I am considering an offer I have received. It consists in a four-month internship, paid hourly, leading explicitly to a full-time position (if all goes well, obviously).
Being intern prior getting hired seems to be a company custom — and I'm fine with it. I think their team is facing rather a shortage than an excess of potential employees — they are quite pressing me to start asap.
I am new on the field (development) but I have quite a few advantages (my background is quite rich, and I know the industry they work for) and I am confident I will well perform at this position. I thus assume I will get an offer at the end of the internship. I am about to receive an offer for a similar position (developer) in a start-up — but for a real job and not an internship.
How hard should I negotiate the internship wages now?
Indeed, I am considering the long-term move (i.e. what matters to me is the long-term position) and I am not sure what is the good strategy to adopt to maximize the long-term job salary:
- I should set the bar high, straight from the beginning and show them I won't undersell (touchy when you're actually accepting an internship?). Moreover, my other offer won't be valid anymore in four months. Yet I fear could appear "over-caring" for a few-month thing (and not choosing the right battle to fight). Moreover, the internship package may not be that much negotiable, and it's still true I haven't prove my value already.
- I should wait to over-perform during the internship (I can commit myself to it) to have more cards to play — plus I don't spoil already all my arguments (to which they could say: "Oh, yes we know, but we already made an effort last time, and this is already a salary increase; so we can't do much more"). But it could weaken my leverage if already I accepted to do a low-paying internship.
Other benefits (remote working, continuous learning, childcare, etc.) seems ok to me, i.e., I don't see how I could be more satisfied. I can imagine working for this company for the next 3–4 years, at least.