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I am planning to move to another company and recently I interviewed with a company and at the end of the day of my interview, I accidentally disclosed my current base salary to the VP of the company. Today, I have received an e-mail from the HR and was asked the following question:

"What are your minimum base salary expectations going forward? I will work with the VP on meeting those expectations."

Let's say my current salary is 100k, and from current employees in the company I know the salary level there is 90-100k. I would like to receive 105-110k. My thought was to respond to the e-mail as follows:

"Currently I am getting 100K. Please let me know how much you can offer me."

Considering that the VP already knows my salary, which is the better way to begin negotiations to get my desired salary of 105-110k -- ask for what I actually want, or let them make the first salary offer?

Update

This is the request I have sent...

"My current base salary is $100K. I am seeking a salary in the $110K range."

THE END (GOOD):

Initially they have provided only $105K offer. However, based on my request (second time), they finally provided $110K offer. Thank you all for your help.

  • How much do you actually want to get? Also, what sources did you learn the 90-100k range from? – jmac Apr 25 '13 at 4:51
  • @jmac: From some of the employees of that company. I would be very happy if they offer between 106K and 110K. Here the numbers are not real. – samarasa Apr 25 '13 at 4:56
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    Thanks for the info. I am going to update your question to be a bit more in line with our guidelines (we look for concrete situations with concrete answers, not polling for opinion). I invite you to edit it after I'm done if you think I butchered it or left something out. In the meantime, if the no opinion polling leaves you confused, I recommend reading the FAQ and this post for a bit of insight. – jmac Apr 25 '13 at 5:01
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    Also, this post is very similar to your and may solve your problem. Slightly different situation, but same general concept. – jmac Apr 25 '13 at 5:09
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    "Currently I am getting 100K. Please let me know how much you can offer me." <--- I really hope you didn't really say this. – enderland Apr 25 '13 at 11:29
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You already told them your current salary. Clearly they are still interested and know that your likely new salary will fit within their budget. This is a good sign for you.

And the fact that the HR person said that he/she will "work with the VP on meeting those expectations" is terrific!

In my experience, the signs are all there that they want you and are willing to negotiate on salary. Now is your chance to respond with a number at the high end of what you are willing to settle for.

In your example, where you would like to receive 105-110k, I would say something like "I am seeking a salary in the 110k range". A 10% increase over your last salary isn't unreasonable to ask for, and isn't far from what you know to be current employees' salaries. I don't think setting the bar this high would automatically put you out of the running, although that is always a possibility.

The VP can always come back with a counter-offer and you could settle for whatever would make you comfortable, given the totality of the package and the opportunity.

It's also possible that their budget won't go above your current salary and they are trying to find out if they can get you for 100k. In reality, you won't know how high they are willing to go for you. But this could give you a reasonable chance to find out.

Good luck!

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    That's a very reasonable approach. No one expects you to actively look for a pay cut, so a new job with a 10% up request is perfectly normal. – Hilmar Apr 25 '13 at 12:06
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    @Joe: As per your suggestion, I have requested $110K. However, they have sent $105K offer. But I again politely stressed on $110K. Somehow, they finally have provided $110K offer. Thank you all for your help. – samarasa May 3 '13 at 3:13
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As a general rule in negotiations:

1) Try to get quantified info, don't be in such a hurry to disclose your own

2) Have other options so that you don't need/barely want the deal

First, don't talk any more about your current salary more than you absolutely have to. Second, don't "ask" them. Tell them this is what you would like. Third, when you do give a number that you're aiming for, don't quote merely a few percent increase above what you expect is possible. Your sights are too low, in my opinion.

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