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I am working as Junior Developer in a small company, with 6 months experience. Recently, I applied for a job in field I want to specialize in, and declared my expectations as its salary cap (which would be a 15% raise for me).

I have received an offer matching my current salary, and recruiter said it was lowered from what I proposed, due to my review performance. I consider it as a fair argument - I have not answered every question regarding must-have skills.

Job offer includes whole new career possibilities, more perspective projects, interesting technology stack and much better benefits, I would accept it as-is with no doubt. It is a great opportunity for me.

Should I ask for more to have high ground for future pay-rises (or not to be considered a doormat) and how far should I push?

EDIT: I accepted the offer.

  • I would just ask what are the possibilities to change the pay in the future. For example in work I started AFTER yearly pay increase in company (so normally I would wait 10 months). But I negotiated a raise after my probation period. – SZCZERZO KŁY Nov 23 '18 at 11:41
  • There are revaluations twice a year. First contract is for 3 months. – juniorCoder Nov 23 '18 at 11:47
  • @juniorCoder Then that's perfect, you join them. You're no worse off, then if you can prove yourself then you can be reevaluated in 3 months time – Twyxz Nov 23 '18 at 11:49
  • Ask for 7.5% and see what they say. If they say no, you haven't lost anything by asking. – TonyK Nov 23 '18 at 12:28
  • @JoeStrazzere - I have asked for offer's salary cap. It was my first proposition, and they have countered it. There is no way they knew how much I earn. I believe there is still room for negotiations. – juniorCoder Nov 23 '18 at 12:34
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Why risk it?

You've got the job that you want to specialise in and at a company you would like to work for. You've got a salary offer equal to your current so you'll be no worse off but you'd be moving in the direction you'd want to be going.

You don't want to upset your potential employer, in this current stage you've got quite a lot to lose if this is definitely what you want to do.

I would join the company and maybe after another 6 months potentially ask for a raise when you've met the expected "must have skills".

You've said yourself that the valuation they have given you is fair so I'd take it and move in the right direction to follow your career prospect.

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I would accept it as-is with no doubt.

Then you have no real basis to negotiate.

The power you have in a negotiation is the power to walk away. If you don't want to walk away, then you're bluffing - and while that might work, it's a heck of a risk - there's every chance they'll just pass you off for the next candidate.

  • OP wrote : "recruiter said it was lowered from what I proposed, due to my review performance". His performance review was not meeting the salary he asked for. You think it will matter if he walks away ? – Answers_Seeker Nov 26 '18 at 11:08
  • @Answers_Seeker Employers can come up with all sorts of reasons in negotiations as to why they're giving you a lower salary - this could be anything from "review performance" to "this is the top end of our budget." The reasons don't matter, the situation does. If you wish to negotiate, they may choose to offer you a higher salary. Alternatively, they may hold their ground, or walk away. But if you're in the position where you really want the job and don't want to walk away, then trying to negotiate is very risky. – berry120 Nov 26 '18 at 11:56
  • I agree with your point, he will only risk a refusal if he tries to negotiate gently. However, OP wrote that he didn't fulfill some must-have requirements and their argument for refusing is directed against his skill and is not impersonal (budget example you highlighted) : he is not in position to negotiate and should keep this initiative when he is legit for it. Negotiating just to negotiate is a waste of time and bad for his corporate image as a first impression. When he will be performing well he will have more impact, hence not keeping his corporate image as he will be legit for his demand – Answers_Seeker Nov 26 '18 at 12:20
  • @Answers_Seeker I agree on your outcome, but I disagree with the premise that you can only negotiate if you fulfil all the listed required skills. You can easily say something akin to "I realise I don't have x, y and z, but I have a, b and c instead, which I believe are really valuabe in this role because of (reasons), so I'm afraid I can't accept an offer less than (amount)." There's certainly nothing wrong with that, I don't think I'm alone in having used that as a tactic successfully. – berry120 Nov 26 '18 at 12:41
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    We both agree but I didn't express myself clearly : he CAN, of course, negotiate directly as he has nearly nothing to lose so there is no premise. However, negotiating later on (we agree on the outcome) after proving he is legit can bring a higher salary at a scale of one year. The other point I tried to highlight is the corporate image that he is going to build in which first impressions do a lot. If you have a positive corporate image, you'll have much more weight in the negotiation. As people judge and gossip on others, negotiating directly can make you "the greedy guy". – Answers_Seeker Nov 26 '18 at 13:01
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Job offer includes whole new career possibilities, more perspective projects, interesting technology stack and much better benefits, I would accept it as-is with no doubt. It is a great opportunity for me.

They've offered you a package they are happy with, you are happy with it. In negotiation terms this is called a "win-win".

Personally I'd just take the offer than get involved in playing guessing games about what you may or may not be able to squeeze out of them.

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You can almost always ask for more money. Job offers are a negotiation after all.

But that doesn't mean that you should.

Negotiations are about value and risk, how valuable are you and how much are you willing to risk.

Your value is primarily based on supply and a demand. Someone with years(decades) of experience and specialized skills is likely to be in limited supply so their value will go up. Unfortunately, someone with 6 months experience is likely in large supply and may not have leverage to demand more. From the employer's perspective, if they can find plenty of other candidates with 6 months experience, why would they go above the reasonable salary they have already offered you.

You should start by considering the market you are in. Is there a limited supply of Junior Developers? Is your 6 months experience related to a technology that is in high demand or has very few practitioners locally? If so, your negotiating position could be stronger, if not your leverage is limited.

The last piece is the risk element. Neither side has leverage unless they can and would walk away. For you this means losing a job opportunity, for them this means finding another junior developer. You need to evaluate this from both sides when deciding whether to ask for more money and if so, how much.

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