Best way to ask for a raise

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bank5
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Best way to ask for a raise

Post by bank5 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:18 pm

My wife just got a "promotion". It comes with a better job title, more responsibility, and the exact same pay. :roll: I just checked glassdoor.com and the average salary at her company of her previous (lower) job title is 20% more than her current salary. She's kicking butt at her job and I know people really enjoy working with her so it's not like she's under performing.

Anyone have any good advice for getting a raise? She works for a large company so there's a bit of red tape and it can take a little while for a raise to go through.

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Post by haban01 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:23 pm

I feel for you/her but is now the best time to ask for one? Is the company doing well enough or do they have a pay freeze ongoing?
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Post by haban01 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Hey, I found The Vanguard Group on here and they have interests comments posted!!

FYI: A must read for all...


http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/The-Va ... -E4084.htm
Eric Haban | | "Stay the Course" | "Press on Regardless" | | Wisconsin Bogleheads Chapter Coordinator

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Post by haban01 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Hey, I found The Vanguard Group on here and they have interests comments posted!!

FYI: A must read for all...


http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/The-Va ... -E4084.htm
Eric Haban | | "Stay the Course" | "Press on Regardless" | | Wisconsin Bogleheads Chapter Coordinator

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Post by haban01 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Hey, I found The Vanguard Group on here and they have interesting comments posted!!

FYI: A must read for all...


http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/The-Va ... -E4084.htm
Eric Haban | | "Stay the Course" | "Press on Regardless" | | Wisconsin Bogleheads Chapter Coordinator

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modal
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Post by modal » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:34 pm

You caught the multiple post virus :lol:

It doesn't hurt to ask.

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Post by bank5 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:55 pm

haban01 wrote:I feel for you/her but is now the best time to ask for one? Is the company doing well enough or do they have a pay freeze ongoing?
I was actually pretty excited to find out that she's underpaid. I see it as the glass half full:
1. there's a better chance for pay raises
2. if the company has layoffs, she's probably safer from her coworkers who do the same thing but make a lot more

It's definitely not the best time to ask for a raise but if it's overdue and well deserved I figure one should ask now instead of waiting X number of years until the economy picks up.

The company has had layoffs but has been profitable and is doing pretty well.

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Post by bank5 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:01 pm

modal wrote: It doesn't hurt to ask.
Very true.

The last two times I've been offered a job I've asked "Is that negotiable" (referring to the salary). Both times they upped the salary without me having to negotiate or say another word. One time they increased it significantly which I was psyched about because I was happy with the original offer.

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Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:24 pm

It is well documented (i.e. more than one book has been written about it) that women are poor negotiators of salary. They start out low and they just stay low.

Does your wife want a raise? If she says, "I don't want to upset the cart" or "My company is not doing well now, I better not ask for a raise" or "I don't want to rock the boat" or "Bob said that raises are gonna be tough now", then she needs to read the books. If she doesn't in 20 years she will be making less than someone who just started after graduating from college and she will be hurting many women who follow her.


If your wife wants a raise, then she will figure out how to ask without your help.

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Post by leonard » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:35 pm

Ideally, have your wife send out a few resumes, interview, and get to the point of having a job offer and salary or 2 in hand. Those salarys - along with a complete picture of health benefits, 401k, etc. - will let you know concretely if she is underpaid and by how much.

Then, if she is underpaid, she can sit down with her boss and discuss a higher salary - without mentioning the other job offers initially. If her current company won't come up, she can always give notice and take the better paying job. Her current company will get the opportunity to refill the position with someone who's experience matches what they are willing to pay and no longer have someone over leveled/under paid. It is a win/win.
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my experience

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:00 pm

Maybe it's my lack of negotiating skill, but in my experience it may hurt to ask. Years ago, I was offered a position with an initial salary offered was $50k. I said I would accept $52k. That was the end of the discussion.

Another time, I was offered a job at a net reduction in pay, with fewer benefits. I explained in detail why it was a reduction (the salary was slightly higher, but net pay would have been 10+% less), but the employer refused to negotiate at all. I later learned that at the exact same time, another person with similar experience was offered the same job for a substantially higher salary, without any negotiating.

While women may have historically been poor at negotiating salary, it also seems that womens' employment has held up much better in the current downturn than mens'. Perhaps those two factors are related.

