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Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

Super Contributor

Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

For a variety of reasons, I decieded to leave a secure government job and enter the contract world.  Since I had my current job for 28 years, I haven't had to talk salary and benefits for a very long time and combined with times have changed since I had to do this, it is all new to me.  LOL my experience so far is that job hunting is a lot like going on a blind date.

 

The company I got the job offer for, offered my 5k less then I asked for but offered more  leave to make up for it.  The salary and leave benefit is the same as another job I applied for but turned down since I didn't like the work.  This job is perfect for me and meets all the requirements of what I wanted these days but the salary is about 5k to 20k less then what some other people I know were offered at other companies.   The company was my first choice for a job and the location is perfect plus I know people who work there.  Also I will get a retired paycheck so combined is almost 40k more than I am making now so I am not loosing money and my retired paycheck is more than enough to pay bills.

 

A lot of places say you should always turn down the first offer but the money really isn't as important as the job and leave is more important than money to me so 2 weeks to me is worth at least 4 weeks of salary.  Without even blinking, I agreed to the offer over the phone and am expecting a formal offer email by the end of the year or first week in January.

 

Anyway what have others here done in situations like this?

 

01/13/2018: FICO 829 EQ 823 TU 831 EX
Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

Not all companies are out to get you.  I recently turned down a first offer, but that is because they were offering me a lower position than I qualified for. So they bumped my title, and with it, my salary. I would most likely have taken the salary offered if the position was what I was suited for.

 

Personally I find the extra vacation days worth more than the pay as wel, so the fact that they offered you that in trade means they aren't out to get you. I think you did the right thing for you.

Message 2 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

FWIW when I retired 2 years ago (young but old enough), the job offers hit harder than when I gave people 2 years notice.  Some were tempting but the money would not have made a huge difference either way.

 

If you're over 45, and I assume you are, I would take flexibility and comfort over just dimes and nickels.  Job security is also nice as one ages because as we all know, it's harder to retrain as we get older.

 

I would gladly accept a job at 30% of my old pay if it meant I had 36 weeks of unpaid vacation a year.  But I regret telling people that because I think they'll be pitching those offers soon, lol.

 

First offers are usually negotiating points, but if the job offers flexibility and comfort (and not too much drive time), those are unmeasureable in terms of dollar value.

Message 3 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

With my current job, I took the first offer because it was a really strong offer. It was a $25K raise out the gate, plus more time off, better and cheaper insurance coverage, and retirement benefits that I had been missing for over 5 years (like a company match on my 401K, and a 10% bonus on my base salary).

 

They actually downgraded the position title to get me in the door, but kept the salary range the same, so I didn't even bother to counter. Like @kree said, not all companies are out to get you, or even do salary negotiations. My last job had strict salary guidelines that they could not deviate from, so I was stuck at the top of the range, ineligible for raises. 




Starting scores: 552 EQ, 570 TU, 558 EX Current scores (12/29/17): 742 EQ 735 TU 752 EX
Message 4 of 17
Frequent Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job


DeeBee78 wrote:

With my current job, I took the first offer because it was a really strong offer. It was a $25K raise out the gate, plus more time off, better and cheaper insurance coverage, and retirement benefits that I had been missing for over 5 years (like a company match on my 401K, and a 10% bonus on my base salary).

 

They actually downgraded the position title to get me in the door, but kept the salary range the same, so I didn't even bother to counter. Like @kree said, not all companies are out to get you, or even do salary negotiations. My last job had strict salary guidelines that they could not deviate from, so I was stuck at the top of the range, ineligible for raises. 


I used to be a teacher.  My salary was literally posted on the internets, and every new employee could know to the penny what they were geting paid, and every yearly increase until retirement, before they even applied.

 

I here you on "strict salary guidelines." 

Message 5 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job


Kree wrote:


I used to be a teacher.  My salary was literally posted on the internets, and every new employee could know to the penny what they were geting paid, and every yearly increase until retirement, before they even applied.

 

I here you on "strict salary guidelines." 


Same for government employees.

 

The government job was only the 2nd job I ever had (fixed salary) and the first one was a contractor job right out of college which I was happy to get at any salary.  I have almost 40 years of work experience, this is the first time I ever was asked how much I wanted.

 

I'm glad I took the first offer.  I just didn't know if that was proper etiquette in the job world.  I can afford to be picky on who I work with and what the job is and not worry that much about how much I get paid and how long the job might be.

 

 

01/13/2018: FICO 829 EQ 823 TU 831 EX
Message 6 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

First offer is ONLY a starting point. Almost everything is up for grabs. 401K, vacation, sick pay, title and work from home days.

My DD was recruited last year to be the work force planner person in HR at Big Corp. They offered her 10% more  to leave old her job  at Bad Corp, but since it was past mid year they first told her no vacation, sick pay,  401K match and no work from home til January. . She simply said I am not giving up these things for 6 months .  She also told them she wanted them to pay for her to go to law school starting in 2018.  After several weeks and her saying go find another person they worked something out.  Part of up for grabs was how many support people she wanted. They ofered 3 she said 10 and they agreed on 6. Also starting on 1/1/2018 her new title is Assistant Corp Secretary. 

 

Message 7 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

With my limited experience playing in the job market, it seems like one part buying a car, one part dating, one part who you know, and a whole lot of luck.

01/13/2018: FICO 829 EQ 823 TU 831 EX
Message 8 of 17
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job

I like your approach as money isn't the motivating factor in deciding why you wanted the new job but if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't have taken the first offer. If the difference was $5,000, the company could have easily met that and also given you more time off also.

 

When dealing with companies, they at least give search agencies / head hunters a range of the salary they want to pay.  The lowest they'd go to the highest. For example, if it is a mid- level sofotware engineer, they'd say" we are willing to pay $120k - $140k base on experience".  And often times, they don't even stick to it.  You find them a candidate they love and they are willing to pay $150k and offer more things just to get the candidate to work for them.

 

Another example, at this years  Grace Hopper conference where new grads where been recruited with no experience whatsoever for engineering roles, most companies set the initial salaries at 60k for engineering roles with ESPN being one of them.  Guess what, they hired 10 grads, 90k beginning salary plus a 10k sign on, 6 % bonus etc. Ignoring the initial budget of 60k each.

 

The current economy is working well for companies and a very good candidate should not compromise even if money isn't the main reason for the move.

 

In your situation, they were likely testing the waters with the offer and you took it. I'd wish you posted this before accepting even for a contract role.

Message 9 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Taking the First Salary Offer for a Job


Yes-Its-Me wrote:

In your situation, they were likely testing the waters with the offer and you took it. I'd wish you posted this before accepting even for a contract role.


I her you and I've had a lot of advise saying that I should not have taken the first offer but I really wanted to work for this company and I havent had a any other offers on jobs that I really liked.  Being a older (61) worker, I also felt that could be hurting me too and  I am a not accertive person.

01/13/2018: FICO 829 EQ 823 TU 831 EX
Message 10 of 17