In the next week or so I'll be having a meeting with my manager to discuss the promotion I recently got. I'm taking over the role of a work-mate who is currently serving his notice period. I know how much he got paid and I also know that the offer I'm going to get will be slightly less.

How do I properly/ethically say "I know (Joe Bloggs) got £xx,xxx a year, can you match that for me?"

I work for a large company with a huge budget, so that's not a problem.

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    "I work for a large company with a huge budget, so that's not a problem." Maybe you should clarify this? I don't even think you're using the word "budget" right. They probably have a very tiny budget for you, so that is a problem.
    – user42272
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:11
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    If anything, you should be aiming to get the salary Joe Bloggs got on day 1 of his promotion to his current position, not the salary he is on after having gained x years experience in the position.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 22:50
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    @Scott Corrected for inflation.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:41
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    " I also know that the offer I'm going to get will be slightly less." - I would be snapping their hand off to shake on the deal then. Usually you would get significantly less as you don't have that experience yet
    – Matt Wilko
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:51
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    If Joe Bloggs received a salary less than your last, would you take a pay cut? No - you'd say that your rate is your rate, and that it's not your problem if the market has changed to give you more leverage - that's how capitalism works. So why wouldn't you accept the same proposition in reverse? Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 10:24

5 Answers 5


How do I properly/ethically say "I know (Joe Bloggs) got £xx,xxx a year, can you match that for me?"

Talk about what salary you feel you deserve and the value you bring to the company. Don't talk about what someone else made or makes - it's not relevant.

Would you take less if Joe Bloggs was making less than you? No, of course you wouldn't.

While in some domains, a specific number is assigned to a specific role, for the most part companies typically assign a salary range to a particular role. It's very common for folks promoted into a role to enter on the low end of that range.

You have 0 months experience in this new role. Most likely Joe Bloggs had more. It wouldn't be unusual if Joe Bloggs got raises during the time he held this role.

Concentrate on you, not others.

  • 17
    the salary you make should be based on objective facts, like your experience and the value of your work to the company, not your negotiating skills. (unless you work as a negotiator...) Facts like the salary the company pays for similar positions, or for similar expectations is relevant.
    – njzk2
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:51
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    Ontop of this 100% accurate answer, keep in mind that Joe Bloggs' increased salary may have contributed to his firing Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 1:35
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    @DavidGrinberg Firing? Serving his notice period in the US usually doesn't mean they've been fired. It usually means they've found another position, job, company they're moving to, or retiring, etc....
    – Booga Roo
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:34
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    Market is relevant. You vs Joe Bloggs is market. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 8:42
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    @njzk2 - While Joe gave you some affirmation with his "perhaps that's as it should be" comment. I think he was way to generous. I think your view is a surefire way to achieve mediocrity among the employees. When you come up with the objective formula for how much value a person brings to a company then you'll probably win a Nobel Prize. Until then the best that can be done is setting your own value and convincing companies that you are worth what you are asking. Either they perceive you to be worth it or not. What someone else makes has no relevance. No 2 people are the same or even similar.
    – Dunk
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 22:03

You don't. What Joe Bloggs makes is no one's business but Joe's, and perhaps the guy who signs his cheques. You're also assuming old Joe makes more than you, which might not be the case.

What you should do instead is research the average income for your new role and responsibilities, so say instead:

The average income of a Foo Engineer in the general area is £x, given my experience in the company / expertise with the product / sunny disposition I'd like to see a figure of £x + y.

The only problem is, in a salary negotiation the one who names a figure first loses. The best tactic is to ask management how much they think you're worth.

So then, new job, new responsibilities, should I expect a salary increase to match?

If they respond with a figure below the market average you've already researched, you can use that as a lever instead. If their figure is too low then maybe you should start drafting your notice letter as well.

Good luck

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    +1 for the first two paragraphs, -1 for the third. That myth is an utter falsehood and hurts more than it helps.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 18:01
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    At this point we may just want to create a new question about that old classic because I see it come up at least once a week. As mentioned here (external) there is some value to that advice but a plain "first to give a number loses" is so black-and-white that it's silly.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 18:22
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    Furthermore what does average even mean? By city, years of experience, company? That company with that many years of experience? Java, C++, Ruby on Rails, full stack? Masters or bachelors? Ivy or community college? What hired.com says? What other people in your graduating class made? Be prepared to see statistics for what "average" is that you don't like. They will have data, you will not be able to argue against it because it will be correct. You just won't like it. (This happened to me in a negotiation once. We correctly refused to even read the report.)
    – user42272
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:25
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    I strongly disagree. What that other person made is relevant to the value the company place in the job being asked in this position.
    – njzk2
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:49
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    @njzk2 I don't think that's always entirely correct. Sometimes, the other person might be what the company was valuing so high - not necessarily the position. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:00

Some questions to ask to yourself

  1. Do you have the same education as Joe

  2. Do you have the same work experience as Joe

  3. Do you think that you will perform at this job position the same as Joe, or even better

  4. Has Joe earned this salary from day one

You have to compare same situations and don't get greedy. You don't have to mention Joe's salary. What I would do is I would allow some room for negotiation but not immediately, in like 3-6 months. You can ask your boss during the meeting, that you know that it will be your first time for this assignment but you are definitely sure that you can deliver even better results and if that's the case ask if they will be willing to renegotiate salary in 3-6 months.

  • It's the other way around. You are taking Joe's responsibility because they want it that way. They already think you can do as good or better. Regardless of education and such. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 16:58

I would consider it improper for you to know what "Old Joe" made, and therefore I would not reveal any such knowledge.

You received a promotion (congratulations ...!) and you are there to discuss an offer. Do you consider this compensation to be fair and appropriate ("nevermind old Joe ...") for you?

Effectively, the company is "buying a product," namely, "your professional services." Are they offering to pay an agreeable price? If you seriously believe that they are offering less money than you would or should accept, then you should be prepared to present counter-arguments at the negotiating table ... "nevermind "Old Joe!"   Joe's not the one who's negotiating, and he's not the one who's going to get the money ... you are.


The discussion could go roughly as follows. First, you state that you expect (suspect, know for sure) that Joe Bloggs was making more money than are being offered to you. Second, you compare the value you would be producing for the company on your new position as compared to the value produced by Joe Bloggs. This is where things get tricky.

If Joe Bloggs is moving to greener pastures (or higher up etc.), he might be worth even more than he was paid, and might have been producing that much of value. So, you (a) propose some tangible performance goals that might be a bit less than Joe Bloggs' real achievements, but are in line with the salary he had. And then (b) try to meet or exceed them.

Your position is strenghtened by the fact that they could not keep Joe Bloggs on this position for these money, so you don't have to be as good as him to be worth that much.

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    -1 because you are not talking about you, but talking about some ex-employee Joe and makes you seem entitled. The best way to get what you want is talk about you. How would you like if you were being paid less because that's what Joe was being paid? Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 7:58
  • @BurhanKhalid If he was paid less and left, and I would be as good as him, I'd follow suit unless I would be paid more. It's the market. I do not understand how you read "entitled" into my answer. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 8:40

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