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Always Negotiate salary?

Rich Carl
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 6
Should you always, as a rule negotiate the opening bid or the first offer made by a company? I've been always successful at getting the company to raise the initial offer by ATLEAST 7%
I had a friend who recently accepted the first figure that the company made. He said it was just what he was looking for, IMHO it was in the middle of the salary band that someone with his skillset would fetch in todays market.
I don't know, its just that 2 minutes of uncomfortable decision might lead to a fatter than expected paycheck every month.
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
I think this depends on individual skills.If somebody if confident about his/her skills and their price in the market,he/she should negotiate.Recently atleast in Indian IT market some people are getting 50 to 75% increment from their previous salary.Ofcourse this depends on how many jobs are available for that skillset and people avaialble in market.


MH
heath carlough
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 01, 2003
Posts: 34
I remember doing that on my second job. This manager calls me almost 6 weeks after my on site and it was so unexpected and I was so excited that even though there was a teeny-weeny voice in my head saying "ask for more, ask for more" I just couldn't get around to saying it. I guess I was so thankful for getting, of what I then thought, was an awesome position that I just let it go.
I then got a written offer a week later and I was tempted to call them back and pretend like the negotiations never happened, I didn't want to look like a fool and have them say "Dude its too late for that, accept or walk away".
Turned out most of my teammates in similar roles were making more (don't ask how I know). And the job wasn't that kick ass after all , the title was fancy but the work was very boring. AS time passed, that little voice inside my head kept nagging me, kept getting louder I ended up quiting in 6 months.
Maybe its just some stupid self satisfaction of having juiced the company out of all they were willing to, but it is always a good idea to balk at their initial offer because most of the time (if not always) they open with a figure lower than what they are ultimately prepared to pay you.
Howard Kushner
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 19, 2003
Posts: 361
YES ALWAYS!


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Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by heath carlough:
but it is always a good idea to balk at their initial offer because most of the time (if not always) they open with a figure lower than what they are ultimately prepared to pay you.

That is very bad advice.
What's the point of salary negotiations? The point is for you to get what you think you deserve and for them to pay what they think you're worth. If the first offer meets your needs, what are you negotiating for? This last job I took, they asked me what I was looking for, I gave them a range, they offered me a salary in the range, and I accepted.
To assume they are intentionally low-balling you means you think the company/manager is trying to take advantage of you. Is that who you want to work for? Now they may have a different view of what you're worth, and so you should negotiate in the interest of making sure they understand what you can do and how much it's worth.
Negotiations are a communication process by which to reach an agreement. You go into the interview with your expecttations and requirements of worth, and they have theirs. If it's in agreement, what's the point of negotiating?
Judge each circumstance for what it is.
--Mark
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
I think if you work hard and your product justify it. You should try to ask for a raise. There are two scenarios:
1. You are searching for job. I am with Mark.
2. You are already inside the company.
2.1. Annual raise percentage.
Most companies apply democratic job performance review nowaday.
It translates your peers set the bar for you, your works satisfy them, you earn a high raise, if not then no raise.
2.2. Not happy with your percentage.
Have a strategy to display your works to your manager and have a statistic records by geographic, by industry, etc.
Have users vouche their level of satisfactions to your manager directly (if he/she has clout)or indirectly through emails.
Convince your manager that you will perform much better job if your harem not nagging all the times about you forget to feed them.
Regards,
MCao
Alenka Shtykel
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 24, 2003
Posts: 16
I don't think I could ever ask for a raise. I don't know.. it's probably not good, but I feel I would never find it in me to ask for more money. I'd just be working very hard and waiting for my manager to give me a raise if he or she feels I deserve it.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Y. Shtykel:
I don't think I could ever ask for a raise. I don't know.. it's probably not good, but I feel I would never find it in me to ask for more money. I'd just be working very hard and waiting for my manager to give me a raise if he or she feels I deserve it.

