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Need Advice with Salary Negotiation for a New Job
Old 02-23-2016, 09:12 PM   #1
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Need Advice with Salary Negotiation for a New Job

Hi Friends,

So, I will be interviewed for a new job next week, because i really hate my current job. I like this job because I don't need to move to a different city or town, and the department head really like me - she even said on the phone 'we'll see what package we can offer you'.

The new job is a State institution and so the salaries are published publicly. It seems that the people working in the same position level and department I am apply for are paid about $30,000-$40,000 less annually than what I am getting; however, I have a more attractive technology skill set than them (saw their CVs). Surely, I can take a pay cut because I'm definitely leaving my current job. However, as much as possible, I want to see if I can negotiate for the same pay I have.

My problem is that if the top boss, who I will be meeting in this interview, will be asking for my current salary --- What should I say? I'm afraid that if I tell them, they might not offer me a job because my salary is a bit on the higher side ?? But I don't know their price range?

Before I divulge my salary, should I candidly ask their maximum salary for such a position instead?? Like "what are you planning to offer me?" Am I obligated to share my current salary

Now if I tell them to just go ahead and offer me what they think I'm worth, they might offer me something lower than I expect. But at least they offered first, and I can counter offer for higher.

What would you do? Do you think they will skip me if my current pay is a bit high? or will they just go ahead and make me an offer base on what they can afford ?

Please - any advice would really help.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:46 PM   #2
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I would tell them what I am currently earning but then elaborate that I am looking for a change and that is why I applied and went to the interview and that I hope that they make me an offer and elaborate on the technology skill set that you bring to the organization. By doing that, you would be reiterating your interest in a change and in the position you are interviewing for but at the same time setting an anchor that they might keep in mind as they are figuring out what to offer you.

While I guess there is a small chance that what you are earning now might scare them off I suspect that the risk is low.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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First, I would have to make a decision on if I would be willing to accept a cut of $30K or more...

If you are not willing to do that, then just do not waste their time... you say salaries are published, well, so will yours... if it is an institution there is little wiggle room for them to pay up...


And if I decided it was better to jump even with the salary, I would not tell them what I currently make... I would say that I am looking to make a change and that salary is not my primary driver.... I am sure we can agree on a salary that meets my abilities etc. etc....
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:25 AM   #4
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If they bring up salary, i would ask them what is the salary range for the position. Obviously you have experience, plus some desirable skills so that should put you at the high end of the range. In many jobs, companies are reluctant to bring people in significantly above mid-point. They typically ask you your salary to make sure they can offer you something you would be happy with, and normally if you are below their salary levels it enables them to bring you in at a lower salary.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:38 AM   #5
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I don't know about state jobs. I have been in such a situation. The job being interviewed for did not pay what I needed to have, but I went thru the process anyway. It is good practice even if you don't get the job. In my case, they liked me enough to offer a higher grade position that paid more than I was expecting. If you back out now, before the 2nd interview, you will never know what might have happened.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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My sister was in exactly this position in a state job. She had moved for her husband's career and wasn't working. She did take a 30K plus pay cut. In her case they made their best offer upfront and said they had no wiggle room on the pay scale.

So, since she was starting with the minimum PTO she asked for extra vacation time, which they did give her without a second thought. However, within 4 months she got a big internal promotion with almost a 20% raise.

You already know the salary range, so should have some idea of how close to the top your are with your first offer. My sis also found the cost of her health insurance dropped dramatically ( a family of five, it dropped by hundreds of dollars a month) which raised her take home number.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your input guys! It's nice to hear about different perspectives on approaching this. I can take a pay cut, but will have to see how much. I don't know if they have a payscale ceiling. If they do and it is lower than my current pay, I will probably haggle for non-monetary stuff, like less workload.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyber888 View Post
Hi Friends,

So, I will be interviewed for a new job next week, because i really hate my current job. I like this job because I don't need to move to a different city or town, and the department head really like me - she even said on the phone 'we'll see what package we can offer you'.

