A little background:

This company brought me in as a Test Engineer Intern back in January of 2015. I worked for them as an intern through graduation which was in May 2016. In July 2016, I was offered a contractor position for $65,000 annualized which I accepted.

Around December, I was moved to a new team and am now essentially a software developer. Throughout my contract I've had many meetings where the Director/Managers have indicated that I'm doing fantastic work, they love my work ethic, etc. and they have all intentions of bringing me in as an employee, as soon as they get the headcount.

They've now offered to hire me as an employee of the company, that offer includes:

  • $67,500 salary
  • 3 weeks paid vacation
  • Great benefits (dental, vision, health)

I was looking at salary ranges of this particular position in my area as well as at the company:

Company: Range: $68,455 - $86,970. Base: $76,137 (source: Glassdoor)

Area: Average: $69,958 (source: Glassdoor)

I have a family to take care of (wife, 1 child, 1 on the way) so the benefits are huge as well as the vacation. But I can't help but feel that the salary is lacking. I would like to counter with a salary of $72,000 based on the numbers I've researched. This is my first professional job out of college, and I've been working for them for just under 3 years now, so they know me and my work ethic.

I have a feeling that they'll agree, but what I don't want to do is come across as ungrateful or that I'll be some disgruntled angry employee if they're not able to match my offer. I truly love the work I'm doing and I make every one aware of that at my monthly meetings with my manager. I don't want to jeopardize a good thing!

For any employers that have made offers and have had employees come back with a counter, how did that make you view that employee going forward?

  • 1
    When judging this offer, keep in mind that independent contractors usually get paid more than regular employees, because contractors usually have less legal protection and less benefits. So if you want to be a regular employee and get more money, you need to justify why you are worth more now than you were when you were hired as contractor. – Philipp May 16 '17 at 13:23
  • We can not tell you what to do. You have already figured out all the things we can suggest so this question is not really suitable for this site. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 16 '17 at 15:03
  • Unless you already have benefits and vacation as a contractor, this offer is actually a huge upgrade in total compensation. Make sure you are evaluating the whole package. – cdkMoose May 16 '17 at 16:43
  • "Range: $68,455 - $86,970. Base: $76,137" this seems off, how is the base higher than the lowest value in the range. Should that be median? – cdkMoose May 16 '17 at 16:44
up vote 13 down vote accepted

For any employers that have made offers and have had employees come back with a counter, how did that make you view that employee going forward?

I was a hiring manager for many years, made many offers and received many counter offers.

Unless I felt that the potential employee had unrealistic expectations or an overly-lofty opinion of themselves, I always felt that negotiation was just a normal part of doing business.

I doubt that your counter-offer would come across as ungrateful or disgruntled. Saying something like "I have really enjoyed working here for the past 3 years and I really appreciate your offer, but it's lower than I had expected. I was thinking $72,000 would be right." wouldn't seem out of line.

Be prepared with how you will respond if they say "No. $67,500 is our best offer." or "The best we can do is [something between $67,500 and $72,000]". What could make you come across poorly would be an endless series of back and forth offers.

Go into the discussion knowing what you need and what you would like. Also consider what are your alternatives if this negotiation falls apart. Then you can negotiate wisely.

  • 2
    'What could make you come across poorly would be an endless series of back and forth offers.', yes, if you know your worth, back yourself confidently, don't do an auction. – Kilisi May 16 '17 at 12:28
  • 4
    I appreciate your input. Just wanted to report back to let you know that they met me in the middle at $70,000 and I happily accepted. Cheers! – user70142 May 16 '17 at 18:04

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.