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They usually reply really fast and I'm supposed to start tomorrow. But they haven't replied to my counter offer. It was kind of my fault as when they asked me if I was okay with this salary BEFORE they sent a job offer, I said yes but I said I'll think about it more once I review the formal offer.

I then negotiated a slightly higher salary. It's not even THAT high at all. But now I'm scared they dropped me.

Can I still accept their original offer?

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  • 14
    I think there's something missing, or I'm missing something. You're supposed to start tomorrow, but still don't have a contract?
    – pipe
    May 18, 2023 at 16:45
  • Can we have some feedback about the question? Did you start today? Original offer or increased salary?
    – Elerium115
    May 19, 2023 at 9:02

4 Answers 4

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You can ask them what the status of your application is. If they say they've rejected your request, you can try to negotiate back to the original offer.

But they may have lost interest in you, since you didn't accept what they offered. They may, in fact, have gone ahead and hired someone else.

That's the risk of trying to negotiate, and why not everyone does so.

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  • 11
    Yep. You need to be prepared to walk away if you negotiate, but you also need to be aware that they've got legs too
    – Richard
    May 18, 2023 at 17:18
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The last time I negotiated a job offer it took a week between submitting my counter-offer and hearing a response, despite relatively quick correspondence before that. It turned out that there was some internal discussion needed to move money around to give me a better offer. This may be a similar situation, or they may be waiting to see if you'll crack under the pressure and do exactly what you're suggesting: accept their original offer, saving them some money.

Negotiations like these are often a "who blinks first" situation. If you give a number first, you can cheat yourself out of money that they might have offered you if you had stood firm and made them give a number first.

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i said yes but i said i'll think about it more once i review the formal offer.

This last bit may not have been given much attention, possibly not written down in interview notes, not communicated by the person you said it to to the other people involved in the decision process, possibly (if you kind of mumbled it out) not even something they'd honestly remember if asked directly now. Consequently, folks there may now see you as having verbally accepted and then tried for more money, which can put an employer off as at that stage they'd expect a little mutual faith and that further salary adjustments would happen after you've shown some performance on the job.

If that's happened, your best bet is to make it clear to everyone your request wasn't out of the blue. Write saying something like (but not word-for-word, people can google): "I hope there hasn't been some misunderstanding during these negotiations. You had asked me if I would accept X, and I said "yes, but I'll think about it some more once I review the formal offer". On doing so, given (list the couple most-reasonable explanations for what in the offer made you increase your ask), I asked if you could stretch to a touch more than discussed, as I'd more more comfortable with that. Still, these are minor concerns: I have faith in my ability to demonstrate valuable contributions in the role, and in your company to tweak things when justified, and long-term win-win relationship is the most important thing from my perspective. I'm hoping to hear your thoughts, and will call at XXam/pm, but feel free to call me first on X if you prefer, or to suggest another time. Best regards, Turntables"

Can I still accept their original offer?

In a formal big-company officework kind of environment, offer letters often have an expiry date on them. If yours hasn't expired, then yes - you can still accept, though they may still back out or just start termination immediately if they really wanted to, and local laws allow. Otherwise, you have to work through this with them and they may or may not want to issue a new letter, even if for the same salary/conditions.

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Yes, you can, however, you'll show your weakness by not taking seriously your own negotiation position.

It will sabotage your future attempts to get a rise, since they will know, you are brave in speak but weak in deeds. If you simply need a job, and you'll look for better one afterwards, it's OK.

However, they may assume it's exactly what you'll do and drop you off. The employee that's unhappy from the beginning is not the best choice (unless it's their only choice, or others are worse).

The best strategy is to wait calmly for their response. Being impatience you show weakness.

And no, you're not about to start tomorrow or next month or anything, unless you've signed an offer.

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