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First off, I've read a number of related topics, but I'm hoping asking for case-specific advice isn't considered off-topic here.

I'm interning as a junior developer at a software development and consulting company. The internship payment is rather standard (compared to alternative offers) and I'm happy with the terms. However, the internship is due to end in the near future and I believe both me and my employer are looking forward to continuing working together. Therefore, I can assume to hold salary negotiations sometime in the future.

On one hand:

  • I'm very interested in staying (the collective is very open, friendly etc.) and I think the employer is aware of this
  • I have little work experience (~ 2 years)

On the other:

  • I'm currently the only expert on my specific field in the team that I work in
  • The company has invested considerable amount of time into me (courses to get up-to-speed with the specific software they use etc.)
  • (Personally I believe) I perform well (meeting deadlines, good communication etc.)
  • The work is considerably more complex than I assumed it to be when I applied, but I've risen to the task (see above)

I've never negotiated a salary for a long-term position before, so I'd like to ask: what's a good manner to approach these negotiations?

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Start interviewing at other companies so you can get a feel for the going rate and get some practice negotiating. If you really want this job and a good salary, don't make it your first.

If you don't get the salary you want, ask why. Ask what you can do to get to that level. Unfortunately, they may just say you have to wait x number of years.

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Aim high. As an intern already working there, you've actually got pretty good leverage here:

  • You're a known quantity to the company, and thus much safer than hiring a random person based on an interview or two.
  • It's much easier for the company to hire you, even if it costs a bit more, than to restart hiring from zero, pay recruiters, use up staff time for interviews, etc.

All that said, you are most likely still replaceable, so don't go completely overboard. To set a target, I would ignore your intern pay completely and aim for the higher end of the junior developer range in your market.

As for the actual negotiation, there's reams written on this topic, including lots on this very site. Personally, I like the Kalzumeus guide.

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Most important part of salary negotiation is being prepared to walk away if the offer is too low. I have done this before , had a job offer and then we start discussing $$$ told them my bottom line , the highest they could go was below that without "authorisation". I suggest that they attempt to get it , because unless they could offer that minimum both of our times were being wasted they were not able to or they found a candidate who could survive on that lower rate .

If they know you have no other options then they can low-ball you knowing that you will most likely accept.

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