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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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03/25/09
Salary Offer. Too Low
Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Post-docs, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 5:33 am

After one of the workshops, a member approached
me with the question:  What do you do if you receive
an offer, but it is lower than you  expect for the
position?

I guess this might be the case with the economy
these days and many candidates being available for
fewer openings.

There are several things one might do.  Among the
first is to courteously explore the details of the
offer.  1  2 

Do your homework on establishing expected salaries
with the salary comparator and other tools.  Check
with your network.

Confirm that the business is doing well financially,
that there is not something behind the offer.

Liz Ryan has written a couple of blogs on this
besides confirming the offer in writing, she
recommends enthusiastically expressing your
interest in the position and adding that there
might be some way of working together.  She
proposes that the offer might be suitable if
you worked shorter hours or on a consulting
basis.

The Ladders talks about establishing three
numbers– ideal, no-go and satisfactory.  Then,
creating a discussion with the company decision
maker about reaching the satisfactory amount.

A third approach brings up items that may be
negotiable if you really need the job and want
to reach common ground so that both you and
the employer will be satisfied.  My sense is you
need to begin preparing to say that you are
sorry you cannot accept the offer as it is.

One Response to “Salary Offer. Too Low”

  1. site admin Says:


    Don Gatewood:

    After receiving a “low-ball” salary offer in writing,
    it is good to reply–’thank you for the offer
    (describing the details), and ask for time to
    evaluate the offer’.

    Then proceed to do all your homework. Follow
    up by asking for a “decision-making visit” to
    the site. If your company contact agrees,
    inquire further if you can meet with the salary
    offer decision maker during your visit.

    Plan to present your case using comparable
    salaries at equivalent companies and survey
    information. The March issue of C&EN covers
    the salary results; unfortunately, recent
    graduates data is incomplete and remains a
    gap in the data.

    It is also forthcoming to suggest a bonus
    as a way to shore up the salary, recognizing
    that it is only a one-year compensation. When
    asking for the bonus, ask to “sum-up“, in
    other words have the company pay the
    taxes on bonus.

    Topics like this are important for professional
    discussion. Unique consultants in the career
    consulting program and special workshops
    at meetings would be helpful for all members.
    But members need to ask for these
    workshops. If we do not ask, they will not
    be offered (they have not been offered for the last
    2 years!  So ask for them!).

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