I have joined a new job in US a week ago and as I look at the cost of living where I am employed now and the high deductible medical insurance, I think the salary I accepted is lower than my old job. It will become difficult to support a family. Can I ask for a better salary after a week joining, and whom should I contact, the team lead or HR?

I am concerned that if I ask for it they might think I am not reliable any more. Please let me know what you think.

  • 1
    Did the medical insurance deduction change after you accepted the job? – paparazzo Dec 3 '14 at 22:19
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    possible duplicate of How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid? – user8036 Dec 4 '14 at 10:20
  • I hate to say this, but you are stuck. They lowballed you and you bought it. You can bring it up with your boss or HR, but IMO and experience, you should look for another job and soon. If you find something and leave, you can bring up the low pay as the reason for leaving though. They may not like it, but they shouldn't have low balled you in the first place. – Bill Leeper Dec 4 '14 at 17:23
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    Lesson learned: Always ask for benefits costs, and perks when reviewing an offer. I have made strategic decisions to still take an offer with high benefits costs because the pay was good, but low pay and high costs are not good. – Bill Leeper Dec 4 '14 at 17:25
  • First look for another job and then bring it up with them . – cartina Dec 5 '14 at 12:41

No, typically you can't ask for a raise within a week. In fact, usually asking for a raise within the first several months is considered a no-no.

Generally, the only exceptions to that rule would be:

1) If you're promoted

  • Promotions typically come with increased compensation.

2) If you're given significantly increased responsibilities from when you first started

  • This can easily lead to the conversation of "with the new responsibility, does it make sense to adjust my compensation?"

3) If the job otherwise changes significantly (such as a 40-hours-per-week job becoming a 60-hours-per-week job, or changing from a day shift to a night shift)

  • Here I'm grouping lots of changes within the company where they may just expect you to understand "this is how things will be now", and not offer compensation as a result. You can still raise the point, but I would caution you not to expect a positive outcome.

4) If the company has a standard raise period (usually around the end of the year)

  • Some companies have rules about how long you've had to be with the company before you're included in the raise conversation; often if you've been there less than 3-6 months or so, you'll be excluded. You can ask, especially if you're just outside the window; depending on the company, the rules may be more or less strict.


None of these apply to you - you're essentially feeling "buyer's remorse" at having accepted a position that turns out not to be as great a deal as you originally thought. From the company's perspective, nothing has changed from last week to this week, so a discussion about "can I get an increase in pay" will seem to come from nowhere, and it's likely the company will both turn you down and gain a negative reputation of you as a result.


Can I ask for change of Salary after a week joining.

While you can ask, I cannot imagine any person reacting at all positively to that. The company made you the offer, you took your time, considered it and said "yes, that's fine.".

You knew where you'd be working... cost of living metrics are trivial to find these days. As an employer, if I didn't fire you on the spot, I would definitely be concerned about your ability to make good decisions.


Can I ask for change of Salary after a week joining.

You can always ask, just don't expect an increase. Although anything is possible. I'd be surprised if you get one.

Unfortunately, the time to negotiate salary is before accepting, not after joining. And certainly not 1 week after joining.

Next time, learn the cost of living in the area you wish to settle in, and factor that into your negotiations before accepting.

I am concern that if I ask for it then they should not think I am not reliable any more.

I'm not sure I'd use the word "reliable" here. But I could imagine your employer thinking that you might be inexperienced or just immature.


I don't think it will hurt you too badly to ask. But checking whether the salary would be adequate for your needs before agreeing upon it was your responsibility, not theirs, so asking is somewhat unlikely to help you. At this point it's almost as cheap for them to say "if you don't want the job, we'll replace you with the next-best candidate."

You will probably have to either live with it and hope for a raise during the next review cycle, or agree with the company that you shouldn't have signed on with them and go back to job hunting.


Just be frank about it and tell them what you just told us: you underestimated your cost of living and would like to be paid X dollars more. A few caveats though:

(1) Make sure it is within their capacity to pay and is comparable to your peers; if you ask for more than your peers are making it may be declined

(2) If it does get declined, they may think of you as an "unhappy" employee and it will put you at the top of the list when layoff time comes

(3) Be very specific about what you want, an exact amount. Do not just say "I want more". You need to say EXACTLY how much more you want and why.

As long as your demand seems reasonable and you are otherwise a good employee they will grant it without too much issue.

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