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In the past I've been burned by an employer with stagnant wages. After 8 years with this otherwise good company, I left that employer and am nearing my 3 year review with my current employer. My wage increases at my current employer have been moderate at best, but I've been told by my boss that I've really grown into the position and have also had some strong suggestions that another department would like to hire me. So I think I'm doing well. I like my job and my boss but it is a frustrating place to work sometimes.

The problem is that the job market seems to be heating up and it's looking like I could get more money elsewhere. I've gotten 5 offers for interviews in the last month. Can these offers be used in any way to my advantage to negotiate higher pay? Can I use this as a bargaining chip without looking like I'm threatening to leave? Important point: I would try to make it clear I am not looking, but it's clear there is demand in the marketplace for my skills. I generally like my job and have a good relationship with my boss and don't want to ruin it, but I also think he might be a little afraid I'll leave.

FWIW, I'm 40, an engineer, probably mid-career or more, with a bachelors and technical degrees.

marked as duplicate by DarkCygnus, paparazzo, Mister Positive, gnat, scaaahu Jun 5 '18 at 3:57

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    Hey there @cburf welcome to The Workplace. I think that the above linked question fits perfectly to this situation, thus why I flagged as possible duplicate. Please check it; if you feel it is not a dupe please indicate here why and edit the question to reflect that (ping me if you need help with that) – DarkCygnus Jun 4 '18 at 18:11
  • @DarkCygnus It's very close, but I want to be clear that I'm not searching for a job and I don't have an offer. I have no intention of leaving my job (yet), I simply would first like to negotiate higher pay. So unlike the question you mentioned, I don't have another job lined up. – cburf Jun 4 '18 at 18:18
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    What you can get elsewhere is irrelevant unless you're willing to leave to take it, or at least make the other party think you're willing to leave to take it. If you tell your boss that you could get paid more somewhere else but aren't going to leave, why would he care? He can keep you without paying you more. Don't bring other offers into the mix unless you are prepared to accept them. A competing offer that everyone knows you won't take isn't much of a bargaining chip. – Nuclear Wang Jun 4 '18 at 18:22
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    @cburf you actually said in your question you already got several offers for interview, which can easily evolve into job offers. Also, the poster of the target dupe also had no reasons for leaving yet... as a side note, if you plan to use this as leverage I suggest you have another job lined up first for your own safety – DarkCygnus Jun 4 '18 at 18:24

Saying that you can get better pay at a different will always be a threat to your employer, as you are basically saying

If you don't match my wage I will leave the company.

However this doesn't mean you cannot use this as a bargaining chip. Rephrase it like you have researched the market wage (which you technically have by looking at job offers) and feel like you should receive some more money for your work.

In order to succeed in the negotiation you need to be willing to leave the company if the company does not give you this raise. Your boss will not give you the raise if you won't leave when he denies it. You stated that it is a frustrating place to work at sometimes, so you should bring this up when discussing it.

When you do bring it up with him, summarize the reasons why you should be given this raise and compare your job with the current market. If you really do care about the money and would like the pay increase, you will most likely have to leave the company if your boss turns down your request.

  • I have read and been told on many occasion that one should never accept one's current employer's counter-offer, because they will screw you over. If this still holds true, should OP not leave regardless? – user2818782 Jun 5 '18 at 9:58

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