I really need your advice on salary negotiation I am currently facing. Here’s how the thing went so far (long story, sorry about that)

I applied the job on early Sep for the position of product manager in an industry where I have never worked for. I have 6 years transferable work experiences but the job may not perfectly fit to my qualifications and experiences.

Luckily, I got a job offer after whole interview process, and I was very happy since the company is globally well-known company originated from my country and the office is located in other country where I wanted to work in some day for global experiences.

But, what they offered was lower than I expected, it was $43K. When I submitted my resume, and when I was asked to fill up another application form after 1st interview, I clearly stated the salary expectation was $70K. I know $70K was unrealistic since I am currently earning $45K, but I expected there would be negotiation part if they would make an actual job offer.

Job offer was made on 6th Oct, and I countered with $60K on the same day with the reasons based on my experiences, qualifications, and potential contributions on the company. (Average salary or other researches were not helpful since there is a huge difference between local employees and employees hired and sent from my country).

Within 3 hours, HR person (she is not hiring manager, but she has been the contact point ever since the interview process) replied that what they offered was the most they could offer based on standard of living in the county and additionally stated that similar offer was made to current employees who had similar backgrounds (I felt that they did not really make a serious discussion on the matter). And she tried to push me make a decision by next morning.

Next morning (7th, Oct), after careful consideration overnight, I sent back my reply with additional reasons why their offer was not still reasonable. I calculated the current VS future disposable income objectively (since HR person mentioned “standard of living”). I also found the job posting they made in 2009 and their salary range was $42K ~ $48K, 7 Years Ago! Again, they offered me $43K, so I thought there offer was unreasonable.

After that, I got no response until 10th Oct, so I made a call at late time to ask if they properly received my email. HR person said that they tried to make further discussion with people in charge. No response after that, so I again sent a follow-up email today (13th, Oct) how much I am interested in working for them and when could I hear back by. Within 15 min, I got reply saying that they are still in the midst of discussion with management and they shall be able to get back to me by next week only.

In my thought, there are many possibilities from the best case, they are really trying to find more money or they are waiting to get approval from someone in charge, to the worst case, they are contacting the second or third ideal candidates or interviewing other potential candidates. Anyway what I would like to know is if my approach to negotiation was logical and if there is real possibility that they are getting back to me with higher offer.

In my country, employees do not try to negotiate for higher salary in most cases, and this was my first trial to make a salary negotiation. And honestly, I am now desperate for the position since I strongly believe this is rare opportunity for me to get chances of working abroad in good company. So please give me an advice, Thanks.

  • 2
    What is your real question? If we can read the mind of the HR rep or the company decision-makers?
    – Mindwin
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:43
  • Are you really weighing everything that comes with this position? Pension fund? Worker benefits? What are the perks that do not translate directly into salary? What is the country?
    – Mindwin
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:44
  • What I was really curious is that my way of negotiation was reasonable since lack of experience and getting $17K higher is realistic. And for other packages, their offer package was also less attractive than I get currently. For example, they do not support any kid's tuition fee which I currently get half supported until university. And the country I currently live in is South Korea, and they are in Malaysia.
    – David Lee
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:50
  • You currently earn 45k. The job may not perfectly fit to your qualifications and experiences. You asked 70k for the new job. I admire your courage. And you asked us if it's reasonable? From 45 to 70? My answer is no. The global economics is going down right now. What you're asking makes no sense. What's considered okay in S. Korea may be thought high already in Malaysia. In other words, I think the deal you got is fair, based on the info you give so far.
    – Nobody
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:58
  • 1
    You countered with 40% more than the offer? So you think the offer is unreasonable. They know their market a lot better than you and have told you $43 twice. I am surprised they are still talking to you.
    – paparazzo
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


This part makes me think no:

I applied the job on early Sep for the position of product manager in an industry where I have never worked for. I have 6 years transferable work experiences but the job may not perfectly fit to my qualifications and experiences.

A line manager usually needs to know both their product and the market quite well. You know neither so will require quite some time to get up to speed. They obviously believe you are eventually fit for the job, but they take a risk and also take the hit of employing somebody that will be relatively 'useless' for a while.

So unless you know their offer is completely unacceptable (e.g. you can't live from it), it's impossible for them to find another candidate or you are a natural that will be worked in in a few weeks: no, it's not reasonable to keep asking for an increase. You tried, they refused, either accept the offer or move on.

  • Okay, I agree with you. And at this point, I am worried if they pull their offer since I tried to negotiate. The process was pretty fast in my thought, I don't know why they would need 2 weeks to consider my counter offer.
    – David Lee
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:09
  • They are probably talking to pick #2.
    – Nelson
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:15
  • Yeah, probably. But I think as I made it complicated, I cannot even accept their original offer before they get back to me next week.
    – David Lee
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:21
  • Yes you can. Talk to them, say you accept their first offer, and that you would be delighted to start ASAP. If the negotiation you started gets raised, depending on the circumstance, say you have decided that there is a great future for you at the company and that your starting salary is no longer a key factor in your consideration. Put in some praise about you have read some reviews or something that has impressed you even further since your interview and that you are now tremendously excited to be joining them. It is never too late and the first offer has not been rescinded so is still good
    – PaulD
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:59
  • 1
    I suspect they are taking long time to consider your counter offer because it needs agreement from several different managers in different areas and they need to get together and argue about it. If everyone agrees but one manager there will then be a protracted period of internal discussion before they can get back to you. My reading of the situation is that they will either offer you more money or not increase their offer. I'd be very surprised if they withdraw their offer. Oct 13, 2016 at 20:19

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