Author Topic: Salary Negotiations for New Job  (Read 1135 times)

Michael in ABQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • Military Saints
Salary Negotiations for New Job
« on: January 24, 2018, 10:17:09 AM »
I current work in an analyst role in the commercial real estate industry but I'm looking to make a move. I have a base salary of about $45k but essentially I'm 100% commission it's just that most months I bill enough to cover the base salary and anything over that gets paid out monthly. I tend to be a perfectionist and don't produce nearly as much as some of my coworkers who can just grind away producing generally good enough work. According to my W-2 I made about $55k last year. However, that included 6 weeks that I wasn't earning anything (from this job) as I was performing training for the National Guard. Adjusting for those 6 weeks if I were working full-time I probably would have made about $60-65k.

I just had an informal interview with the head of commercial banking for a local lender. They have an underwriter position coming up that sounds like I would be a good fit for and that has some upward mobility. Most importantly it sounds like it would have more regular hours and I wouldn't end up working 12+ hour days (and weekends) as I sometimes do now to hit a deadline. He asked me about salary requirements and I feel like I shot myself in the foot by saying I'd need to make at least $55k to make the transition as he quickly said that shouldn't be an issue. My research on glassdoor.com indicates that the average salary for this type of position in my market is probably around $50-55k base but I have 5-7 years of very relevant experience so would hope to be towards the higher end of the range which goes up to maybe $65-70k (can be higher for larger lenders and HCOL locations).

While I would gladly stay at the same total pay if it meant less hours/less stress, obviously it would be nice to get a decent bump for making the switch. The common theme in the recent thread about $100k+ jobs seems to be that the big jumps come when making a move to another company (or telling your current company you're planning to move and them matching the offer).

So, if I get into salary negotiations should I focus on my experience and push for something higher like $70k, or do you think my earlier comment will be likely to set the starting negotiations much lower? I know that the first person to put out a number in a negotiation generally loses but if I said at least $55k before and come back much higher I think I'll be in a weaker position. On the other hand, every company is always looking for good people and I think I have a very good shot at this position given my experience and the relationship that got me this informal interview before the position is even posted.

For those who have been on the other side of the table, do you find that people are more likely to leave money on the table or have you gone with the runner-up if the first pick tries to push too high in negotiations? I'm in a relatively small market so there's not a whole lot of opportunities and this one sounds like it might be one of the better fits I could find. 

Heroes821

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 11:50:35 AM »
If they want you, they will counter or accept your plausible but high request for a starting salary. If you tell them you were making $60k for some reason, or they say they know and you come in asking for $100k you might have a hard time getting it. 80k might be where you settle.  It never hurts to ask.  It's unlikely that a potential employer will laugh at you and tell you to get out.


While moving companies is statistically shown to increase your income faster than annual raises, that doesn't always mean doubling from one move. It might take 3-4 years and 2 new employers to do that.

Michael in ABQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • Military Saints
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 12:00:44 PM »
If they want you, they will counter or accept your plausible but high request for a starting salary. If you tell them you were making $60k for some reason, or they say they know and you come in asking for $100k you might have a hard time getting it. 80k might be where you settle.  It never hurts to ask.  It's unlikely that a potential employer will laugh at you and tell you to get out.


While moving companies is statistically shown to increase your income faster than annual raises, that doesn't always mean doubling from one move. It might take 3-4 years and 2 new employers to do that.

Thanks, I have no illusions I can double my salary in the next few years. A 10-15% increase would certainly be nice though - especially if it comes with reduced hours/stress. Plus there's a possibility of a bonus equal to up to 10% of my salary based on hitting certain goals individually and as a group. Also, I imagine I might get some sort of paid time off I could use while I'm doing my annual training with the National Guard which would be nice. Granted, I make more during those few weeks due to non-taxable allowances and the fact that my base pay is equivalent to about $69k a year.

I actually applied for a full-time job with the National Guard where I would be making about $80-85k a year with the housing allowance which would increase to almost $100k once I get promoted next year. However I wouldn't get paid for weekends and Annual Training which is about $10-12k on top of my current full-time job so it wouldn't be as big of an increase. Still very nice if I can get it.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2985
  • Location: WDC
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 12:43:40 PM »
In the past, I've added up the value of my base salary, any bonuses, OT, plus any fringe benefits and presented the total as if that's my going in salary base requirement.  Yup, fully aware that it's kind of sketchy, but screw those people who insisted on knowing a current or past salary.  If they really persisted, I would say "oh, yeah, that's total compensation", but that never happened and I always got pretty close to what I asked. 

Also, there are a TON of people who are vastly overcompensated at the expense of others who are undercompensated.  Which one do you want to be?

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8008
  • Location: United States
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 12:50:57 PM »
Also use things like "Your insurance premiums are higher than my current position..."  or "In the past I've had more PTO so..."
to justify needing a higher base.

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 10:02:59 AM »
Find out what fair market salary for the job is.  Regardless of what you currently make.  Ask for the higher end of that range.  They'll counter with something - Here's where you decide if that's high enough for you to accept, or whether you'll walk if that's the best they can do. 

Avoid bringing your current salary into the discussion at all, if you possibly can.  What you make from someone else is not relevant to what they are willing to pay to get that job done.

I once had an interview go awesomely, and when it came to the money part, they asked what I wanted.  I turned around and asked what they could offer.  They offered ~15k lower than what I was looking for, and about 10k less than I was currently earning.  I flat out said I couldn't take the job for that, and I'd need $X to walk away from my current job (a 14% raise, but they didn't know that).  They must have really wanted me, because they made it work.  They let me go home, then after talking about it with the CFO came back and offered 2k less than my number, with the provision that I'd be raised to that amount in 6 months if my performance was good.  It's 2 1/2 years later and I'm making over 27% more than the job I left (and I'm making a LOT more than my coworker who does a similar job).

Michael in ABQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • Military Saints
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 10:06:48 AM »
Find out what fair market salary for the job is.  Regardless of what you currently make.  Ask for the higher end of that range.  They'll counter with something - Here's where you decide if that's high enough for you to accept, or whether you'll walk if that's the best they can do. 

Avoid bringing your current salary into the discussion at all, if you possibly can.  What you make from someone else is not relevant to what they are willing to pay to get that job done.

I once had an interview go awesomely, and when it came to the money part, they asked what I wanted.  I turned around and asked what they could offer.  They offered ~15k lower than what I was looking for, and about 10k less than I was currently earning.  I flat out said I couldn't take the job for that, and I'd need $X to walk away from my current job (a 14% raise, but they didn't know that).  They must have really wanted me, because they made it work.  They let me go home, then after talking about it with the CFO came back and offered 2k less than my number, with the provision that I'd be raised to that amount in 6 months if my performance was good.  It's 2 1/2 years later and I'm making over 27% more than the job I left (and I'm making a LOT more than my coworker who does a similar job).

Thanks, that's good advice.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10186
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Salary Negotiations for New Job
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 10:18:48 AM »
At one point in my career, I was interviewing for a firm that provided a company car. When asked The Question, I stated that I knew from past experience how valuable a company car is, so I was only seeking a 10% increase over my current position. They agreed. Of course, I had padded my previous total compensation amount by 10%. Prior to the interview, I practiced saying the amount so it would just trip off my tongue. It worked. 10%, plus another 10%, plus a company car was a nice boost indeed.