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I'm a software engineer with 1 year of experience, in addition to about 5 years working in public affairs. I've been offered a job as an engineer with a company who had listed their salary range as 25-35K.

After an interview and a trial shift, they phoned to offer me the job with a salary of 31K. When asked how I felt about that number, I said "It's a little lower than I was anticipating - can I take the weekend to think about it?". They came back with a formal offer letter about 2 hours later laying out pension details, holiday (both of which are reasonable), salary review every 6 months, and a package of 33K.

My question is this: given they've already revised their offer once, would there be a chance they would rescind their offer if I asked for 35K?

Being so junior I appreciate that they really don't need to be paying me the top end of their bracket, and I don't want to be seen to be greedy or high maintenance - it's just that this really doesn't represent a significant uptick in salary for me, and I've been frustrated about leaving money on the table in past salary negotiations.

  • Thanks for all the great advice - I think it's always challenging to strike a balance between being assertive and knowing when it's not worth it - and when you're not very experienced it's hard to know where that line is. I've decided to accept the offer and will work hard for the raise in 6 months- thanks again! – Penrose865 Apr 16 '17 at 13:18
  • $25-$35k? Where do you live? Remote jobs pay more than that. – Jim G. Apr 16 '17 at 14:30
  • Would you be willing to provide education, location, and skill set? It could be low, or it could be just fine. If this is your only offer, I'd take it and reevaluate in 18 months or so. – Pete B. Apr 17 '17 at 15:37
  • I'm in the UK so this converts to about 30-45 USD. – Penrose865 Apr 17 '17 at 16:21
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You could but tread carefully.

They've already increased the offer once so they may think you're just trying to milk the job offer for as much as you can. It really depends on the person giving the offer as to whether they feel you've appropriately justified the salary or not. You may find that asking for even more might make them think twice.

Additionally they may want to check in with you and make sure you're really worth as much as you've asked for if you get hired with the higher salary range.

My personal opinion is that with 1 years experience, they might feel as if the higher range of the salary might be a bit too much and they may want to see you work first and prove yourself before reviewing pay. Pay ranges with a gap like that tend to be there to account for juniors (25k) and for seniors (35k) depending on who they get and who they want.

It's up to you anyway, I'd stick with what you have and then when you have a review and you've proven your worth, then ask.

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My question is this: given they've already revised their offer once, would there be a chance they would rescind their offer if I asked for 35K?

Yes, there's a chance.

You can play the "I'd like a little more" game as many times as you like. At some point the company will decide they don't want to play any longer.

Then the company will either decide to say "No. This is our final offer. Take it or leave it." or will decide that you are no longer worth playing with and move on to the next candidate.

The problem is that you may not be able to tell if you've reached the endpoint, nor what their next move will be. You've talked with them and worked with them - perhaps you have some sense of how badly they want you.

So you have to decide if this particular job is worth risking in order to get 2k more.

I like to go into negotiations knowing in my own mind what I would like, and what I'd be willing to settle for. Since you already told them that their original offer was "a little lower" than what you wanted, and since they sweetened their offer "a little", I suspect they are at or close to their limit.

In the past when I felt that the offer was close, that I still wanted the job, and that I was willing to take the risk of losing this offer, I would say something like "If you could make if 35k, I'd accept the offer right now."

So certainly there is a chance they would up their offer, and there is a chance they would not. You get to decide your personal risk tolerance.

  • Whilst asking for more is okay, you do need to be careful if you've already asked for more to begin with. – Daniel James Apr 16 '17 at 11:56
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If at any point in your discussions with them you have mentioned that your expected salary is 35 K, then I think it is okay to gently remind them if they can consider your original request.

If you have never mentioned that number before then I think however you put it, you may sound greedy about it.

In general I think countering the salary once during negotiations, which you have already done, is right but should not do it second time. (If you really care about the job).

Also, in my experience, in long term companies even out salaries as per their standards anyway. That is even if you are able to successfully negotiate now, if they eventually think that they got the bad end of the deal or other employees at your role and level are being paid lower than you, then your next increment can get effected. They will just average it out with time. So you may also want to decide based on how long you are planning to stay there.

  • While a high salary may be eroded over time by crappy raises, I have never seen the opposite and it's not really sensible to make a decision based on the presumption that that will happen. – Nathan Cooper Apr 16 '17 at 11:50
  • Agreed but in this case OP is expecting the highest end specified in the band. My answer is also based on the high salary and not on the opposite. – PagMax Apr 16 '17 at 11:55

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