In any case, I think it would be unwise to ask for more money without a competing offer in hand.

Paul

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Re: my experience

Post by modal » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:21 pm

20/20: I regret not asking for a higher salary at my current job when I started especially considering I had larger offers. I have since found out what others are making.

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Re: Best way to ask for a raise

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:50 pm

bank5 wrote:My wife just got a "promotion". It comes with a better job title, more responsibility, and the exact same pay. :roll: I just checked glassdoor.com and the average salary at her company of her previous (lower) job title is 20% more than her current salary. She's kicking butt at her job and I know people really enjoy working with her so it's not like she's under performing.

Anyone have any good advice for getting a raise? She works for a large company so there's a bit of red tape and it can take a little while for a raise to go through.
If the company's salary information is available on the web, why not to show it to the manager and ask him (her) to explain the discrepancy?

Victoria
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Re: Best way to ask for a raise

Post by bank5 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
bank5 wrote: If the company's salary information is available on the web, why not to show it to the manager and ask him (her) to explain the discrepancy?

Victoria
That's a good point. She also mentioned tonight that she can talk to her previous manager who's a straight shooter and she will tell her what other people in her position are making.

Her manager is on vacation right now and she's been filling in for a lot of his work. While he's been gone she's impressed a couple of the big wigs so once he gets back it could be great timing.

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Re: my experience

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:17 pm

modal wrote:20/20: I regret not asking for a higher salary at my current job when I started especially considering I had larger offers. I have since found out what others are making.
It's true that your salary at most companies will be forever based on that initial salary. I too had a substantially larger offer when I started one job, but it didn't help in negotiating. In those days, if you felt the initial offer was low, you might accept the job, but resolve from the start to move on before long, because you knew it was a hurdle you'd never be able to overcome.

Times are different now in that most of us are lucky if we still have a job, and our earnings don't decrease too much every year.

Paul

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Re: my experience

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:56 pm

tibbitts wrote:Times are different now in that most of us are lucky if we still have a job, and our earnings don't decrease too much every year.

Paul
Isn't that a bit of hyperbole? Let's say unemployment is 10%, but it normally hovers between 4% and 7%. So only an additional 3% to 6% are unemployed. And also 90% are employed.

So I would not say "most of us are lucky if we still have a job". Our employers need us. They are lucky we are still working for them.

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Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:20 pm

Asking her manager for an "understanding" of why her salary didn't move is the best option. Having the same salary in a higher position may have positive benefits next year.

Those positions have a "bell curve" in terms of where each employee is within the total range of compensation for that position. The longer you stay in the same position, the higher you are on the curve. The higher you are, the less your raise. That's the way it works. Period.

I'm betting she got the promotion simply because she was too high on the rating curve for that position. She may have been promoted because her boss thought this was the best way to get her a raise, but not right now. The ranges overlap, so it's easy to do a zero salary change.

If she really earned that promotion, she should be doing work at a level that's commensurate for that position. IOW, do the job of the position above you. If you are already doing that type of work, the promotion will come with the earned responsibility.

Presenting your boss with a handful of resumes is a really bad thing to do. Who was she interviewing with, she must be serious about leaving. Let me go find a replacement and not tell her...

As for the glass "half-full" theory, see my sig. :)
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Re: my experience

Post by Blue » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:25 pm

livesoft wrote:
tibbitts wrote:Times are different now in that most of us are lucky if we still have a job, and our earnings don't decrease too much every year.

Paul
Isn't that a bit of hyperbole? Let's say unemployment is 10%, but it normally hovers between 4% and 7%. So only an additional 3% to 6% are unemployed. And also 90% are employed.

So I would not say "most of us are lucky if we still have a job". Our employers need us. They are lucky we are still working for them.
We have been seeing 3x number of applicants for openings in our practice..... which makes sense if unemployment has gone from ~3-4% to 10%.

And of course, the other way of looking at this is if there are 3x more applicants, then the chances of successfully finding a new job are substantially lower as well.... perhaps 1/3 of what it was 24 months ago.

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Post by tarnation » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:17 pm

From what I have seen, you just tell them you require more money. Then if they don't deliver, just take them an offer from another company, they usually will cough up some money. Of course, I have also seen them say go back to your office and wait for an escort from the building, but hey at least you have an offer in hand.
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Re: my experience

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:35 pm

livesoft wrote:
tibbitts wrote:Times are different now in that most of us are lucky if we still have a job, and our earnings don't decrease too much every year.

