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I am soon to be a new college grad and have a few offers I'm considering, one seems to be a bit better than the others and I am considering accepting.

The only problem is, I have a job offer to work in the city I currently live in, in Colorado.
The company offering the job has many locations, and a large office in Silicon Valley. I'd really love to be in Silicon Valley, but my offer is for the office in Colorado.

Is it reasonable to ask the company if my offer would transfer to their office in Silicon Valley? They have very similar positions open in the CA office to the position I was offered here. Also, would the salary offered here scale with the cost of living index of CA? Could I mention that I would really love to be in California, and have offers there to use this as leverage when negotiation my compensation??

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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4 Answers

The sooner you ask the better.

It sounds like you are already at the offer stage, so it might be a little late. It is going to depend entirely on the company itself. Here are a couple of ways the company might see this issue:

  1. They hire for the team. It's possible the company has considered you to be a good fit for a specific team, and there would be almost no translation to any other office.

    In this case, they will probably not be able to do anything for you besides start you over in the interview process with the new location, with the equivalent of a good recommendation. (Maybe they could also skip phone interviews.)

  2. Specific locations have specific hiring practices. Even though the company may hire more generally, they also might have different hiring practices in general locations, enough that one location is not willing to bring you on based on another's interview. In this case, the situation would probably be the same as the above.

  3. Generalized hiring practices. If the company has really good universal hiring practices, you could be considered directly for another location. They would still, at a minimum, need to figure out whether the team has a need for people with your specific skillset. And, the compensation portion of your current offer may become useless (and they may not be too happy about that). (See below)


So how do you know which of the following types of companies this company fits into?

  • Large office in Silicon Valley is a good start. That probably means they hire a lot.
  • Research online. Find out how univeral the company's hiring practice.
  • If you've asked about "internal mobility" at all, this is the best hint you can get. If the company is fully internally mobile — in other words, an internal transfer is just a discussion away — then you are possibly in luck — if those transfers don't require a manager's recommendation. But, if internal transfers require internal interviews and negotiations, you are probably out of luck.

With all of that said, I think "really good universal hiring practices" are highly unusual. I don't think you're going to find what you are hoping for, but I could be wrong.

Every multi-state company that I know of has different compensation scales for different regions. So, yes, the offer would be different, but that would be both in your favor and not — yes, it means you'd get more money, but it also means that if you already have an offer in hand, even if they are thrilled to have you consider their other location, they will have to go back through the salary step of the offer, which may be a negative.

If you are going to bring up your other offers, my personal opinion is that you are going to be in tricky territory, as you're already asking them to undo some of the work they've done in getting you the offer where you are at. I'm not sure I have any specific negotiation advice, but be careful not to overextend your ask.

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Wish I could upvote twice! What a great perspective! –  bethlakshmi Nov 20 '12 at 15:37
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Given a company with offices in Colorado and Silicon Valley, it's likely that they have different teams. In which case asking for a transfer is indeed unreasonable - the manager in CO is taking a chance on you, the manager in CA is unlikely to want to take the same chance based solely on a co-workers opinion. In time a transfer might be reasonable, but at the moment the best you could reasonably hope for is an interview and no negative comments from the CO manager.

More likely, you would get told no, and if you applied outside of the interal channels, that would be taken as a negative. If you had applied for the CA job before getting an offer, things would be different, but now it would probably be taken as either indecision or unreliability. Neither desirable traits.

If they are the same team, asking for CA would be perfectly acceptable.

Whether the salary scales would depend entirely on the company, chances are they have different scales for the different offices. As for salary negotiations, you can try to use whatever you want to, how much they will go will depend upon how much they think you are worth, and company policy.

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I agree with the earlier answers. One note: even if your request is rejected now, you may start working in CO and establish your reputation within the company. After a year or two, you may start looking for relocation opportunities within company, and discuss your wish with your manager. This is possible and supported in most large companies. Accepting a colleague who has already proven to be a good fit to the company culture and shown his/her worth in a different branch / team is very different from accepting a total outsider, however promising (s)he may look like.

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There are two priorities here, about the location and second about the work. The prime location of the any company mostly will have some kind of good work (I have seen this at least this India). A fresh grad, if learning is the highest priority, seek about the work, culture etc. I am not clear if CA is the HQ or primary location of the company.

There's no issues in seeking for a better place, good companies will consider personal preferences as well. As you find the openings there in CA, and if it's for the same kind of work and product there shouldn't be any issues. A proper movement will reconsider the salary as well.

Choose a careful decision. I would say join with this offer and later try for a movement after understanding better about the other place.

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