This is very important...
You must learn to do this! Not necessarily the raise itself, but you must learn to be proactive about your needs. Many managers out there do have pointy hair. You cannot rely on them to handle your career development (one of the reasons I left an old company was because of what I saw the manager doing to the junior engineers despite my repeated requests that he provide better growth opportunities for them). You must learn to stand up for your needs. This does not mean fighting, but it does mean proactively communicating with your manager.
I liken it to boating on a river. You can sit in your boat and see where the current takes you, or you can choose to paddle, working with the current (and occasionally against it) to get where you want and to get there faster. Don't just float through your career.
--Mark
Alenka Shtykel
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 24, 2003
Posts: 16
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

This is very important...
You must learn to do this! Not necessarily the raise itself, but you must learn to be proactive about your needs. Many managers out there do have pointy hair. You cannot rely on them to handle your career development (one of the reasons I left an old company was because of what I saw the manager doing to the junior engineers despite my repeated requests that he provide better growth opportunities for them). You must learn to stand up for your needs. This does not mean fighting, but it does mean proactively communicating with your manager.
I liken it to boating on a river. You can sit in your boat and see where the current takes you, or you can choose to paddle, working with the current (and occasionally against it) to get where you want and to get there faster. Don't just float through your career.
--Mark

Yep, I certainly agree with you, that it's very important to be able to ask for a raise. I'd have to work a lot on myself to be able to actually do this though. However, in my current situation I couldn't possibly ask for a raise, even though I know that I am underpaid. My company is not doing so well and they are planning to fire 300 very soon. They just do not have the money.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Are you trying to say that you belong to a core employees group? I, myself, only found out twice in my careers when the company president/vice president holding a closed doors meeting with a group of mixed batch employees and said the magic words: "Work more wisely, if I have to let go any of you in this room that means I have to fold the company as well, I guarantee will make your lives the living hell because I am too old to look for job and too tire to start up another one."
I think more than ever, you should look for another job. The process is a lot more easy than if you are unemployed and look for job. Ask for a raise too during the process.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 10, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Panagiotis Kokolis
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 22, 2002
Posts: 7
Ask for a raise too during the process.
Panagiotis Kokolis
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 22, 2002
Posts: 7
Are there any suggestions, on how to be polite and diplomatic when asking for a pay rise in such a situation, WITHOUT been accused for a kind of blackmail?
I meen you can say I want that amount of money or else I will leave the company. But it does not sound so good.
Thank you.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Need to support your harem is no good???
Seriously, did you follow the posts so far? What is your scenario? Do you have all the statistic printouts to support your reasoning? What makes you think your percentage is not up to par? Are you up to it? How closed are you with the decision-maker? Do you have the gut to walk away despite the fact, you know the labor market in the west is pssst?
It is a simple straight forward question to your decision-maker, but you need a strategy planning out before asking that question.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 12, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Roger Graff
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2001
Posts: 112
Originally posted by Panagiotis Kokolis:
Are there any suggestions, on how to be polite and diplomatic when asking for a pay rise in such a situation, WITHOUT been accused for a kind of blackmail?

