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I recently graduated and am looking for a full-time position. I was interested in a small local start-up company and did some unpaid demo work for them to show them what I had to offer.

After the demo work they offered me a job in the company saying that they selected me over other candidates on the strength of my demo work.

The salary they offered is lower than what they usually offer candidates for that position with my education/experience (based on information from a friend working in a similar position in that company). I am worried that they may be offering a lowball offer because I showed so much enthusiasm and a willingness to do unpaid work for them. I am interested in the position, and would be happy working for less than what I've been told is their standard offer, but would like to negotiate a slightly higher salary than what they initially offered.

When faced with a lowball first offer, is it possible to negotiate without jeopardizing their offer, and if so, how should I approach the negotiation?

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    "I have a friend..." In payroll or HR? Do your research on GlassDoor or a similar site. $32K/year is not bad for a fresh college grad in some markets. In Manhattan, that would be pretty bad. In Cheyenne, it would be pretty good. Jan 14, 2014 at 6:15
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    Hey eclipse, and welcome to The Workplace! Could you please make an edit to clarify your question a bit more? You are being offered $32k for a job. You want to get closer to $50k. You want to know how to negotiate to $50k? You want to know what a fair salary should be for that job? You want to know whether it is worthwhile to take the low salary even though it isn't more than what you're making for the experience? If people can't understand what you're asking, it's hard to get good answers. An edit would help. Thanks in advance!
    – jmac
    Jan 14, 2014 at 6:42
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    @eclipse, I made an edit to try to clarify what you've said in the comments and get you a better answer. If you think that I missed the point or that the question as I've edited it won't get you useful answers, please feel free to make an edit of your own to improve it. Good luck!
    – jmac
    Jan 14, 2014 at 7:21
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    @jmac - looks perfectly fine to me, the more I've been reading up on the subject the more i feel like i should definitely be asking for more at this point I'm just not sure what the proper way to do so is or even what i should ask for initially
    – zfetters
    Jan 14, 2014 at 7:25
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    $32k seems insanely low for a college graduate of proven value, unless they are offering substantial equity. Otherwise I would keep looking. If you're desperate, then take the job and keep looking. You'll make more money if you are willing to move. Jan 16, 2014 at 5:53

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