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    Salary negotiations

    Random, I know, but I'd like to hear your experiences negotiating salary for new jobs. To make a long story short, I was offered a job recently. The salary is slightly higher than my current one and the bonus is larger. The downside is that the 401k is not in the same ballpark as my current one (with regard to matching) and the medical benefits are not nearly as good.

    These are big enough concerns that I'd like to ask for a little more money to balance out my concerns. I've never negotiated salary (I either had a headhunter do it or I accepted the initial offer). The increase I'd ask for is tiny percentage-wise (only $5k annually), but it would make me feel better about the offer. Any tips on how to do it? I'd love to do it through email for a couple of reasons (less stressful and I think I'd be able to be more stern), but it seems like something that should be done over the phone. Any thoughts/tips/experiences are welcome.

    #2
    I've always done it via email, but typically because my offers were extended that way as well. Instead of focusing on why you want the increase explain instead the value you bring to the company. Use specific examples similar to your resume and interview responses to show that your worth that additional percentage a year. If you are levying one offer vs the other mention the difference and do the math, what would the added income need to be to maintain the same contributions if that is a deal breaker for you. If you are going to explain that much be sure your math is correct. Lastly I would say maintain an interested excited and eager tone. Make that recruiter/hr person feel like they're making a difference in your life and affecting positive change in their organization. They'll be more apt to go to bat for you if they're a middleman.

    Just my .02

    One last thing make demands only if you are truly willing to walk away. You dont get what you dont ask for but the last thing I'd like to see is someone missing an opportunity because of financial aspirations getting the better of them.

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      #3
      There is always room for negotiations and not taking that step is leaving money on the table. I would actually overshoot your ask of $5k for something like $10k and have them come down (if needed), where your bottom requirement of $5k can be met.

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        #4
        Thanks for the responses. I think they actually made a very aggressive offer to start with, which makes negotiating a little trickier. I do have another offer, so I think my best option may be to leverage that. Should I let it be clear that I will accept if they meet my request? Or would that sound a little too much like a used car sales pitch?

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          #5
          Originally posted by Boys Husky View Post
          Thanks for the responses. I think they actually made a very aggressive offer to start with, which makes negotiating a little trickier. I do have another offer, so I think my best option may be to leverage that. Should I let it be clear that I will accept if they meet my request? Or would that sound a little too much like a used car sales pitch?
          I don't have much experience in negotiating salaries, but I do negotiate for a living. I wouldn't say flat out that you'd accept if they meet your requests. Personally I'd frame it as you are deciding between offers and that you have some concerns relative to [the other offer/your current comp/etc.]. You like their company, but you think that your skills/quals warrant X (whatever you're asking for), and ask if they'd be willing to hit X. Then say you're excited about the opportunity at their company and what you could bring to the table (the usual interview stuff). To be clear though, I'd also leverage the other offer, but only to the extent that it's true (e.g., don't say they're offering something that they aren't, don't 'threaten' that you'll just take the other offer if they don't meet your demands, etc.).

          Best of luck -- I really find this stuff painful, despite my negotiating on my client's behalf often.

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            #6
            Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
            Best of luck -- I really find this stuff painful, despite my negotiating on my client's behalf often.
            Thanks. It's definitely stressful. I plan to keep the terms of the other offer confidential to make things as simple as possible. We'll see how it goes.

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              #7
              You mentioned that you have another otter on the table. That might be the leverage you need to get what you're after/hoping for. In my limited experience of negotiating for a higher salary, I was able to do so only because I told my employer was I was willing to walk if they didn't match the competitor. Of course the downside of that is a) you can only pull it once and b) you have to really be willing to walk.

              Good luck. I hate the whole salary negotiation thing. The whole deal (for me anyway) is quite stressful.

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                #8
                Thanks to all for the advice. I actually had the conversation this morning, but I was shot down. They told me that they knew I was considering another offer and that I'd worked with several people there so their initial offer was their best offer. Who knows whether or not that's true, but I don't doubt there is at least some truth to that. I'm still glad I asked or I'd wonder if I should have asked.

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                  #9
                  If you're anything like me, you might always be wondering if you should have asked. If you're comfortable in sharing, would be interested in knowing what your final decision is.

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                    #10
                    I'll update you once I decide. I'm considering staying at my current job despite the soul-crushing nature of it. I have to decide by end of week.

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                      #11
                      My .02 is that you should never stay at a position you consider "soul-crushing" especially when there is another position being offered for more money. Sad facts are that companies the majority of the time dont give a shit about their employees, and the days of working for a company for 30 years and retiring with a sweet pension went they way of the dinosaur. Go for more money and if that doesnt work out, go somewhere else. Dont stay at a company because it's comfortable or because it means not having to make change. I never like people who make their job or company their life and who they are. It is what one does to make a living not anything more. I dont want to be best friends and hang out with my co-workers either. That is just me though. I never mix business with my personal life. Ever.

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                        #12
                        [MENTION=13232]Boys Husky[/MENTION]

                        Job decisions for me always come down to push and pulls. You should move to a job because of pulls, not because of push.

                        A pull is something good or a reason for taking a different job- you are being recruited, you like the location, you like the salary, you like the company culture.

                        A push is something bad or a reason you don't like your current job- you hate your boss/coworkers, you are underpaid, you haven't been promoted.

                        If you always make choices based on push, you will inevitably end up settling for a job you didn't truly desire. You will be unhappy and you will find more pushes towards a new job, in which you will settle again. It turns into a chain of bad experiences.

                        It may mean "suffering" through a situation you aren't particularly fond of, but my advice is to be patient for one that you are absolutely ecstatic for. They are not common, but they are definitely worth the wait- there are few things as fulfilling as doing a job you actually love to do for all the right reasons.

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                          #13
                          Shade and DapperTexan hit it on the nose. 16 months after transitioning from active duty in the Marines and I finally broke back into my career field as a civilian. I worked dead end entry level jobs in NY to pay the bills and gave everything I had to work hard and keep my head down at these jobs. The soul crushing nature of mismanagement and oppressive leadership took its toll on me and my family. I took a risk in walking away from it in order to take the interview for my new position. It paid off for me because I showed how serious I was about working for a company and doing a job I truly enjoyed, they respected my capabilities and attitude and negotiated favorably to get me on board. A big part of this is connecting with your recruiter/interviewer on a human level. Sell them the product that is you, show your worth and how it adds value to their bottom line.

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                            #14
                            [MENTION=12707]DapperTexan[/MENTION]
                            That's some golden advice right there. Thank you for sharing and putting it into words. Now I wish I could convey the same to my SO about my own situation a bit more eloquently. It's just such a difference of opinion that we truly cannot see eye to eye on.

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                              #15
                              I work for a big pharma company, which lends itself to the "soul-crushing" part, but pharma companies generally pay well and offer top notch benefits. So I found something that I would enjoy more and pays more and is a much better fit culturally, but there is a huge gap in 401k programs, medical benefits, etc (stuff I wouldn't have cared about 10 years ago). Still, I think accepting the offer is a net positive.

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