First of all I tried my best to make title as informative as possible. But I think it still need some change

So my current situation is, I am doing my last internship at a startup. They like my work and they want to hire me for a permanent position. I am also planning of getting a permanent position as soon I finish the internship. But the problem is I have not decided yet. Right now I am interviewing at other startups secretly.

One important problem with current employer is the salary they are offering for permanent position is below market rate for my skills level. They currently think I am not interviewing anywhere, so this give them a slight incentive to underpay me. I am planning of telling them that I am interviewing at some other places too (only just this, not details) and use this to get a better offer from them.

I've not decided anything so maybe I end up joining some other place while rejecting a better offer from them, or maybe I just end up staying here while getting a better offer.


Telling them you're interviewing elsewhere will send a strong message that you're not loyal to them.

People in startups often work long hours for below market-level wages because they believe in the company, and simply wish to see it succeed. They are often promised some sort of monetary reward when the company finally "makes it".

And so, by stating that you're shopping around for new employment but might consider staying for more money, your employer might conclude that you're very likely to jump ship the second you get a better offer, and are unreliable.

If I were you, I would ask your boss for a better offer based purely on your skills, and what you have to offer the company:

Hi boss, I was hoping to discuss the offer with you. I am very glad that you guys are willing to keep me on full time, I really enjoy working here. However, I was hoping that the salary would be a little higher. (take it from there).

This way, if they offer you more, you know it's because they value you, not because they simply need you in the short term (and might fire you later, when you're less crucial to their immediate needs ...).

If you do get a better offer from another company, again, I wouldn't intentionally use it to twist your boss's arm. Respectfully inform management that you have a better offer, and hand in your notice. If they really want to keep you they might make you a counter-offer, and then you can decide what to do (read up more on accepting counter-offers, and the dangers of doing so). Otherwise, don't mention that you're "shopping around" for a new job.

  • Honestly I don't understand the concept of loyality. Aren't we all just doing business? Since I am not very experienced professionally, maybe I just don't understand these terms. Also just in case there was confusion, I was hired for a short term internship with no promise from either side about future. Also I plan to stay till the end of internship and then I will join somewhere. But I completely agree with you. I didn't realize what I am trying to do is basically get a counter offer. I have heard enough disadvantages of it so I will be sure to avoid it. – VarunAgw Dec 20 '16 at 21:16
  • @VarunAgw You're not negotiating a counter offer at this point. Having multiple options allows you to negotiate from a position of strength, since you have a fallback, even if your current company doesn't know that. – mcknz Dec 20 '16 at 21:56
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    @VarunAgw Also, loyalty as mentioned here is how you appear to your employer, and doesn't really mean who you are loyal to. You want to emphasize how much you like the company and the role, since that's what the employer is interested in. – mcknz Dec 20 '16 at 21:59

Can I talk about permanent job interviews to my current employer I am interning at

Of course you can - you can talk about anything. Now, you need to decide if that's a good approach or not.

It's not clear why this company thinks you aren't interviewing elsewhere. For me, that's the default assumption for any intern. But either way, if you think telling them that you are indeed interviewing elsewhere would light a fire and convince them to offer you more, then you should consider doing so.

However, if you think the company was trying to pay you less, and you can motivate them to pay you more, then that tells you something about this company (or it tells you that you aren't valuing the marketability of your skills properly).

Your first goal should be to decide what you want out of your next job, both task-wise and salary-wise. Then you should go out and find out what you can really command in the market by getting some firm offers. You may then decide to give your current company another try, if their job is appealing but their offer is not. Or you may find that your current company's offer is actually reasonable based on what offers you can or can't get in the market.

Based on what you wrote in your question it sounds like you really haven't figured out what you want.

First, do some serious introspection and think it through completely. Then decide what you really want. Then act.


The only way you will get an increased offer is when they offer you the role and you say no, as I have a better offer. Without a firm offer, the fact you are looking doesn't mean anything, and telling them this won't make them up their offer.

Don't focus on the cash just now. Get a good job where you can progress, the cash sorts itself out later down the line. But if you go purely for cash and get a couple of crappy roles where you don't progress, that will hurt your pocket a lot more than an underpaid first job.

There's no harm in asking for a better offer though. As long as you aren't appearing greedy, it won't be taken badly.

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