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I need some advice for software engineering position salaries and contract rates. I've uploaded my resume on indeed, monster, linkedin, etc and I've been getting phone calls for a few weeks now. Headhunters are calling me left and right. Anyways, I am always a bit uncomfortable when they ask me how much money I am making and what rate will work for me (given that benefits will not be included). Aside from the fact that I feel undervalued at my current salary and I will be meeting with my supervisor to push for a promotion next week, I really can't put a finger on what is a fair contract rate. I currently make about $93k (I have about 6 years of professional experience and live in the Central Florida region) which is roughly 44.33/hr. I believe I am making above my experience level (if anyone else can confirm).

I did the math on W2 contract rates. The benefits that I get from my company comes out to be 1.362 the rate of my current hourly wage (being conservative on healthcare etc). In any case, I told the recruiter, around ~60-61/hr would work for me. Of course, the recruiter goes for the lower number but I wonder to myself if this is even compensatory.

Given the fact that I've built an argument for promotion and I feel confident that the support among my team members will be there for me to obtain it, leaving a job for roughly an equivalent salary doesn't sound right to me. I somehow feel lowballed and I don't know how to deal with headhunters because they all seem a bit on the cheap side given they always ask me my rate (and I feel if I give them the wrong range, they won't ever talk to me again).

Since he is going to set up an interview at $60/hr and I don't feel this rate is advancement in my career I just don't know how to get it across to the recruiter that this will just not fly if he is only going to consider my bottom number. I want to feel somewhat valued in my job and salary is a piece of that valuation. Would the recruiter be irritated if I ask for a reconsideration on the rate (because I'm kinda reneging on my earlier number)?

marked as duplicate by Philip Kendall, Jim G., Dukeling, gnat, paparazzo Oct 28 '17 at 11:44

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Would the recruiter be irritated if I ask for a reconsideration on the rate (because I'm kinda reneging on my earlier number)?

Seems like you got a chance to renegotiate when you get the interview, without being too awkward (like for example, doing it via email, or after accepting an offer).

The number you gave seems to be just an estimate so far, so it is no big deal changing it now.

This would be the time for you to reevaluate and expose your counter offer and be able to justify why the change (if asked).

However, it's probably better to listen to your gut if this doesn't "sound right" to you" like you say, and really consider if it is worth it. If it is not, and you don't dislike your current job you would be better staying.

  • What justification can I use that is valid? Such as: I am expecting to be promoted in my current position so I would not leave for such a job for the same price? – LeanMan Oct 28 '17 at 17:24
  • Yes could be. That really depends on what you actually consider in this case tobe the reason, like possible promotion, etc. Just don't provide too much explanation, keep it simple, maybe something like Joe suggested in comments – DarkCygnus Oct 28 '17 at 17:44
  • What is the best way for me to approach the subject. Before the scheduled interview, after the interview is over, after an offer is made (but not accepted)? Through phone call rather than e-mail, etc? When they call me and ask me is there any reason why I wouldn't accept the offer? – LeanMan Oct 28 '17 at 21:41
  • No, in my answer I suggested you do so during the interview, when they bring the money to the talk. Wait until they talk about the money first though – DarkCygnus Oct 28 '17 at 22:27
  • Hmm...I never had money come up during an interview. Usually a recruiter or headhunter talks about it with me up front. I won't bring it up though as you said. I'll just reject the offer if that is proper way to get the message across. – LeanMan Nov 1 '17 at 4:39

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