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I'm curious to know how some of you may have negotiated for a raise upon your annual / semi-annual review. Here's my situation. I'm due for my annual review in a few months time. In the past year, I actually received a job offer elsewhere for a higher salary, but declined it because I was basically happy at my current job, but wanted to see other opportunities that existed out there.

I'm wondering if I should mention this when I undergo my review, omit this detail, or mention it vaguely? (Side note: I have a copy of the offer letter).

I don't want to come off as demanding, but at the same time, I generally know my market price and want to convince my company that I'd be happier if my salary were closer to what I think I should be getting.

More about me: Female, in Tech (Health IT), data scientist. Any advice is greatly appreciate!

  • Not enough time for an answer, but I generally know my market price and I'd be happier if my salary were closer to what I think I should be getting is a perfectly reasonable position and argument to make. – rath Oct 8 '18 at 12:39
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I'm wondering if I should mention this when I undergo my review, omit this detail, or mention it vaguely?

We'd all be happier if we got more.

But you already turned down more because you are basically happy at your current job. You have demonstrated that the company doesn't actually have to pay you more.

An offer that you already turned down doesn't have a lot of value.

Don't try to use your turned down offer as leverage. Instead, talk about the value you bring to the company, and the increased value you will bring in the coming year.

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Last years offer is old news, you could have used it then, but no point now.

My policy is to go through how wonderful and professional I am and then wait and see what is offered, and if it's not enough, just to tell the employer that I was expecting more and start negotiating from a base I believe I should get.

The implication whenever you start doing this though is you may job hunt if your needs are not met. And unless you're actually prepared to do so, there isn't much point. Failure to get the amount changed puts you in an even weaker position than when you started, it's not poker, don't bluff. So wait until you get an actual offer to make your decision on.

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I'm wondering if I should mention this when I undergo my review, omit this detail, or mention it vaguely?

Joe and Kilisi are spot on when it comes to this. Omission is probably the best course of action as the offer is no longer in play.

I don't want to come off as demanding, but at the same time, I generally know my market price and want to convince my company that I'd be happier if my salary were closer to what I think I should be getting.

Getting paid what you're worth is not demanding, but too much of a jump from what you're currently making could be seen as so. This is why negotiation on your base pay is so important as raises are usually expressed as a percentage of that.

I'm curious to know how some of you may have negotiated for a raise upon your annual / semi-annual review

As mentioned previously as well, focusing on the value proposition of you at your company is the best approach. However, I would go a step further and also say to have data to back up your claims of the value you've added. Go over everything you've worked on: projects, process improvements, documentation you've generated, culture fit etc.. Also, I would come up with a plan on how you intend to improve yourself and the company in the coming year. Once again, focus on things that add value to the company and have numbers! Quantification of this value add will have more of an effect than statements alone. An example of this would be "decreased build time by 15%" versus "decreased build time".

If all else fails, another job offer will definitely help with negotiation, but I would be careful with this. Looking for another job is a signal that a person is not happy (even if just from the salary), so staying at a place that you're not happy or you being percieved as not happy has its own pros and cons and is an entire topic by itself.

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I'm wondering if I should mention this when I undergo my review, omit this detail, or mention it vaguely? (Side note: I have a copy of the offer letter).

Sure, but be prepared to actually take the offer if your company rejects it. However, since you already rejected it, it sounds like you have no fall back option. My advice is to seek employment where you get paid the amount you want then say goodbye to your current company but allow them to match the offer before you go. It's far better to have an option than it is to simply ask and hope because from my experience, you will not get a significant pay raise.

As an aside, you should be getting 2-3% raises each year. If you're not getting that, I would ask for that, as well as any previous year they missed.

As a final point, if you are currently a level X person, ask your boss how you can get to X+1 level and you are interested in working towards that and whatever pay raises that may encompass it. I think that approach is benefitting to you and your company and you get to work towards a goal. You can say, "Boss, I am interested in achieving level 3 data science and I am interested in working towards that promotion as well as a 15% pay raise that comes with it." Boss may in turn say yes, or the position may not be open or he/she may feel you're not ready and need to work on certain points.

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One of the best tips I’ve ever read in terms of salary negotiations is to counter with a number that ends in 50. For example, if the company offers you $80,000 it’s a nice well-rounded figure. If you counter for $85,000 it looks like your standard counter. Let’s say instead you counter with $86,250 knowing your goal is to get the company to at least $85,000. The hiring manager may think that you know more about the pay range than he or she does by your non-round figure counter and/or think you have another offer on the table with that figure. Either way, it has a physiological effect of more likely getting you the paycheck you deserve.

Often a recruiter will ask what you currently make in a phone interview. Again, this is used as a screening question to eliminate candidates or to form your new salary based on your previous salary. While most people give this information freely, as a former recruiter, I would caution you against it giving it up at all. Stick to a range that you want your new salary to be if the question comes up. If the recruiter is insistent on getting your previous pay it’s best to stick with, “If we’re in the same ballpark we can continue to talk.” Just like you wouldn’t ask them how much money they make, what they pay other people in the position, or what they’re talking to other candidates about paying them, it’s information that will do more harm than good to divulge. Set a boundary of not disclosing that information and stick to it.

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