking people what they’ll actually pay to hire you!  Which will never happen if you talk yourself out of negotiating!  Re: #2, let’s flip this question 180 degrees.  Do you think your prospective employer is asking themselves, “hmmm, would I be willing to hire windawake at $50k?  At $52k?  If so, I should just offer $52k right off the bat!”  Nope!  There is absolutely no incentive for them to give their best offer straight out of the gate, and nobody expects them to.

Melody, I have to take issue with your suggestion that negotiating for more salary/benefits “might come across as a bit Gen Y entitled.”  Isn’t it similarly entitled for employers to offer prospective employees less than they’re willing to pay, which is, by definition in a relatively free labor market, less than they’re worth?  This is a business transaction.  Both actors can be expected to rationally act to maximize their position.  Employers do this by leading with offers for less than they’re willing to pay.  Prospective employees do this by asking for more.  Both parties can say “no” or counter-offer whenever they feel like it.

The cultural baggage we seem to have that prevents us from taking these perfectly rational steps for fear of seeming “too aggressive” or “entitled” drives me crazy!  We internalize those bullshit questions my friend asked me above.  Sure, there’s the possibility that the person you’re negotiating with will actually be offended (though if they’ve done any amount of hiring in the past, they shouldn’t be).  If that happens, then you might want to consider what it will be like working for someone who gets unduly emotionally wrapped up their business dealings with others.

To finally return to my recent experience, I asked for a salary that was about 5% higher than what I was offered.  The hiring manager actually came right out and said that she had been given a salary range from HR that dictated what she could offer.  She asked if I would accept the top end of the range which, while not the 5% I had asked for, was nonetheless about 3% more than initially offered.  I accepted, and as far as I can tell, everyone came away happy.

So there’s my vote: I’d try negotiating if I were you.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

chasesfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 05:37:48 PM »
22 days of PTO?????

Take the offer before they sober up!  I'm at 10 years and have worked my way up to 20 days.

quinsillyfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 08:18:51 PM »
Check out search results for "Ramit Sethi negotiation".  Do everything he says.  Check out the videos first for how to go about it without being obnoxious.  I used his play book twice this year and was shocked by how much I got both times.  Negotiating your salary is one of the few "big wins" you can get in life and essentially make thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes.   The worst they can say is "no, that's our offer", but it's very typical for an employer to have 5-10% wiggle room on their offer.  Make sure you start by knowing the going rate for the position you are being hired for.   Good luck!  It takes some courage.

$200k

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 08:59:08 PM »
Would be a good idea to check some online databases like payscale.com.  That would be an objective indicator of the market value for positions similar to yours.  Then adjust up, for your individual subjective factors that you add to the job.

Remember, you are trying to reach an amount that both of you are happy with.  That's a negotiation.  If they offered you too much, and you can't deliver or they feel remorse, that is just as bad as being underpaid.

All comments in this post derivative of Jack Chapman's book.

mm1970

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 09:07:52 PM »
22 days of PTO?????

Take the offer before they sober up!  I'm at 10 years and have worked my way up to 20 days.

I was thinking something similar.  I have a total of 34 days PTO (holiday, vacation, and sick).  I've been with my company 5 years and have 21 years experience.

mm1970

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 09:08:56 PM »
That said, definitely negotiate!  Every dollar you get may increase your income for life.

Russ

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 09:28:40 PM »
The worst they can say is "no, that's our offer"

The worst they can do is tell you it's time to find a different job.

Not that this happens often, but it can and does. When you negotiate, you in effect turn down their offer and propose a new one. They can then turn down your offer and, if they so choose, not propose a new one. Negotiating is calculated risk, and you should know that the worst they can do is tell you to fuck right off and try again somewhere else. This has happened to me once (and I was being very reasonable and flexible), and would have happened again if I tried negotiating at my current job (I know this from being in on the interview process for new hires since I've been here).

The good news is that, in my experience, the places that do this are either (a) places with toxic management that you don't want to work for anyway, or (b) places that are excellent to work at, both you and they know it, and they don't want to mess around. You'll know if your future employer falls into one of these categories. Also, since you got this job, it is very likely that you will be able to get a similar quality job (given enough time to find it) should your negotiations go down the pipes for whatever reason.

Left

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 11:54:16 PM »
I wasn't successful in my negotiations but don't let the discourage you. I tried but knew it wasn't likely to succeed, everyone starts off with the same base pay here regardless of experience. Then at 6 months, after the trial period, the pay gets readjusted for how you performed and experience is taken into account. Just saying that the you'll get future chances to ask but those are rarer and less likely to succeed.

Was PTO really all that hard to get? Everywhere (only 2 places as working adult admittedly over 3 years) that I've been in, I get 1 day of PTO every two weeks.

But if you don't get salary negotiated, can you negotiate schedule/hours? I went from 3-12 hour days to 4-10 hour days because 12 hours got too long. Now I'm back to 5-8 hour days but I'm happy with it for now. Or working from home?

cynthia1848

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 07:43:49 AM »
Yes, negotiate!  Try to get them to come up on the salary. 

At my current job company offered X, I came back with 150% X, we settled on 125% X.

Dezrah

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2013, 11:02:56 AM »
Absolutely negotiate.  Have a real reason you ask for more and don't be outrageous but you need to do it.  If you don't, you'll always regret that "what if."  In business it's better to be too proud than too humble in my opinion.  Plus we women are statically bad at not negotiating and it's time we bucked that trend.

