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I have about 10 years of experience working in the marketing/communications agency world. I make roughly around $82,000/yr living in California SF Bay Area. About a month ago I was let go. I definitely need to begin working again soon.

I've been offered a job at $68,000/yr. The role is more of a mid-level role 4-6 yrs of experience when usually I'm considered more of senior level with my experience. They do offer very good medical benefits probably worth about 7K a year as well as PTO, etc.

I've asked the hiring manager if there's any room to increase the salary to $75K but he said 68K is the most they can do. It is an up and coming agency, fairly new. They began in 2012 and have about 14 people on staff with about 10 contractors.

I'm unsure what to do. I need a job but it is way lower than what I'm used to with my experience level.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Example:

---Could I ask for a review after 6 months to renegotiate the salary? Although even then I doubt they would raise it anywhere near another 12K.

---Do I take it and in the meantime wait until something better comes along? Thanks for the feedback!

closed as off-topic by keshlam, Jim G., Justin Cave, gnat, Jan Doggen Nov 20 '14 at 8:59

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  • Can you live on $68k per year in San Francisco? – Jim G. Nov 19 '14 at 23:29
  • @JimG. Yes I can. – Zoey Nov 19 '14 at 23:34
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My suggestion would be to take it though you may want to consider if the company would give you stock options or some other long-term incentive to stay with the company assuming that you can live on $68K salary which would be my main factor. Since the company is so young, you could also try to position this as a case where as the business does better, you may get more of a boost as you recognize the company may not be in a position to pay out bigger salaries at the moment.

Performance bonuses may be something else to explore here so that you can say, "If I do X% better, then the company would give me a bonus of $Y for doing such a great job," as that would be how I'd infer the thought you have of, "Well, I am worth more than what you are paying me," where I could question if the company has the money to spare to pay you so much at this point for the counter-argument to consider.


Most permanent positions I've seen in Canada and US over the years I've been employed had a probation period initially, so the key is to have them put in something in the performance review that could have an incentive bonus as the idea here is to demonstrate that you will bring extra value and thus the payoff in the end will be worthwhile. If your position were more tied to sales this would be similar to putting in a commission on the job in a sense. If the company is super small, then there likely isn't to be a big HR department and so the key is finding a way to have good relations with the upper management and show them why doing periodic reviews could be useful as well as providing incentives to employees in a sense. At least that would be my initial thought.

  • Thank you - Good points. I'm wondering how would I go about putting some type of performance bonus in the offer they give me? – Zoey Nov 19 '14 at 23:23
  • I can live on 68K, and I'd rather really like the company that I work for and the people that I work with versus it being only about the compensation. I have found that unless something is in writing that companies will put off reviews, bonuses, etc...wondering if there's any way to get a commitment. – Zoey Nov 19 '14 at 23:30
  • Okay this helps - I have a good idea on how to approach it now. Thank you! – Zoey Nov 19 '14 at 23:44
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    If you ask for a performance bonus or salary review after X months as part of the hiring process and they agree, then make sure it is in the offer letter in writing. – HLGEM Nov 20 '14 at 20:10

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