Paul
Isn't that a bit of hyperbole? Let's say unemployment is 10%, but it normally hovers between 4% and 7%. So only an additional 3% to 6% are unemployed. And also 90% are employed.

So I would not say "most of us are lucky if we still have a job". Our employers need us. They are lucky we are still working for them.
Employers definitely need some number of employees, but they make firing decisions at the margin. Any existing employee may become a marginal employee who is let go, and thus everybody may feel insecure.

Hiring is also at the margin, and so at the times of high unemployment rates a firm may pick up highly qualified candidates, regardless of the overall make-up of the unemployed population.

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Post by mlebuf » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:02 pm

When I worked in academia, the way for a faculty member to get a raise was to get an offer from another university, show it to the administration and ask them to match it or risk losing him/her. Of course, if the strategy doesn't work, the prof should be prepared to make a job change.

When I wrote books, the way to get a higher advance for a book was to get my agent to show my proposal for a new book to the house that published my previous book. He would then shop it to several other houses and if they offered more money, my current publisher had to match or top it.

One strategy in business is to sit down with a pencil and paper and calculate how much you contribute to the business per year. It should be considerably higher than your total compensation of salary, commissions, bonuses and benefits. Then, try to calculate how much it will cost the company to hire, train and replace you. Once you are armed with those facts, show them to your boss and ask for a raise. Having a higher offer in your back pocket from another company may help too, but be prepared to walk if you don't get what you want.
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Re: my experience

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:06 am

livesoft wrote:
tibbitts wrote:Times are different now in that most of us are lucky if we still have a job, and our earnings don't decrease too much every year.

Paul
Isn't that a bit of hyperbole? Let's say unemployment is 10%, but it normally hovers between 4% and 7%. So only an additional 3% to 6% are unemployed. And also 90% are employed.

So I would not say "most of us are lucky if we still have a job". Our employers need us. They are lucky we are still working for them.
Most of us are commodities, although we might not prefer to think of ourselves that way. When I'm working now, I know I could be replaced by a number of underemployed or unemployed people, so I'd say I'm lucky to have work when I do. In better economic times, it would have been moderately more difficult for an employer to find a replacement, at least for the same rate I'd be willing to work for.

Paul

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Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:19 am

One strategy in business is to sit down with a pencil and paper and calculate how much you contribute to the business per year.
I think that's very difficult to do for people who are primarily overhead in a business, as opposed to, perhaps, employees who are actually designing or producing a product. But even for a salesperson, in most cases it's hard to calculate the baseline sales the company would have had without you. So coming up with hard numbers that can't be easily disputed is difficult.

Paul

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Post by bank5 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:02 am

mlebuf wrote: One strategy in business is to sit down with a pencil and paper and calculate how much you contribute to the business per year. It should be considerably higher than your total compensation of salary, commissions, bonuses and benefits.
There are a other things that you would need to factor in too which would make this pretty tough to do. FICA taxes, office equipment, travel expenses, training, overhead....I've read that employers pay 2-3 times an employees salary to employ each employee.

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Re: my experience

Post by bank5 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:13 am

[quote="tibbitts"]Maybe it's my lack of negotiating skill, but in my experience it may hurt to ask. Years ago, I was offered a position with an initial salary offered was $50k. I said I would accept $52k. That was the end of the discussion.
[/quote

I can see how this would be a major turn-off for the employer. IMO, this technique seems like you're only interested in working for money, not very interested in the job and trying to nickel and dime them.

Next time you could try this:

When they say we would like to offer you the job - act extremely excited, even thank them and butter them up a bit :). Then when they state the salary completely change you're mood to disappointed and say "ohh, is that negotiable".

Worst case scenario - they say no and you can say "well I'm very excited about the opportunity so I will be willing to accept that salary". Then the employee 1. thinks they got a great deal hiring you and 2. knows that you would like to be making more money.

Best case scenario - the HR employee says I'll have to check with the manager. They call you back later and up the offer significantly.

