I am in my mid 20s, working as web developer for one and half year now (junior getting into mid). At the moment I am working in a small agency, been here for 1 year and love the environment (not much the work). However I got an offer from a big corporation that I am very keen to accept as it would be a game changer in my career.

All perfect but...I was asked from the HR person what salary would I look for, at whom I answered a range of 33k-35k. This was not a casual number as it is what the person who contacted me first said it was going to be the maximum pay. He told me its a big step from my current one(25k) which I understand, but at the same time I feel underpaid now and I am not working in a big company (no much budget). Average salary in my city is 37k for my position. I would be keen to go down a bit but not too much (they are talking about offering me 28k).

I am a bit nervous about this as I suck in negotiating. I know this is a very good opportunity and it would be a great name on my resume, but at the same time I do not want to go down that much from my expectation as I know it would impact in the future payrise.

He gave me till Monday to think about this and told me that the offer will depend on what salary I will ask for (if its too much they will choose another person probably).

Suggestion/comments on how to handle this? P.S. I am originary from East Europe not UK, and a bit worried that this could be play a role in this negotiation as people here tend to pay foreigners less.

  • How big is big British telecom big or a small company with under 1000 employees and what city and what sort of development. also what other benefits are they offering e.g. do they offer a pension. – Pepone Jun 4 '15 at 19:54
  • 50k+ employees (telecommunication). City is London, expensive as hell and low salaries compared to cost of life. – Martinloc Jun 4 '15 at 20:33
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    They are talking about 28k. You want 33 - 35k. I think the right number is 30 - 31k after both parties compromise. If I were HR and I want to give you 30k, I would not say 30k first. I would say 28k and let you talk. Have you ever negotiated a deal before? – scaaahu Jun 5 '15 at 2:46
  • By average what do you mean? Average in your profession? But what about experience? What's the average salary of web developer with your experience? If it is really 37k then use that fact to negotiate. Your nationality should not matter if they don't need to sponsor your Visa. – Mobius Pizza Jun 6 '15 at 0:46

Your negotiating power depends on how realistic your alternatives are (BATNA). Do you want the job at any cost? Then you leave yourself no alternative, all you can do is accept their 28k. But are you happy to reject the offer if it's too low? Then you can safely hold out for a higher number.

So I recommend that you figure out a minimum salary you can accept and stick to it, and make it clear to them that you are not desperate: you're already happily employed and they need to pay you enough to lure you away. (For clarity, the minimum salary is not what you should ask for on Monday, it's your internal deal/no-deal decider when negotiating.) Last I checked, the market for good developers in London is pretty hot, and I suspect you're in a better position than you realize.

Last but not least, have you already told them how much you are making? If yes, then don't tell them next time.

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  • thanks a lot for this! In UK many of the big company ask you for your current salary and salary expectation during your online application, so you can not really avoid it. – Martinloc Jun 5 '15 at 7:17
  • This is always one of those catch 22's. If they're not going to check your tax records, just tell them whatever on your salary (next time, as stated). I've never had a job where I'm allowed to disclose my salary anyway. $25k to $30k is only a 20% increase. This does not seem ridiculous for junior level going to a new company (especially if you're expected to bring something to the table). $28k is a 12% increase. Not bad, but it's the bare minimum I'd expect when switching firms, and honestly, I'd have to be unhappy at my current place to take that. – kiss-o-matic Jun 5 '15 at 13:40

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