Explain to your manager that "Regarding compensation, my expectations are not currently being met."
Or something along those lines....
Better yet, during your review meeting state your expectations before they tell you what your salary adjustment is. If they don't meet your expectations, ask what you need to do to achieve your expected level of compensation. Write 'em down, so if you do everything on the list you can insist that they compensate you as promised.
[ November 13, 2003: Message edited by: Roger Graff ]
Panagiotis Kokolis
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 22, 2002
Posts: 7
Dear Matt,
the reason I ask this question is because I have the following problem:
I am person who is considered highly competent in his work area (according to what some of my colleagues say, and of course according to my opinion as well). But I am not -as they say- capable of selling my self appropriately. The result is that I feel underpaid. According to rumors inside the company I currently work and according to past experience I know that there are some people asking for a raise this way:
Either I get this amount, or I am out. Of course this is a paraphrase of what they say.
If I was their boss I would reply: ok good luck with your new job. Why? Because I thing this is an expression of amorality, and I would never give in in such a kind of situation.
I just want to follow the middle way of asking what I want, beeing heard, and not beeing such a bad guy after all
Talking about salary negotiations in this thread I thought it was a nice idea to bring the subject of how can one "sell" himself in a professional and efficient way.
I that I allready got some interesting ideas from you and from Roger.
Thank you very much, and I hope that there will be some additional contributions to this subject.
cheers.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by Panagiotis Kokolis:
Dear Matt,
the reason I ask this question is because I have the following problem:
I am person who is considered highly competent in his work area (according to what some of my colleagues say, and of course according to my opinion as well). But I am not -as they say- capable of selling my self appropriately. The result is that I feel underpaid. According to rumors inside the company I currently work and according to past experience I know that there are some people asking for a raise this way:
Either I get this amount, or I am out. Of course this is a paraphrase of what they say.
If I was their boss I would reply: ok good luck with your new job. Why? Because I thing this is an expression of amorality, and I would never give in in such a kind of situation.
I just want to follow the middle way of asking what I want, beeing heard, and not beeing such a bad guy after all

Hi Panagiotis,
1. Planning:
Use your colleague words as benchmark because they work closely with you. They know your capabilities. But never use their names because you are risking their careers with the company. Collect salary information you learn from your local area breaking down the company size, volume, benefit package, and ethnic origin. Your users feedbacks about your team works, but you know which ones are your already.
2. Execute:
After weekly team meeting, ask your manager for a personal meeting time. When the time come bringing all collected documents and ask your manager that you need a raise because the current percentage do not reflect the company apprieciate your productivity. Make sure you already closed the door and sat down. He/she will ask how so. You will show your documents in logically order. First, user feedback. Second, competitor practice. Third, action-minute status. Fourth, company financial report.
3. Haggle:
Your manager will say his reasons. You need improvement, ask what is the time table if you meet it. Would he give you your desired percentage then? Would he care to write it down so you could remind him later because he is too busy with management duties as it is. He/she give you a percentage too small to your desire. Take a longer look at those documents again and give him/her a Clint Eastwood stare and ask How. Ask your manager could he at least trying meet the competitor, if not three-quarter, only settle at half.
But more likely, your manager will not turn you down, when you come in prepare. If the company financial report no so good, he/she may not approve for your raise. At least you have opportunity to take charge of your compensation package.
Sorry, I never listen to rumor specially at work. Office politics could ruin smart people careers. I care for quality and constructive meetings. Some of my meetings are including lunchs and dinners. Sonme of the colleagues are so devious leaking out info to subordinates, let those rumors circling around the company. If one is not careful picking one of those rumors, he/she could kiss the job Good-Bye.
Good Lucks,
MCao
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11523
    
100

Hi everyone,
I have just accepted a new position (I will be making a separate post about how that shortly), and just wanted to make a couple of comments on some things in this thread.
Mark Herschberg
This last job I took, they asked me what I was looking for, I gave them a range, they offered me a salary in the range, and I accepted.

That is pretty much what I did. I know the salary ranges for the job I was applying for, and I know where I normally fit within that range, so I told them a reduced range that I would accept that was still within the average range, and they made me an offer within my range. I accepted this as it was within the range that I had already decided was acceptable. I don't see any need to be greedy.
By the time I turned up to sign the paperwork and start work, they had rethought the position, and made it a more senior position. So I asked for a day to think about it, did some research on what that salary range was, and came back to them with a new range, which they made an offer.
End result is I am now on a higher salary than they originally offered, but that is because I am now in a more senior position than they originally offered.
Y. Shtykel:
I don't think I could ever ask for a raise. I don't know.. it's probably not good, but I feel I would never find it in me to ask for more money. I'd just be working very hard and waiting for my manager to give me a raise if he or she feels I deserve it.