The new job is a State institution and so the salaries are published publicly. It seems that the people working in the same position level and department I am apply for are paid about $30,000-$40,000 less annually than what I am getting; however, I have a more attractive technology skill set than them (saw their CVs). Surely, I can take a pay cut because I'm definitely leaving my current job. However, as much as possible, I want to see if I can negotiate for the same pay I have.

My problem is that if the top boss, who I will be meeting in this interview, will be asking for my current salary --- What should I say? I'm afraid that if I tell them, they might not offer me a job because my salary is a bit on the higher side ?? But I don't know their price range?

Before I divulge my salary, should I candidly ask their maximum salary for such a position instead?? Like "what are you planning to offer me?" Am I obligated to share my current salary

Now if I tell them to just go ahead and offer me what they think I'm worth, they might offer me something lower than I expect. But at least they offered first, and I can counter offer for higher.

What would you do? Do you think they will skip me if my current pay is a bit high? or will they just go ahead and make me an offer base on what they can afford ?

Please - any advice would really help.
Good questions...
I recently accepted a new position (this is my first week), and here was my salary technique:

1) Always try to understand their "salary-band structure" before going with numbers. Does the company have 6 bands, 7 bands, 20 (like government GS levels) and which band is the position in, and why.

2) Ask the recruiter what the salary range for the position is early on in phone screening process. Gives an idea what they might pay for their "perfect" candidate.

3) I would disclose current compensation, and give the ability to maintain their structure and give you what you want.

My current position was a 40% raise over my last base
however my last position paid me a 22% bonus every pay period for meeting certain business and sales incentives. I suggested that adding this to my base would be appealing. This 22% was about 1/3 of my yearly compensation.

In Your situation, I would look for things like commitments to attend certain events (which might be out of scope) as well as maybe a sign on bonus which might not show in public salaries.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your input guys! It's nice to hear about different perspectives on approaching this. I can take a pay cut, but will have to see how much. I don't know if they have a payscale ceiling. If they do and it is lower than my current pay, I will probably haggle for non-monetary stuff, like less workload.
Less workload, do you mean more PTO? Asking to do less work doesn't seem to be a good solution and they would need to put the work you don't want to do on someone else's back. That seems like a good way to get no offer.

Be sure and report back what happens in the interview, don't leave us hanging.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:30 PM   #10
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What I did, and it took fortitude, is to never say what I currently make. Rather than be on my heals, though, I leaned in and started talking about how I had no idea how the level of responsibility in my current job would compare to the level of responsibility in the job they are offering. Also, how little I really knew about the job they were offering and how much value I could bring to the organization. I commented that they now know about my earlier accomplishments from my detailed resume and from our discussions. It is they who should know if I can bring value to the company or not since they know how that job fits-in with the organization...something I just couldn't know without being immersed in the organization for a significant amount of time. If they want a number, you can quote some public figures...glassdoor.com has people with my qualifications getting compensation between the levels of X and Y, where X is low enough not to scare them away, and Y is above what you think you're worth. The gist of my diversion was that they should know what that job is worth to the company, and that's all you want, not penny more (or less) because neither is sustainable.
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Old 02-26-2016, 12:17 AM   #11
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To clarify, this is an academic job. And it is normal to negotiate for less teaching load in exchange for more research time. I really didn't mean less overall workload - I just mean less classes to teach, but more free time to do research - hence, more of my own flexible and unstructured free time. Both research and teaching are equally important in the academe.

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Less workload, do you mean more PTO? Asking to do less work doesn't seem to be a good solution and they would need to put the work you don't want to do on someone else's back. That seems like a good way to get no offer.

Be sure and report back what happens in the interview, don't leave us hanging.
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:34 AM   #12
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I tend to not disclose current earnings. Alot easier now that I'm a freelancer.

It's hard to get the conversation right, because basically the question is unproductive and irrelevant, and it's quite tough to send that message in a courtship discussion

Depending on the situation you can counter with other questions first (as in: "are you worried your salary offer will be outside my acceptable range?" or "I'm uncomfortable disclosing that right now, so can you maybe elaborate on what underlying question you are trying to address"?) or flat out address the issue ("I don't see how this will help discover we are a potential match since you work with fixed salaries anyway") which might be perceived as too aggressive in academic settings.

Good luck.
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