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Job offer negotiation
Old 05-30-2010, 10:31 PM   #1
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Job offer negotiation

I am out of job since Januray, my initial plan was to do some consulting but that did not work out. So I am back in the job market. I am talking to several companies and received offer from one. I am kind of OK with the offer except if the pay is 5-10% extra that would be good. But I did not like the job title. It is kind of one level less than my last job. Although it does not personally matter to me but makes a difference in social circles, somewhat hurt my ego since people with less experience are holding the same title. Although I am bare-boned FI and may RE in 5 yrs but I think job title may hurt my future prospects if I continue on job treadmill.

One thing I can do is to defer this offer to max agreed by the future employer and try with other companies. This may not give much time. Other things is to decline this offer and wait for a better one. Waiting is like "one in hand worth two in bush". As usual I am confused, I am not a good negotiator, have very less patience and generally give up fast. How do people negotiate under these kind of circumstances.

One positive thing is that money part is not that bad and if market keeps on doing OK for next 3-4 yrs, I will be bare-boned FI with some safety margin. How do you handle this situation?

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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Well, here is what I would do...

1) find out if there are who you report to and his/her title. If his/her title is the one you used to have, you won't get it. Skip to #5 If not, keep reading.
2) If your potential boss does not have your old title, does anyone at that company have a similar level of title to your old one? What titles report to them? Who do they report to? If there are no others with a similar title to what you expect, it may mean that giving you the title would mean that they have to distribute new titles to everyone or run the risk of people leaving. Don't go there. Skip to #5 If not, keep reading.
3) If there are no other employees at the new company with the same title, AND you would be reporting to someone higher than to whom others with similar titles to your offer, then you could ask for the higher title and justify it by virtue of the higher reporting line and no other people holding the same title. See also #4
4) if there are others with the same type reporting lines as you, who hold the title you held at your old company but would not hold in the new company, by all means ask for the higher title. Can't hurt.
5) if #1 or #2 are applicable, but you really want to work for this company, take the job at the lower title. If you want the title more than the job, hold out. If it were me, and I was burning precious FIRE assets waiting for the right opportunity, had 5 years or less to go, then I would take the job and scr*w the title. I have had several acquaintances who have been maybe 5-7 years away from FIRE who lost their jobs, held out too long, and squandered their FIRE assets. One was out of work for 3.5 years, eventually took a lower paying job with a lower title because he was running out of liquidity and burning assets too fast, and has now lost his job again and has had to settle for yet a lower position with lower title and lower pay, just to survive and keep the kids in college. Don't let this happen to you. Now he won't be able to retire for at least 10 years, and by that time he will be eligible for social security, and will be about 66-67.

Oh, how do I know stuff about points 1-5? Well, as a senior manager, I have had to consider these kinds of requests before, and have had to turn away good candidates because they wanted titles that were not in accordance to our org know, when the candidate wants to be CFO and was CFO at his last company (that was 1/20th to 1/10th our size), and wanted a CFO title more than a higher paying job, even though his new boss was our current CFO. That said, I have been willing, on a couple of occasions, to raise the title if there were no conflicts created by doing so.

Hope this helps


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Old 05-31-2010, 01:31 AM   #3
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Good post by Rambler... I guess experience helps

But read his last comments... screw the title... as my father used to say when he won all the sales awards... "I can't buy a cup of coffee with that POS"....

If you feel that the title will be looked down upon with your friends... well, screw them... and if it matters that much to YOU.... lie... who the heck knows what your title really is anyhow... I rarely give my card to any of my friends anyhow... I just tell them my phone number...
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:19 AM   #4
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One of my favorite bosses, had a reasonable compromise in such a situation.

The title was whatever the internal title the job was, but the business card was pretty much whatever title you wanted. So HR classified your position as first level engineer manager, but you wanted to be engineering director. Why that is what your business card read. Now this probably doesn't work in all situations and can be awkward if you and your boss have the same title on a business card. But other than your own ego it probably accomplish most of the face saving stuff you need without risking losing a relatively rare job for title.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Rambler and others. I will try to get better title but I will not decline the offer in any case. I may loose 15 days pay atmost, I think a good compromise.
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