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Post by jegallup » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:16 am

It could be a mistake to think that the employer will immediately rectify a salary discrepancy between comparable employees. The employer may feel that he is doing a his job well by getting a comparable employee at lower cost. That assumes salaries are more or less confidential, which maybe they aren't in the original poster's case. There's a certain risk in characterizing yourself as a complainer if you do this sort of thing often.

Employers find it easier give raises to an employee who quantitatively demonstrates that he or she is providing additional value, earnings, sales, customer satisfaction, project completion--whatever the metric is for the job.

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Post by Triple digit golfer » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:42 am

Just another point, regardless of what other employees are getting paid or what other companies pay employees, your boss might give you a, "So what?" when you bring that point up. And then you'll feel really awkward. I know my boss well enough that I could just see it:

Me (after I state my case): Plus, XYZ Company is paying 12% more for the same position.

Her: So what? What do their workers' salaries have to do with us?

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Re: my experience

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:08 am

bank5 wrote:
tibbitts wrote:Maybe it's my lack of negotiating skill, but in my experience it may hurt to ask. Years ago, I was offered a position with an initial salary offered was $50k. I said I would accept $52k. That was the end of the discussion.

I can see how this would be a major turn-off for the employer. IMO, this technique seems like you're only interested in working for money, not very interested in the job and trying to nickel and dime them.

Next time you could try this:

When they say we would like to offer you the job - act extremely excited, even thank them and butter them up a bit :). Then when they state the salary completely change you're mood to disappointed and say "ohh, is that negotiable".

Worst case scenario - they say no and you can say "well I'm very excited about the opportunity so I will be willing to accept that salary". Then the employee 1. thinks they got a great deal hiring you and 2. knows that you would like to be making more money.

Best case scenario - the HR employee says I'll have to check with the manager. They call you back later and up the offer significantly.
Although I understand your point, and I didn't fill in all the "I said, they said" details, I think the point is that you could look at this two ways:

1. I was trying to nickel and dime them;
2. they were trying to nickel and dime me.

I don't see how it doesn't work both ways.

As for asking if it's negotiable, unless they're incredibly stupid, they're going to say no. So there's really no point in asking.

In this case, I did try negotiating for other things in place of the salary - equivalent vacation to my existing position, etc. The point was, the initial offer was truly the final offer, but the only way you can ever know that is by holding out for more, and being willing to walk away when the other side won't budge.

Paul

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Re: my experience

Post by bank5 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:05 pm

tibbitts wrote: Although I understand your point, and I didn't fill in all the "I said, they said" details, I think the point is that you could look at this two ways:

1. I was trying to nickel and dime them;
2. they were trying to nickel and dime me.

I don't see how it doesn't work both ways.
Good point -- it is a two way street. I original thought the employer probably thought you weren't very interested in the job and more concerned about the $52k number but maybe that wasn't the case.

tibbitts wrote: As for asking if it's negotiable, unless they're incredibly stupid, they're going to say no. So there's really no point in asking.
I disagree. I've tried this twice and it worked both times. They offered thousands more without me having to say another word.

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Post by bank5 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:12 pm

Thanks all for the advice. We're going on vacation soon so it will be a few weeks before asking for the raise. I'll respond back with details on how things go. One thing I've realized is that it's probably better to use more sugar than spice.

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Re: my experience

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:57 pm

bank5 wrote:
tibbitts wrote: Although I understand your point, and I didn't fill in all the "I said, they said" details, I think the point is that you could look at this two ways:

1. I was trying to nickel and dime them;
2. they were trying to nickel and dime me.

I don't see how it doesn't work both ways.
Good point -- it is a two way street. I original thought the employer probably thought you weren't very interested in the job and more concerned about the $52k number but maybe that wasn't the case.

tibbitts wrote: As for asking if it's negotiable, unless they're incredibly stupid, they're going to say no. So there's really no point in asking.
I disagree. I've tried this twice and it worked both times. They offered thousands more without me having to say another word.
Like I said, I don't claim to be skilled at negotiating. But if I give a price for my services and the customer asks if it's negotiable, even I won't just quote a lower price, I'll ask what they have in mind. It seems like somebody who would just jump at lowering the price (or increase the salary in this case) would be an even worse negotiator than I am.

Paul

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Post by edge » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:42 pm

Salaries are highly negotiable. She should let them know that she would like more money and ask them to explain why they gave her additional work and responsibility without additional compensation. She should make sure they understand that she is happy working in the position. Do not quote specific numbers and especially avoid ultimatums.