At my first job I accepted the first offer I was given because I was scared and I regretted it for the whole 3+ years I was there.  At my 2nd job, they offered the amount I filled in under "desired salary" (which I thought was high at the time at 16.5% higher than my first job).  I squirmed and countered slightly higher just on the principle of negotiating.  They accepted, but even if they just countered with their original offer again or rejected me altogether I would still be proud about valuing myself.

Good luck and give us a followup.

johlstei

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2013, 12:46:44 PM »
Read this, he says it better than I could:
http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/

oldtoyota

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 12:57:13 PM »
I disagree that it'll come across as Gen Y entitled to ask for more money. I hired two Gen Y's and was shocked that both accepted the first offer. I never accept the first offer.

So, feel welcome to ask for more money. Just don't ask for an unreasonable amount. What's reasonable will depend upon salaries for your field, etc. And, rest assured, if you were a man, they'd already be offering you more. That should help you feel good about asking. ;-)

Also, this:

When I was just starting out, someone made me an offer. I knew I could not accept that amount, so I said I appreciated her time and stood up to leave. I was not trying to play hardball. However, the hiring manager immediately offered me $5K more and then I learned an important lesson about how the game is played. Always, always ask for more. They want you at this point, so you have leverage now.




« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 01:02:57 PM by oldtoyota »

Winter's Tale

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 01:07:21 PM »
Here's another good article with some helpful points in the comments section as well: http://corporette.com/2012/11/13/how-to-ask-for-a-raise/

chasesfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 03:35:22 PM »
I really think the original poster needs to be careful here.  She does not have another job offer and has a very nice package for no experience.

I think negotiations are entirely different after your first job

johlstei

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2013, 03:41:18 PM »
The company has already invested a lot of money in interviewing/vetting her. If they turn her away for having the gall to ask for more money, they are just flushing cash and probably aren't going to last much longer. Sure, if you go absurd they will just say no, but the first offer one is given is never the best offer that could be given. Why wouldn't any given company offer less than they were willing to pay?

chasesfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2013, 03:43:40 PM »
Lots of companies interview multiple people for an entry level position and make them a standard offer.  Depending on experience, they may or may not have any room to move.  I accepted a take it or leave it offer for my first job

Rust

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2013, 03:47:48 PM »
Here are my rules.

1) Always ask for more.
2) When you ask for more know what the market range is for the position.  There are plenty of resources you can use to figure this out (Glassdoor.com is one of them)

They want to hire you.  If they really want you they won't let you get away over a few thousand dollars.  Be reasonable with your ask based on Market rates.  They won't pay over market.  Realize your future raises are based off your current salary.  Each dollar you can get now is worth much more down the road.

Melody

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2013, 04:23:23 PM »
I really think the original poster needs to be careful here.  She does not have another job offer and has a very nice package for no experience.

I think negotiations are entirely different after your first job

This is sort of what i was getting at. I have negotiated in the past, although not with much sucess.if i wasn't in a job that already gave two raises a year for your first 3 years of employment (anniversary raise and cpi raise) i would feel confident to negotiate.but sometimes you know you are onto a good thing and they know you are onto a good thing so you just take it.

I have a friend who is in charge of hiring at a different company in the same industry i work in, they put the max budget in  the ad leaving no room to negotiate.(eg if job is advertised at 42k, there will be less/lower quality applicants than if it is advertised at 50k.at 50k applicants are fighting for the role (as averyone else is advertising between 42 and 48)  so there will typically be a few good candidates for the role so in this situation you want to be careful. This person says i want the best person for the job and i don't want to mess around, they wouldnt appreciate a negotiation attempt when they have already chosen to to do the right thing by the candidate and are paying at the top end of market for that role.this strategy has also promoted staff loyalty in the company... They know ghey make more than there peers so they are loyal.it sounds like OPs job could be one of these.

windawake

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2013, 05:39:31 PM »
Hi everyone, thanks for all the input! I countered their offer with $55k justifying it because I have a master's degree and previous successful project coordination experience and the range for positions like this is $45-$60k. They came back with $53k and I was happy to accept. I feel so good for negotiating!

jrhampt

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2013, 06:21:52 PM »
Congrats on the successful negotiation!  That's awesome.

Russ

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2013, 06:23:23 PM »
bitchin'!

chasesfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2013, 06:31:30 PM »
Hi everyone, thanks for all the input! I countered their offer with $55k justifying it because I have a master's degree and previous successful project coordination experience and the range for positions like this is $45-$60k. They came back with $53k and I was happy to accept. I feel so good for negotiating!

Congratulations!

SmackDab

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2013, 07:48:05 PM »
Awesome!

As I and several others have mentioned, employers truly have no incentive to lead with their absolute best offer. If, for some reason, they decide to make their best, take-it-or-leave-it offer right off the bat, they might as well come out and say "these are the absolute best terms we can offer" and save everyone a lot of grief.

I think you handled things perfectly: you made a reasonable counter-offer and justified it with facts. You bumped your salary by a few thousand, they got to hire their preferred candidate. Everybody wins!

oldtoyota

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2013, 08:47:45 PM »
Realize your future raises are based off your current salary.  Each dollar you can get now is worth much more down the road.

So important.

pachnik

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2013, 08:51:01 PM »
Congratulations on your increase and on your negotiation courage!  Well done and I hope you are proud of yourself.


quinsillyfish

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Re: Salary Negotiation
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2013, 06:56:12 AM »
Nice job!