I have received a good job offer, but it is at least 10k below the market rate. At the time I stated my salary expectations, I didn't know what the market rate was but do know now.

I have since asked the org if the offer is open for negotiation so that it is more in line with industry rate and waiting to hear from them.

Following questions:

  • is it seen as negative doing this, could it result in a withdrawn offer immediately?
  • is it better to do this now then wait until you are in the role, then negotiate? From experience, I have found that salary increases are hard to come by once in a job.

I have not accepted the original offer yet.


Following a mature amicable professional discussion, organization have increased their offer, and I have decided to accept it.

  • Did they meet the salary expectations you stated? May 4, 2019 at 11:39
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    Yes - then I found out I had sold myself short with regards to market rate. Since informed them what other companies are offering and the market rate.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 12:01
  • By turned down, not prepared to increase offer leaving the original offer?
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 12:24
  • 2
    Hi bobo2000, please do not vandalize your post. If necessary you can flag for moderator attention and ask to disassociate the question from your account.
    – bummi
    May 5, 2019 at 19:22
  • 1
    I can't delete, I don't have that power. The people that do are not likely to do so. Content is rarely removed from the site. If you need to no longer be associated with this post then follow the link I posted and use the contact link to disassociate.
    – Summer
    May 5, 2019 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


While it would have been better if you stated a market rate initially, provided you are willing to accept some risk, you can still do so now. You've already explained the basic information, you just need to improve the presentation when stating it to the company, something such as:

I was very pleased to receive your offer of [] position with []. While I believe this is a role I would greatly enjoy, as my job search has progressed I've become more aware that typical compensation for someone of my experience performing such a role in our area is in the range of [] to [].

While I am happy to keep your offer in mind, because it proposes lower compensation than other conversations I have ongoing towards more market rate possibilities, I do not feel that I will be able to accept your current proposal within your requested timeframe of [].

Of course, sending such a response entails some risk - if you do so, you should really be pursuing those other possibilities, or be prepared to stay wherever you are for a while longer while seeking them.

But at the same time do not accept a role where you will feel undervalued - it would have been better to state a higher expectation initially, but once you have signed on you indeed drastically reduce your chance of soon catching up to market rate. And do not accept a verbal promise of an early review, either.

  • I basically wrote that. Part of the reason why I didn't state the market rate at the start is simply because I just didn't know what it was until I started interviewing in different companies. People on here are making it sound like that I should have known, when the reality is many job descriptions are vague about what companies are offering, and the last thing I wanted to do was to ask way for way too much money right at the start. The salary expectation part of an application form is pointless and should be treated with a pinch of salt.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 19:32
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    Indeed, what I am saying is that you can still request higher compensation if you state the reasons well and are willing to accept some risk. May 4, 2019 at 19:33
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    Sure - I highly doubt they will withdraw the offer, at worst they will just tell me that they cannot go beyond the proposed amount leaving me in a 'take it, or leave it' situation at which point I will reconsider.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 19:35
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    Thank you for your advice, it has worked out, they have increased their offer and I have decided to accept.
    – bobo2000
    May 8, 2019 at 12:40

"At the time I stated my salary expectations, I didn't know what the market rate was but do know now."

I assume that means that you now want more money than you initially stated. That's not good: they negotiated in good faith and now you are moving your target. That's your mistake, not theirs. Your options are