If you don't ask for it, you won't get it.
Your boss is probably managing several people, and they probably have an overall budget to work with. As long as you stay quiet, they are going to assume that you are happy with what you have, and they are unlikely to try and increase their budget. Why should they fight for more money when you haven't asked for it?
But if you tell them that you believe you should be getting more money (and back it up) then they will at least know how you are feeling / what you want. As long as you are not rude about it / do not threaten them, then nothing bad will happen.
Similar concept: I have worked in Melbourne & Sydney (Australia), Atlanta (USA), Maarssen (Netherlands), and Heathrow (England). I have never paid to relocate myself. I have also been sent to plenty of places around Australia and around the world to visit clients and/or to get training. I am constantly being asked by collegues how is it that I am so lucky. The answer is simple: I am not lucky. I have always let my bosses know what I would like / what I want, and made sure that they felt that I was good enough to do these things. So when they need to send someone halfway around the world, they can look at someone like me who has said that I like travelling and who has proven that I can do the work and can talk to clients, or they can look at someone who just comes in to work every day and never says a word.
Panagiotis Kokolis:
Are there any suggestions, on how to be polite and diplomatic when asking for a pay rise in such a situation, WITHOUT been accused for a kind of blackmail?
I meen you can say I want that amount of money or else I will leave the company. But it does not sound so good.

Never, ever, say that you are thinking about leaving the company unless that is what you are seriously considering.
The best way I have found is to go to the person who can make a change, and simply tell them that you feel you deserve a raise, and give them reasons why.
If your work has been good over the past year, and you have been given extra tasks / responsibilites, present them with data that shows this.
Very important: you want to go into the meeting with your list of accomplishments. Don't assume that just because they are your boss, they will know how good a worker you are. In many cases the bosses are too busy with their own problems, and only notice the most exceptional worker and the worst worker they have. Everyone is considered equal. So go to them with lists of which tasks you completed on time / on budget. Which clients prefer to talk to you rather than to other people. Which other staff members come to you when they have problems. Which things you are in charge of because no one else knows about.
If you have a job description, make sure you can show that you are meeting all the requirements (and hopefully exceeding several requirements).
If you know what the salary range is for your position out in other companies, and you are currently being paid less than that, then you can get some examples of job offerings for people doing similar jobs. I have only used that once when someone tried to do a direct translation from my Dutch wage into an English wage (hello??? cost of living is three times higher in England!!!).
I have once (when I was a junior and getting paid the very bottom wage for a junior position) gone to the boss with a detailed list of my expenses and shown that it was equal to the wage - he gave me a payrise then, but I would never want to do it that way again. I only did it because (1) I had already tried to get a pay rise because I had earned it and been refused due to "lack of money" (no problem with my arguments); and (2) for other reasons I really liked working in that company and did not want to change jobs.
Roger Graff:
Better yet, during your review meeting state your expectations before they tell you what your salary adjustment is. If they don't meet your expectations, ask what you need to do to achieve your expected level of compensation. Write 'em down, so if you do everything on the list you can insist that they compensate you as promised.

Yes, that is an excellent way of going about it. This applies to both salary increases and to promotions and to any other change within the company. Find out what you need to do, and then show that you are doing it.
I have always made sure that I have reviews / goal setting, and throughout the year I have tracked how I am meeting those expectations. So that when the next review comes around I can show that I have met all expectations and exceeded expectations in certain areas.
Do not expect your manager to track how you are meeting expectations. They generally have other things to worry about. If you can go into a meeting saying "here is my previous list of goals, and here is solid examples of how I exceeded them throught the entire year" you will be miles ahead of the average person who goes into a meeting with the attitude "hey, you didn't yell at me, so I must have been OK". Quite often you will find people are content with a review that says that they are meeting expectations, whereas if they had the facts on hand they could have had a review that says that they exceed expectations. Who is more likely to get a pay rise: the person who just meets requirements, or the person who is exceeding requirements?
Regards, Andrew


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