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I applied for a position at an institution that's basically the same as the one I currently hold at my job now and they offered me the job today.

They low balled me and then when I said I'd need the weekend to consider they called me back and just matched what I was currently making instead of offering me more.

At the initial point in time when I applied I was confident that I would take the position anyway for the same amount of money just because it has some slight perks but I was really sure that I would get offered 50k, which is the top of the range for the position. I currently earn 48k and was offered 45k.

I was a little surprised to have been offered less than what I currently make because my would-be supervisor was telling me she would need to contact my current boss to get some general information like my current salary so HR could offer something competitive.

And now, I think since I was expecting to get offered 50k so confidently (I mean hell it's only 2k more than what I currently make, surely HR departments base their salaries on what someone currently makes?) that it hurt my ego a bit and now im not as sure about taking the job, even though, it has some other incentives.

For example they go to a 4 day work week for around 3 months out of the year, during the summer. And i'd have my own office finally. And my boss would actually be someone who values my opinions and inputs instead of brushing me off because I am young.

And the last benefit I was considering isn't really a guarantee but there's the possibility of actually getting to work more closely with the IT department at the new employer, and helping them or even doing side projects with them, to get me actual experience for a "real" IT job. But that's just what they said when i interviewed, it could turn out to be quite the opposite.

Time is not exactly on either side for the employer or for me. Since they waited until the last minute to do everything I have until 9 AM tomorrow to have a decision because the position needs to be put to the board(it's a community college)so they can approve it and they don't meet but maybe 4 times a year.

I was hoping to use this to my advantage. My would-be boss is someone that I very lightly know from a past conference and because she participates in a listserv that I'm a member of. I was thinking of calling her and telling her that HR is pushing a hard bargain and that, while I would really like to work for her, I really need a slightly higher monetary incentive to justify the switch.

I'm just not really sure what the best way to approach this whole ordeal is because I am inexperienced with salary negotiations as I have only had 2 professional jobs so far(I am 24). I would like to work at the job I have applied for but it is hard to justify the lateral move in my mind because I expected to be more appropriately compensated for my experience since they really need someone(literally the HR person who called me today said that they called with the "counter" because "Well, we need you. ".

The other issue with this is if I ask my would-be boss to "bat for me", and, she is declined, and I decline the position, I end back up in an awkward position with my current supervisor who was in contact with this other employer as aforementioned. The other week my boss told me about how if my job description changed drastically because I took on more responsibilities that she could go ask for more money for me. Well, usually my boss is just blowing smoke out her ass so I place too high of a value on that statement. I mean, it's a nice gesture, but, those aren't the things you plan on in life, you know? You don't make plans around empty promises people make. So I'm afraid that if I don't get the salary I want, and I decline the job, that my boss will be cold towards me.

Thank you for any insight you can offer.

closed as unclear what you're asking by The Wandering Dev Manager, scaaahu, Telastyn, gnat, Masked Man Sep 11 '15 at 16:39

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  • What specific question are you asking? An unfocused "what should I do" is out of scope. – keshlam Sep 11 '15 at 2:04
  • How to respond to their lowball to get the money I deserve OR if I the benefits a worth leaving a job for another one where I'll earn the same salary. I guess. – anonemployee Sep 11 '15 at 2:21
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    Do you want to move to them for the money they're offering? It's a fairly easy question. Work isn't a competition, it's a balancing act between work environment, personal life, professional enjoyment, and money. Community colleges have tighter budgets than private companies – Jon Story Sep 11 '15 at 3:21
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    You need to add it up, it's never just about the bottom line. How much is an extra 12 days leave worth? How much is an office worth? How much is the IT experience you hope to get worth in the long term? – The Wandering Dev Manager Sep 11 '15 at 12:50
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    Don't take it so personally that they gave you a lower number than expected. It isn't meant as a reflection of how good they think you are but more as a reflection of how much money they have. – HLGEM Sep 11 '15 at 13:42
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...but I was really sure that I would get offered 50k, which is the top of the range for the position. I currently earn 48k and was offered 45k.

I was a little surprised to have been offered less than what I currently make because my would-be supervisor was telling me she would need to contact my current boss to get some general information like my current salary so HR could offer something competitive.

And now, I think since I was expecting to get offered 50k so confidently (I mean hell it's only 2k more than what I currently make, surely HR departments base their salaries on what someone currently makes?) that it hurt my ego a bit and now im not as sure about taking the job, even though, it has some other incentives.

Your error was applying for a position with a top of the range of 50K, and expecting that you would get the top of the range. In fact even expecting to make your current salary of 48K was also a mistake.

The biggest issue for them is they have a range of salaries they will pay somebody to do that function. Once a person reaches the top of that range their ability to be given a raise disappears unless they can be promoted into another position. In this environment they also have a maximum they will offer a new employee to do that job. They don't want to start them at the top of the range because that limits their raises to only those that correspond with the movement of the range.

As for checking with your current company. Not all companies provide current salary information unless it is so you can get a loan. They will generally only confirm dates of employment. But if they did get current salary information, they may have been concerned that your salary needs would price you out of the open position.

You have to decide if the benefits are enough to make the position worthwhile, even though there is little or no room for salary growth.

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The question is - are the extra perks worth the cut in pay? Yes, ideally we'd all like to move for more money but if you've had enough of your current job and the new one seems better then the extra money might not matter so much.

Consider also that the salary bracket is there to attract applicants. I've heard of many people who went for interviews only to be told the top end salary was several thousand less than that advertised.

If it really bothers you, ask for more - or build something in whereby the salary is reviewed at a certain point in time in the future.

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The answer is pretty simple, and it depends on whether you are OK with risking not getting the new job at all or not.

You contact them and say "I don't feel like I can take a job that is a cut in salary. I am excited about this new opportunity, but given that I am making $48k right now, I would need a salary of $50k to make the change."

This is a completely reasonable request. Now, they may say "no sorry $45k is all we can do, take it or leave it" (semi likely) or "never mind, now we hate you and rescind the offer" (very unlikely but possible), or probably they'll come back with a counteroffer of $48k or something.

Salary isn't everything, and you need to guide your career based on the whole package, but changing jobs to less money is generally understood in the HR world to be a non-starter. Of course, not every HR person pays a lot of attention to their job, so they may not have known/remembered what you're making now, or they may be saving a lot of money every year on lowballing techies who are too much like Marty McFly to "dare ask" for a higher offer.

As a hiring manager, sometimes you have to give lower offers than you'd like because of money pressure, and sometimes you need the leverage internally that "hey we have a great candidate and he's willing to accept but he needs more than this $45k..." Everyone has someone above them trying to squeeze money and that kind of lowballing may be a deliberate tactic. By pushing back you might be helping someone justify giving you more themselves.

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