  1. Try to push for a higher salary. This may or may not work, but in any case it will also damage your reputation. You come across as someone "who doesn't know what he wants/needs", "doesn't do his/her homework" or "goes back on a deal"
  2. Suck it up and work for the salary that you initially agreed to. Try to make your work speak for itself and work your way up in the job. This may take considerable amount of time and you should check out internal salary policies to see how this could work.
  3. Just move on, learn your lesson and do better next time.
  • I’m not sure what your point is - its not like I have accepted their offer and gone back on a deal as you put it. If I did, then rightly so my reputation is damaged, reality is, as they know I am interviewing with many organisations right now who are prepared to pay more and they are not my only option. it’s a competitive market. Circumstances clearly changed since I filled out the initial application form and I am trying to get the best deal possible, anything wrong with that?
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 13:54
  • Perhaps I misunderstood: When they asked you about your salary expectations: did you give them a number that they matched in their offer ?
    – Hilmar
    May 4, 2019 at 14:40
  • Yes. I had no choice but to give a specific figure on the application form, where as I have written, my circumstances has drastically changed since then (this was 3 months ago). Also to re-iterate an earlier point, I have not accepted this offer, it is just an offer at this stage. Hence, no idea why it's seen as a negative to negotiate something you haven't accepted?
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 14:45
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    @JoeStrazzere for good reason, not greed - I've since learned with experience after actively job hunting what I am actually worth and I value my experience and skills. in hindsight, of course they are going to match my original offer, they were getting me on the cheap! Thus, not at all being unreasonable given my justification is to be paid more in line with the market rate. Hence, circumstances have changed since 3 months ago.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 15:18
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    negotiation has been successful, offer has increased and decided to accept it. Disappointed by the fear mongering.
    – bobo2000
    May 8, 2019 at 12:37

From the comments:

Did they meet the salary expectations you stated? – mhoran_psprep 1 hour ago

Yes - then I found out I had sold myself short with regards to market rate. Since informed them what other companies are offering and the market rate. – bobo2000 56 mins ago

That means that they will want to know why you now want more money than you originally said.

Your best hope of getting more salary is if they fall short in some other area, and you can say you need more salary to compensate for less vacation, or less 401K matching or less useful insurance...

You would then be able to say "can you bump up the salary a bit because your offer has a week less vacation and an increase in salary would make it easier to accept"

Of course if you are too demanding they could say they want to move in another direction. You are essentially rejecting their offer and making a counter-offer.

You have to decide is it worth the risk.

If you wait until you start, then all the risk is on you. If you have started then if you say I want 5K more a year, you have to accept whatever decision they make, unless you are ready to be unemployed if they reject your request.

Now before you sign, if you can't accept their offer, and you can live with them cancelling their offer, then go ahead and make a counter-offer.

  • Asked them if offer was open to further negotiation, cancelling offer is pretty extreme in that context. They also know Im in demand right now elseware.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 13:13

EDIT: Since it has come to light that they're giving you your requested salary, I'm changing my answer. That's pretty poor form. I mean, you can still do it, and from an entirely numbers-based perspective, they should still give you the role. However, work isn't entirely numbers-based, and the low requested salary likely had a strong influence in their decision making. This is very bait-and-switch like, and will likely sour them to you no matter what. It's all up to you, but unless I was in a bind, I would be rescinding the offer.

Older answer, left for the record:

Typical advice on career sites, etc. say that negotiating your salary after the offer is made is your strongest time to do it since they have made a decision to go with you. Waiting until after you're in the role is one of the weaker positions because they know what they can get you to work for, and at best you'll get incremental increases.

Keep it in line with the market, and where you think your value is against that.

  • Thanks, that is what I had thought.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 12:01
  • Hindsight is a wonderful thing @JoeStrazzere, I just didn't know what was the going rate until exploring the job market further, by which point I had already given my salary expectations on hr form. This was one of the first roles I had applied for. It's been a few years since being back onto it.
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 12:47
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    @JoeStrazzere I have not ruled out the current offer at all, but would like to negotiate which is how I've proposed this to the org, justifying this based on other companies app process and what I am being potentially offered elseware. They know I am interviewing elseware at respected companies. Also, as much as I might seem to be in a weak position, to get the offer, I clearly did really well to pass their interviewing process, and match the role in terms of skills and experience. That has got to account for something?
    – bobo2000
    May 4, 2019 at 13:48
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    @malisbad There isn’t really any need to withdraw the offer, if they can’t offer more than they should just tell me they can’t go any higher. People seem to seriously be blowing this out of proportion on here. I have in no way indicated to the org that I will not consider original offer at all.
    – bobo2000
    May 5, 2019 at 13:16
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    Too much fear mongering on here, they understood my point of view and have improved the offer. I've accepted it.
    – bobo2000
    May 8, 2019 at 13:44

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