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First Real Salary Negotiations - Help!!
Old 11-06-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
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First Real Salary Negotiations - Help!!

I know there are a ton of more experienced and very professional people on here, so as a 20-something, I am looking for some career advice.

It has been a fantastic week, and I am giddy as can be, but there are a lot of decisions facing me, and I want to make sure I am maximizing my opportunities.

Ok, so here's the current scenario. I am a public employee at the local level. Five years with current employer, $30k (low COLA). I am getting a promotion to $40k for 2013. Great. Now come the choices.

Before I knew I was getting the $40k for sure, I applied with another city for a position at $42k. Roughly same benefits, same state retirement, though the new employer might require slightly more employee contributions for health insurance, etc. I was offered an interview which is tomorrow.

On top of all of this, today, I just got the news that a few grants I wrote independently for my current employer were successful. They amount to over $1.5M for the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014. This means I will be administrating these grants if I stay.

Any advice? I am female. My two bosses are male. I have a hard time being very aggressive, but I have a very comfortable relationship with both. Not sure what I should even say since I just got a tremendous raise already for which I don't want to seem ungrateful. They already know I am interviewing with another city, and are supportive. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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I'm Canadian so YMMV.

Up here, most local government positions are 'union scale' meaning the local gov't can't give you a raise even if they want to.

I'd suggest you go to the interview, see what happens. Depending on the results of that interview you can try to get more out of your current employer (or the next one). Regardless of what happens, you have to decide, as in will a couple of $K mean anything to your lifestyle (especially after tax). Then make up your mind.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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I think you are counting your chickens before the eggs have hatched.

Get another offer first, then cross the bridge if you need to. I've never worked for the gubimint, but I have successfully taken in salary statistics for what I do and explained why I should be at the top end of the range.

Otherwise, as I am preparing to do, you make the switch. If you like your bosses and where you work, I doubt $2k is worth risking it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:13 AM   #4
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Since there isn't much difference in comp between the two opportunities, I would think about which of the two offers the best work experience and potential for growth.

I believe that for the first 10 or more years of one's career you should focus more on getting the best experience that you can get and less so on comp (as long as your comp is reasonable compared to others in similar jobs).
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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Since there isn't much difference in comp between the two opportunities, I would think about which of the two offers the best work experience and potential for growth.

I believe that for the first 10 or more years of one's career you should focus more on getting the best experience that you can get and less so on comp (as long as your comp is reasonable compared to others in similar jobs).
Couldn't agree more about the experience.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Since there isn't much difference in comp between the two opportunities, I would think about which of the two offers the best work experience and potential for growth.

I believe that for the first 10 or more years of one's career you should focus more on getting the best experience that you can get and less so on comp (as long as your comp is reasonable compared to others in similar jobs).
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Couldn't agree more about the experience.

+ another on experience....

Are you sure that the other offer would be $42K IOW, is there a range and you think it would be there?

To me, the $2K diff might be a wash.... which has better commute? Which has better working conditions? Which has better potential for advancement? If money was not in your decision making (including costs of whatever to you), which job would you take?

Now that you answered the last question, you have your answer of where to go....
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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+ another on experience....

Are you sure that the other offer would be $42K IOW, is there a range and you think it would be there?

To me, the $2K diff might be a wash (you mentioned emp health care contributions may offset the "increase").... which has better commute? Which has better working conditions? Which has better potential for advancement? If money was not in your decision making (including costs of whatever to you), which job would you take? Given the salary is about the same, I'd prioritize among 1) which job would you rather have irrespective of pay 2) which has better future opportunities 3) bankable experience you can pick up and 4) commute if it's dramatically different cost and/or distance/time.

Now that you answered the last question, you have your answer of where to go....
I just added to the (good) answer above.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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I just added to the (good) answer above.
+1
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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If money was not in your decision making (including costs of whatever to you), which job would you take?

Now that you answered the last question, you have your answer of where to go....
That really helps A LOT, thanks. I had my interview this morning and got the offer this afternoon. I took tonight to think it over, and am trying to negotiate slightly higher, but I am probably going to make the change. I will be shortening my commute from 15 minutes to 3 minutes (if that's a big consideration). I guess I can bike and save even more!!

As far as experience, the new job is in purchasing/finance and is a supervisory position while my current is in administration with no subordinates, so I think the purchasing might be more mechanical but has higher stability and transferable skills. The pay is in a range, so there is room to grow based on an annual review evaluation system and combo merit/COLA.

Thanks, all, for the responses.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Well, congrats!!!


With the new info, I would have suggested your new position... getting management experience is valuable... sometimes it can be a pain in the you know what, but still worth it in the long run...
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #11
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Well, congrats!!!


getting management experience is valuable... sometimes it can be a pain in the you know what, but still worth it in the long run...
+1 and then some
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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Congratulations! It sounds like the new job is a good decision for you.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Wonderful KK, best of luck with the new job. More money, more responsibility and a shorter commute - what's not to like!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Thank you, all!! I was having a really hard time making the decision just because I love all (well, most) of my coworkers here, and this is the only place I have worked. A little nervous about forging a new path, but now that I have made the decision, I am feeling much more at peace, though I don't think the adrenaline will die down until a week after I start.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:47 PM   #15
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I see I'm late to this thread, but congrats on the new position! I hope it's working out well.

For future salary negotiations, you might check out the material that Ramit Sethi posts on his website (if you google him, you'll find it). He sells courses on salary negotiation, getting your dream job, etc., which I've never bought, but he's got an impressive amount of quality free information available as well if you sign up for his email list and spend a little time digging around the site.
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