I am currently a contractor working for a DOD contract company as an application developer. I will begin the process of converting over to a full time employee of the DOD company here soon. Recently my manager at the DOD company ask me what I am currently making pay wise so that he can make sure I get put in at the right pay grade. By me giving him that information did I lose my chance to negotiating my salary? Thank you!

  • Possibly could be a duplicate. I was hoping to get a more direct answer. By saying what I currently make does that eliminate me from getting a pay increase?
    – DWill23
    Sep 6, 2018 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


Very likely the only "salary" information he knew about you was what he was paying your contracting company (as opposed to what they paid you). So yeah, you probably left money on the table here.

What to do at this point:

1) Ask for a bump up.

This is an excellent time, your salary is in flux. It's possible he's actually lowering the amount in his budget by making you perm anyway.

Probably speed is of the essence here rather than force of argument, i.e. if you can spend a minute or ten and gather proof you're underpaid do that, but don't take days.

Edit because of conversation and my reply was too long.

DWill23: do you feel like asking for a 15% bump is too much or should I let him be the judge on that?

Things get weird when we're talking conversion. I got a +45% raise one time and another I ended up with less money. The important numbers (which you might not have access to) are "your current Bill rate" and then "your employee cost" (your pay + taxes + benefits). Ideally you'd be trying to keep those numbers the same if it's in your benefit.

Failing that, if you're good with a bump of 15% sure, ask for that and/or lead with him figuring out what to offer. What you don't want to have happen is a currently-low level of pay being set in stone and then ending up with single digit percentage raises after that.

  • Thank you for that feedback. I will try and get a meeting with him this week then. Question: do you feel like asking for a 15% bump is too much or should I let him be the judge on that?
    – DWill23
    Sep 6, 2018 at 19:40
  • @DWill23 I've edited my answer to answer that. Sep 6, 2018 at 19:55
  • If I can get a 10-15% increase then I would be very happy with the entire package. I’m not complaining now if my rate stays the same and they give me benefits, but the scope of the responsibility has changed since I originally accept the contract position. That is why I want to ask for the increase. I don’t want to sounds money hungry, but I lost an almost guaranteed 10% yearly bonus in taking this position.
    – DWill23
    Sep 6, 2018 at 20:13

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