Typically, they will either give her more money immediately or they will roll it into her yearly. If they are simply exploiting her then she needs to look elsewhere and use other offers as leverage (with the knowledge that she WILL HAVE to leave if the company rejects this sort of negotiating tactic).

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Post by DA » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:06 pm

edge wrote:If they are simply exploiting her then she needs to look elsewhere and use other offers as leverage (with the knowledge that she WILL HAVE to leave if the company rejects this sort of negotiating tactic).
This tactic can only be used once and I almost think you're better off not using it at all. Just leave for the higher offer.

Chances are your employer will be bitter and resentful because you 'stuck them up for more money' and will go the extra mile to make your life miserable. You'll sweat blood for the extra dough.

Life's too short for that. Just grab the better offer and go.

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Post by delisim » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:35 am

LadyGeek wrote:I'm betting she got the promotion simply because she was too high on the rating curve for that position. She may have been promoted because her boss thought this was the best way to get her a raise, but not right now. The ranges overlap, so it's easy to do a zero salary change.
While this is how many companies work, it doesn't apply here according to the OP:
bank5 wrote:the average salary at her company of her previous (lower) job title is 20% more than her current salary.
If people in her previous job average 20% more than her previous & current salary, then she couldn't have been in the top of the band in previous job.

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Salary

Post by Analystic » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:34 am

Show the boss the published data on salaries at the company.
The truth is, since she is a woman, if she politely asks for a salary review and she is really being paid less and they retaliate in any way - like firing her, and it is a big company, they will likely have to pay up in court - eventually. The attorneys will take at least half and she may get tagged as unemployable on the grapevine, though. Tough call.
Disclaimer: I am making all of this up.

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Post by marinauser » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:56 am

I have a different take on the proposed plan to get other offers and use those to negotiate a higher salary. My response is always to tell the person good luck at your new job. In my experience, once that tactic starts, the person always ends up leaving eventually. If you think you need a raise, come to me and tell me and we can talk. Come to me and try to leverage another job and there is nothing to discuss - you have already made your decision.

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Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:32 am

marinauser wrote:I have a different take on the proposed plan to get other offers and use those to negotiate a higher salary. My response is always to tell the person good luck at your new job. In my experience, once that tactic starts, the person always ends up leaving eventually. If you think you need a raise, come to me and tell me and we can talk. Come to me and try to leverage another job and there is nothing to discuss - you have already made your decision.
This just proves that the same tactics can have completely different results with different people under different circumstances. So it's always dangerous to try something just because it worked for somebody else. Just by asking for a raise, you have to accept that you might need to find another job.

Paul

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Re: my experience

Post by TalkingShoes » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:29 pm

tibbitts wrote: As for asking if it's negotiable, unless they're incredibly stupid, they're going to say no. So there's really no point in asking.
I also strongly disagree with this statement. This would only be true if the employer always offers the maximum salary they are willing to pay. Why on earth would a business do this if they can get the same person for less? Well they won't. And if they do you don't want to work for them because they will find it hard to stay in business.

The fact is they will always offer the minimum that they think you will accept. Whatever the offer you are always assured that there is room for negotiation. If you never ask that question, you're giving up potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a career.

Here's another very simple strategy. After asking if the initial offer is negotiable and they come back with a second offer, use the silent negotiation technique. This simply means you keep you mouth shut and your emotions off your face. Think hard about the offer (or at least act like you are). Silence is uncomfortable and the other person may up the offer again just to break the silence.

Be patient and do not rush the salary negotiation. You may make thousands of dollars for less than an hour of work. That's a heckuva rate! If you look at this in terms of cost/benefit you should conclude that salary negotiation is a skill worth developing.

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Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:19 pm

Whatever the offer you are always assured that there is room for negotiation.
I don't know how I can make this any clearer, but I have explained that I have personal experience that proves that this is simply not the case. I'm sure it's the case sometimes, but by no means all the time, or possibly even most of the time.

Nobody asks for permission to negotiate. It would be like asking for permission to breathe. You just do it, because asking for permission would be like... something I'd do. In fact I expect some offers would be withdrawn just for asking that question - it's that horrible a thing to do.

Paul

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