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Negotiating an entry level salary

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by captainmo, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    I wouldn't try asking for more money up front, just take the job, get in & show them what you can do. Make them throw money at you because they don't want to lose you. If they don't, now you have experience and a good reference.

    Especially if what they've offered will cover your living expenses . If you're just asking for more money because you think that's what you should get, you will kick yourself hard later. Trust.
     
  2. AR_Six

    AR_Six Senior member

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    I would suggest that if you want to negotiate, don't haggle - just suggest that the right number be determined by objective, fair criteria - that is, whatever evidence can be gathered about market rates. You don't need a negotiating chip, you can put yourself forward about being perfectly willing to accept their offer if it's fair, but making that determination based on real-world data is not, I don't think, unreasonable. If you choose to ask for a higher salary this is how I would suggest you go about it, rather than putting out an accurate figure. You can even get them to find numbers in other places for situations that they feel are comparable, and just make sure they actually are comparable, and if they're not adjust accordingly.

    Fisher had an example like this in Getting to Yes about a car - seller thinks it's worth 8000, buyer makes the typical low starting offer of 5000, seller says both will return the next day with prices for comparable vehicles. Buyer comes back with the same model year car selling for 6700, seller notes it has higher mileage and doesn't have leather interior, and they adjust based on the book value for those things. This takes the adversarial aspect out of it and you don't feel as much like you're playing hardball with someone while trying to get them to hire you. Still a bit of a risk but you be the judge as to whether it's worth it - depends on what other options you think you have.
     
  3. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    fredfred's advice was really good.
     
  4. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    1) unless you have back up plans, take the job
    2) if its a mid to large corporation, chances are close to nil for negotiation on 401k; it is corporate-standardized. as a mid-career hire you may negotiate for vacation (by changing your pre-hire seniority classification), but it doesnt apply in your case. your only wiggle room is salary. and unless its a government job or something, there should be wiggle room... now whether you get it due to other competing applicants is another issue.
    3) its low, but its not bad, what you should be considering is (a) quality of job (b) opportunities for growth (c) and most importantly experience, which you can leverage for a new job years down the line

    so if the job is absolutely a bore with no room for advancement and you cant learn much... for 45k... then its probably best to pass it up for something else down the road
     
  5. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    +10 to any and all "if you have no alternatives, take the job" and "in this economy, take the job" advice posted in this threak.

    Depending on the industry, it's pretty rare for many companies even to be willing to negotiate a starting salary. And in this job market, they have all the power. So you're pretty much SOL there. Were I in your shoes, I'd just suck it up, accept the job at the salary level you were offered, and cultivate a network / do a great job in your position. You cultivate the network both to develop professional contacts and to sew the seeds of future exit options, should you decide you need them. And you perform well at your job because, well, that should be obvious.

    You're in a better position to negotiate an offer when you have some legitimate experience under your belt and are a proven performer. That can't happen right out of school, unfortunately, unless you were summa cum laude at Harvard or something. Also, generally speaking, you're in a better position to negotiate when you have multiple options. For example: Company X is offering you $46k, and Company Y is offering you $50k. It's fine to see if X will match Y in such a case, because you have precedent. (Just don't attempt to start a "bidding war" or go back and forth to try to raise the stakes, because that will get you a big, fat middle finger from X and Y).
     
  6. Henry Boogers

    Henry Boogers Senior member

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    I just wanted to clarify a thought in case it's not abundantly clear to the OP or anyone in his shoes.....

    - Asking for a small increase and stating that you feel very positive about taking the position at that compensation level = good

    - Asking for a significant increase for ANY reason at this stage = bad

    Even if the employer really wants to hire you, no company wishes to bring in a person whom they beleive will be immediately disgruntled and spending half of their day searching online for a better job.
     
  7. captainmo

    captainmo Senior member

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    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I just called, and said something along the lines of this sounds like a great position, I enjoyed meeting with all of the product managers, and think I would enjoy working with them. However, the salary is a little lower than what I was hoping for, is there anyway I could start at 48 thousand.

    She said no, that it's a fixed offer that everybody for that position starts at, so I accepted the offer at 46k.

    She then said it's good I did that, and you're supposed to negotiate salaries with job offers.
     
  8. CDFS

    CDFS Senior member

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  9. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Senior member

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    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I just called, and said something along the lines of this sounds like a great position, I enjoyed meeting with all of the product managers, and think I would enjoy working with them. However, the salary is a little lower than what I was hoping for, is there anyway I could start at 48 thousand.

    She said no, that it's a fixed offer that everybody for that position starts at, so I accepted the offer at 46k.

    She then said it's good I did that, and you're supposed to negotiate salaries with job offers.


    Good luck in the new job!
     
  10. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I just called, and said something along the lines of this sounds like a great position, I enjoyed meeting with all of the product managers, and think I would enjoy working with them. However, the salary is a little lower than what I was hoping for, is there anyway I could start at 48 thousand.

    She said no, that it's a fixed offer that everybody for that position starts at, so I accepted the offer at 46k.

    She then said it's good I did that, and you're supposed to negotiate salaries with job offers.


    Good luck! You're just starting out, so work hard and be patient.
     
  11. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    Congratulations and good luck.
     
  12. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    Way to go. Getting a job right now is tough, congrats on landing one.

    FWIW I was able to negotiate about $5k more than my new hire peers, but this was a few months before the recession...
     
  13. Henry Boogers

    Henry Boogers Senior member

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    Congrats - now go earn those increases.
     
  14. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    She said no, that it's a fixed offer that everybody for that position starts at, so I accepted the offer at 46k.
    I used to fucking hate when companies pulled that line on me. It's such a fucking trump card. I mean, it's usually total horseshit. But companies know it works, especially in this economy. They're basically calling your bluff by doing this, and suggesting that you have no alternatives. If you don't, you can't really BS your way out of it at that point. If you do have an alternative, and the alternative is an equally attractive job with a higher salary, then you can actually let them know about the alternative. Suddenly, you have a justifiable rationale for your salary expectations. You're not just a kid asking for a random number because he wants it. The point is, the best way to negotiate is to build alternatives ahead of time (known as BATNA, or "best alternative to a negotiated agreement"). The more options you have if the negotiation doesn't work out, the less you care if it doesn't work out, and thus, the more power you have. This doesn't free you up to be a total dick, mind you. But it gives you some actual credibility in the negotiation. To the HR person, you're a wanted commodity with precedent, rather than a poor schmuck desperate for employment but getting greedy on salary. At any rate, congrats on the gig. You did the right thing in your situation. Now work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, and all that jazz.
     
  15. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    Congratulations.
     

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