Let's say they offered me a 20% pay rise - as an employee with a one year experience I would make a little more than an almost complete beginner (or I think so - but this is what comes to my mind after reading their job posts) in a different company. Moreover, the position they are offering is something like an internship or transitional period - after some short period (5 months) you get a promotion and your salary doubles.

Now, the question is - is it advisable to use this offer as an example during negotiations? I know that the skill set they want is somewhat different (different frameworks, same programming language) than the one I use in my company but I'm also pretty sure I would get hired if I applied for this 'internship' job.

  • 1
    It is not an offer until you have the offer. Why bluff? Have the offer or not.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 22:20
  • I would treat it as an evidence of being uderpaid, not as the offer.
    – lambda
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 22:32
  • It is not evidence of being underpaid until you actually have the offer. Then take that risk. Look X pays more is not X will pay ME more. Be prepared for then fine then take that (not really an offer) job. In poker until you actually have the hand it is a bluff.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


You: "I feel like I deserve a better raise because company X (presumably in the same industry) offers better raises."

Boss: "Well, why don't you go work for that company?"

Obviously different companies have different methods of determining raises (which are usually linked to the annual performance review), but the bottom line is that rarely does 1 company make for an industry standard, and most companies will only give raises that are attuned to what the industry standard says they need to give to retain employees.

On top of that, if you're comparing your company with that of company X, you either are threatening to leave because you have a job offer, or you're bluffing. It's not hard for the employer to see through, and typically doesn't make for a good employer/employee relationship.

Your better bet is to emphasize your job performance and qualities during negotiations, and only if you feel that you're being seriously underpaid (enough to where it's a major job issue) to consider changing companies.

Lastly, what industry are you in that gives out 20% raises? Sign me up! (In all seriousness, try thinking more in line with a 2-5% raise, again based on job performance.)

  • Mhm... seems legit. I create buttons and other funny things so people can click on it and something happens in their browsers.
    – lambda
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 22:45
  • Really you think sabotaging app is way to advance? Please vote down the OP - not the answer.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 23:29
  • lambda: most folks in IT just create stuff that makes pixels on a screen change colors from time to time. Zoom out a bit and look at the big picture ;-) xkcd.com/722
    – Konerak
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 8:11

The other job offer gives you two things:

  1. Information about the current job market (although not complete), so you can feel fairly comfortable when asking for more money. Making a ridiculous counter-offer is a sure way to kill a negotiation.
  2. It makes it easier to say, "No". Which is always helpful in a negotiation.

Don't disclose the other offer at this time. Use the information to determine what you're worth.

If you end up turning down their offer and they ask you why, you can say you have a better offer. They may counter-offer. You have to decide if you want to work for a company that tried as hard as they could to low-ball your salary and only offer a competitive one after they find out you have another. That's up to you.

  • I think you're assuming that he has an offer from the other company, when he doesn't; he just wants to use the other company's pay structure to show that he should get a better raise from his current company.
    – panoptical
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 0:34
  • @panoptical - You're right, about that in this case. I think there is some merit to knowing your skills are marketable and there are potential opportunities. A solid offer would put the OP in an even better position.
    – user8365
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 14:58

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