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I was recently offered a communications job for a state-wide health care services provider. The HR manager called me, offered me the job, and told me the hourly rate. I was in the car at the time so I asked her what the hourly rate would work out to over the course of the year. She did the calculations for me and it sounded good. She asked me if I wanted to move forward and I said yes (I'm not sure if this is considered formally accepting).

Then I got home and did the calculations myself based on the hourly rate and I realized that she had miscalculated by about 10%, meaning she had told me a yearly amount that was 10% higher than what the actual amount would work out to be.

This happened on a Friday. Am I able to go back on Monday and renegotiate the salary? I'd like to get something closer to the total yearly amount that she told me in the phone conversation. I'm worried though because I said I would move forward, she did give me the correct HOURLY amount, and the yearly amount was only given verbally, not in writing, so I'm not sure if there's a record of it.

How should I proceed?

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Ask if there is some kind of bonus program, because the stated yearly amount of x did not match the hourly amount.

You don't re-negotiate the salary, you clear up a confusion about the yearly salary. From there on you can open the discussion about the yearly salary. A good option between 'take or leave' is often to suggest an automatic raise after the first year. They get you for the amount they wanted and long-term you get what you wanted.

  • That is a great suggestion. Doesn't seem as accusatory as busting in there and screaming 'what is the deal here?'. Just get the conversation started, then maybe HR person will realize the errors in their calculation, and things will work themselves out. Maybe there is a bonus. Maybe they consider vacation days part of annual pay – Dan Shaffer Nov 23 '15 at 14:25
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It would probably be good to clarify this point. It may be that number is correct but the number of hours she expects of you is different from your expectation.

This is a conversation which you have to have before you can start. It is definitely an opportunity for negotiation, but you have to have this conversation.

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