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Say, I was offered a position for $25,000 per year over the phone and I know that market pays $20,000 to $30,000 for it. Out of desperation, I requested for $28,000 instead of $30,000. The HR agreed to try for $28,000.

I feel that I acted too soon. It’s just been an hour since I did this call. I think that this is over, but there any way I can still call back real quick and request for 30 instead, without loss of face? Would it be okay to say/add that I just got a competing offer at 30? I am not being greedy. I just acted out of desperation and really undervalued myself due to my limited experience.

  • Why do you believe you should get top dollar here? Why is it so urgent that you get that rate now? – JB King Jul 1 '14 at 20:44
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    Did you just get a competing offer at 30? – starsplusplus Jul 1 '14 at 20:49
  • @JB King - It was always important to me. I just spoke to one friend who told me that I acted too quickly. He said that it is reasonable for developers with similar experience and skills to expect 30. I am only feeling regretful. Another approach could be to continue with current salary and ask for raise when I prove myself. But, hoping to begin at a higher salary now. – sid smith Jul 1 '14 at 20:54
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    your best bet is to just fight for the raise at your first review. At this point the time to ask for more has past. – RualStorge Jul 1 '14 at 21:14
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    Let this be a lesson, you determine how much is your mimimum before you even start interviewing. Then don't tell others what your offer was or let them talk you into feeling bad about what you asked for. You asked for what you thought you could get, don't second guess yourself. (I would be surprised if they went up as a far as 30 in any event, there is far less wiggle room at this end of the scale.) Stop caring what other people think you should make, be happy with the offer because it was what you asked for instead of regreting you didn't ask for more. Life is alot more enjoyable that way. – HLGEM Jul 1 '14 at 21:21
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There is always room for negotiation until both parties have signed a contract.

  1. Be honest
  2. Immediately
  3. Be prepared to walk away

Be Honest

Did you offer 28k because you really wanted the job? Because you're young and felt uncomfortable asking for what you really wanted? Because you expected that to be a starting point? Whatever the reason was, you're clearly now unhappy about the 28k, so if you want to reopen discussions, I would be honest about why you are doing it. For instance:

Hey hiring manager, when we just talked on the phone about salary I gave 28k when asked for a number. All the research that I've done says that market range for this position should be upwards of 30k. I know that I should have said that on the phone, and I apologize, but I want to make sure that however the final decision and negotiations go, that I feel comfortable about where we started from.

Time is of the Essence

Depending on where you are in the process, they may have to get the authorization of someone to give a salary offer at that level. If they've already gotten the okay from their bosses for 28k, and you ask for 30k, it will be far more difficult to change (and make them less likely to want to help).

If you want to discuss it, do it now, call up or e-mail sooner rather than later.

Be Prepared to Walk

Realize that what you are doing is saying, "I was not prepared and misinformed you over the phone. Regardless of that, I strongly feel that I should be paid more than when we discussed." This is not going to go over well with all companies, and it may very well reflect poorly on you as a candidate.

Consider whether or not you are willing to walk away if they offer you 28k. Think about if you are the best candidate for the job, and worth paying an additional 2k for. Make sure that you are willing to sacrifice this chance for a shot at an extra 2k/year. Some companies want employees to be happy with their salary, and are more happy to make considerations for the best candidates. Is this one of those companies, and are you fine with walking away if they aren't?

  • Thank you for the suggestions. The company is good, but I am not sure if they would be okay with a small hike during the hiring process. I am junior developer and I still have a lot to learn, so I am somewhat replaceable. Given the current situation and market, I feel that it is best to take a little less, prove myself over 6 months and then request for a small and justifiable hike. The risk of losing a good opportunity is a bigger concern than getting a little less money. – sid smith Jul 5 '14 at 0:26
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    @sid, for reference, it is generally far more difficult to get a raise once you are already in the company. You can try, but chances are that you will get a smaller bonus than you want because of the difference in starting points. You can cross that bridge when you come to it though. – jmac Jul 5 '14 at 3:16
  • I respectfully disagree. I think that if one truly deserves a big increase, then a company will consider giving one as mentioned in this example - workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/3844/…. This person got a 70% increase because he was greatly undervalued. So, I believe that it is still possible, provided one demonstrates value and is not easily replaceable. If not in 6 months, then maybe in 1 year I can see if I deserve to ask for a raise. – sid smith Jul 5 '14 at 20:43
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    @sid, the exception is not the rule. Good luck, but it is far more difficult to get an internal raise. – jmac Jul 6 '14 at 0:36
  • Yes, I understand that. But, there is no harm in trying when the conditions are right. The worst thing they could do is refuse. – sid smith Jul 7 '14 at 1:29
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Would it be okay to say/add that I just got a competing offer at 30? I am not being greedy. I just acted out of desperation and really undervalued myself due to my limited experience.

It’s not that you are being greedy. But you will sound flaky & possibly desperate. If you asked for $28,000, then that is what you have to deal with.

But if you truly did get a competing offer it is worth mentioning only if they get back to you and want to hire you.

Any contact you make now asking to pump the salary up to $30,000 will only make your chances worse at this stage. At this point your whole job should be to sit back, be cool & wait for a response. The waiting game sucks, but that is how this kind of stuff works.

Also, if you have competing offers & the other offers are truly better, then don’t sweat it. Take what works for you & move on.

  • No, I did not get a competing offer at 30. But, I was using that to save face in some way. Normally, people don't quote a rate and then call back an hour later to say they made a poor judgement. Looks real bad. I made a mistake that I regret. I am only trying to correct it. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some way to bring this up before then HR replies with the offer of $28 – sid smith Jul 1 '14 at 20:58
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Will the sky fall in if you take $28,000? $28,000 is not even guaranteed as HR stated that I would try for $28,000. You could try for $30,000 but asking and getting are two different things.

I’d say, take whatever HR comes back with but as you take the offer, ask for a salary review within 6 months. In other words, you missed this bus, you'll take the next one.

It’s not the end of the world.

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