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New job negotiations went a bit Pete Tong - what should I do?

(17 Posts)
PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 11:26:34

Hello I've been offered a fab role in a notoriously badly paid industry, but this is eyewateringly bad. I've had the verbal offer so felt it was time to mention the very low pay, and asked it there was any movement -could they look at this.

I said I was pleased about the offer, and then mentioned I'd done some industry research and it appeared as if the role was a little under valued esp as I have the right skills, postgrad quals, right experience expertise etc. I said it was also a 10K paycut from my last, albeit a slightly different role. My new boss then acted quite strangely, he went red in the face, shuffled paper about turned his back on me for a while and then looked - cross and embarassed. It was really awkward. He said he would 'look into it', but would not let me know for couple weeks!!! I sent him a nice email to follow up the meeting, no reply so far, but now I'm left with no formal contract offer and a bad feeling; I'm really quite worried. It feels as if I've asked for a limo to take me to work each day not a normal salary negotiation! Perhaps he's someone who hates surprises/the extra work/or negotiations - Im not sure?

Seasoned advice gratefully recieved.

vertex Tue 26-Mar-13 11:36:14

I think you nailed it with your last sentence. It could also be that he now has to go and 'negotiate' with someone higher up the chain having given them the impression that he was getting you cheap.

I think you should play the waiting game and see what happens.

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 11:53:44

Thanks vertex. Im someone who worries about 'bad feeling' I don't want to start off on a sour note - bit late for that now. I'm also pants at waiting, but you're right must be patient!

flowery Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:21

I agree with vertex. It's not unreasonable to think wanting someone to take a 10k drop is a bit of a big ask and that they might want to see if there is some wiggle room. It doesn't sound like you demanded anything, so I think the worst that will happen is he comes back and says no original offer on the table but no movement, in which case you can decide what to do.

Women notoriously undersell and undervalue themselves in these situations. There is no chance a man would have been worried about asking for movement, and neither should you be.

vertex Tue 26-Mar-13 12:01:13

Phyllis, you have nothing to worry about, it is not like you made an unreasonable request.

As regards the waiting just busy yourself with other things and what will be will be.

p.s Like your choice of name as Double Indemnity is one of my favourite movies

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 12:04:35

I agree Flowery it's taken me years to feel confident enough to negotiate - I never normally do. But in their defence it was advertised as a set salary not a range so I knew what I was doing.

It is a great job tho', and on my doorstep so good for the family etc. But the pay was an issue, and then I did the research and realised how bad it really was.

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 12:06:22

Ha ha, yes vertex! Phyllis - girl after my alter-ego heart!

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 26-Mar-13 12:33:50

If it was set at a fixed salary then I do have some sympathy with them. I had a situation recently when I offered someone a job when they had been aware all along of what money was available - wasn't a fixed salary but we'd been clear of the band of what we could pay for the role.

We offered them close to the top of this but they then asked for a lot more than the top of the band which we couldn't and indeed wouldn't go to and then turned us down when we said so. That was very frustrating given they knew we had a limit and given we'd spent a lot of time on recruitment. By this point the other good candidates had found roles elsewhere so we were back to the drawing board.

Now none of this means that you shouldn't raise it but thought it might be useful to see it from another side. Bitter? Oh no, not me grin

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 13:43:50

Yes I have sympathy too AndBingo, esp as they're a trust!! But I know there's more money in the pot as they were paying more to the prev person (though they've jiggeried the job description since then). The boss told me that I was the outstanding candidate when they offered me the post. My rationale for asking I still feel is valid: that a 10k paydrop is a great deal on a low salary, and industry guidelines show that they were out on important counts: experience, years in service and responsibility - all been rated 2 grades below what i'd actually be doing (their own funders contributed to this doc!)

The salary was the sticking point for me, I knew it would continue to bother me, if I didnt' mention it. Lastly, I am mindful that after 3 years the job ends and I'd be applying for senior level roles on twice that salary. Surely difficult for any prospective employer to overlook?

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 13:48:10

He may just be embarrassed that he doesn't have the authority to negotiate with you. Hopefully if you're a great candidate he'll swallow his pride and go to the person who can (if possible).

We had a similar issue when recruiting for my mat cover a few years ago. An outstanding candidate, we were gobsmacked that he was going for the job and he was head and shoulders ahead of everyone else. Unfortunately when offered the job he asked for more money (which he absolutely deserved) but there was no wriggle room on salary at all so we had to let him decline the offer and go for the next best person, who still did a great job tbh.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 13:49:35

There was absolutely no hard feelings that he'd asked for more btw, we'd have loved to have given it and would have been able to get loads done in that year if we'd had him and his experience - just wasn't possible.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 26-Mar-13 13:59:58

Fair enough OP - I guess the key question is what you would do if they come back and say no - would you be willing to take the job even if not happy with salary for 3 years?

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 14:14:59

I think I'll still do it, it's a good job. I will work hard cos that's what I'm like, but reckon i'll be taking up that flexitime option as often as I'm able. I'll also mention a pay review as Im hoping to bring in some valuable funding. Just hope if it all works out and that it's not going to be a bit 'eggy' - the office is small!

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 14:57:26

Thanks guys, you've helped me a lot smile

PhyllisDietrichson Mon 08-Apr-13 17:02:18


Hi guys. I did not get the extra salary - but I did try. I've not earned this kind of low pay since early 1990's, it is a B I G paycut, so it's gonna be a bit of a shocker.

But on the plus-side, it's a really interesting job, I'll learn new skills, work with great people, it's a good stepping stone for future roles, it's round the corner to no commute and they're flexible hours-wise. Lots of things to look forward to.

I'm still trying not too feel too much of a chump for asking though. In my heart it felt the right thing to do, but a mate said she'd never dream of doing this and said there's a finite amount of money - end of, it wasn't fair to ask....

Isn't there some sort of statistic about 70% if people don't ask for more money and of those that do, around 9% are women the rest are men. So girls, we don't ask and so we don't get. (In my case I asked and still didn't get - so there you are! Moral in there somewhere?!)

HappyGirlNow Tue 09-Apr-13 17:26:14

Ignore your friend. I asked and I got more when I changed jobs. And almost everyone I know who has moved jobs recently has got an increase on the initial offer from a new prospective employer.

You've not been successful this time but don't let that put you off in the future. Employers will chance their arm. I'd always ask for more even if their first offer was fair.

PhyllisDietrichson Wed 10-Apr-13 07:53:58

Cheers HappyGirlNow, glad you were successful that's good to know. I shall try to start the new role my usual 'can do' chipper attitude and snap-out of the apprehensive reluctant feeling of tinged gloom I've let hang over me in the run-up to starting this job.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - that's better!

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