So I received an offer from Company A (hooray!) with an hourly wage and benefits package. It's a little short of what I was hoping for. How should I approach negotiating salary, if at all? Salary range was never brought up in my interviews or application, and Company A gives off the impression that the pay is set in stone. I would be employed by a private company that is contracted at a government agency. Not sure if that makes negotiating pay easier or more difficult.

Still, I know they are in a rush to hire someone to fill this position before Christmas, so I might be able to leverage them into giving me a bit more money. I have never negotiated salary before (this is actually my first full-time job too) and am a total novice at how to approach this topic. I would really appreciate any help that you could provide!


1 Answer 1


You can negotiate until you sign the letter or tell them that you accept. Tell them exactly the way you said here, "It's lower than I was expecting and I really need more".

Since it's government org, they may be more limited but I would negotiate. They can find the money or take it out of their own profit. Or they can lose you. Don't be afraid to walk away either. Better to not have that job rather than a job you are unhappy with.

Remember, it's a two-way street. You're not Oliver Twist begging for "More?". It's got to be a good situation on both sides. Never forget that they need you as well. Just like they can decide to go with someone else, you're free to decide to reject their offer or ask for a higher one.

  • Cannot be afraid to ask, its the only way you will receive in this case.
    – Neo
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:30
  • 2
    Exactly. If you don't ask, it's already a no.
    – Chris E
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:31
  • Thank you all for your comments. I will definitely reach out and ask for more. Would you recommend that I name a number and ask them to match it, or kindly let them know that the salary is not quite up to my expectations, and I would like more money. Which phrasing would you prefer?
    – blobmarley
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:37
  • Yes ^. It's important to know the expected duration of the employment and what happens once this contract ends. The wages may be set in stone but so is the overall outcome. What if the other candidates say no and the company is unable to secure the contract (or maintain it), do you still have a job? Too little for too short a period of time is unfortunate and deprives you of better offers. How intensive the interview process is another consideration: first full-time, easy interview, great people then maybe bite the bullet. If they asked every question and called every reference they pay up.
    – Rob
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:51
  • 1
    @blobmarley You'll need a number because that's probably the first thing they would ask. Basically, you're making a counter offer. You need to come up with a number that's the least you'll take. Then come up with a number that's a little higher than you want. The reason is that they'll probably come up with a counter offer to your counter offer that's lower than what you're asking. In fact, they'll probably assume that is what you're doing. It's the little game everyone plays but nobody wants to admit they play.
    – Chris E
    Dec 11, 2017 at 20:45

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