I am getting a job offer imminently. How I can negotiate salary when I’ve already given them a minimum? (I know, I know I’m not supposed to do that, but the job ad asked for it with my initial application!) I did some research, and I think the minimum salary I gave them was too low. I suggested 10% more than I was making at my old job, and seemed amazing until I found out more about the position. The title sounds lower level than my old job, but at this company, which is global and much larger than my old company, the position has a lot of responsibility, need for insight, and 10-hour days are not uncommon there. All that makes me think I should have gone higher. What can I do now? Is it too late?

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2 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    First of all, when confronted with an application that asks for your desired salary, you should write: Open. This means you will negotiate when they are ready. It’s a way to get out of answering the question.

    But I know that doesn’t help you this time so….

    A large firm usually has a leveled payscale. The levels usually span many positions and many departments. Companies do this in order to stay legal. When there are so many employees with similar skills and experience, if a firm does not have some standards then they leave themselvess open to lots of women, for example, getting paid lower than the men in that position.

    So the best tactic is for you to ask what level you are being paid at. When they tell you the offer, ask what other types of positions are at the same level as the level you are being paid. Then ask to be brought into the organization at a different level. Argue that the responsiblity of the position, and the amount of experience you have means that you should be brought in a level higher, which would mean being paid a higher salary.

    I think this will get you around the minimum thing. You can simply say that regardless of what you asked for initially, you think your skills and experience put you at a higher level at the organization. The pay is a result of that.


  2. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    I am getting very frustrated with this. Many job applications and recruiters ask for a salary. As for online applications, I cannot “submit” the application until I list a salary. Also, many applications mandate that I list all previous salaries.

    I feel defeated because I feel like I lost the negotiation before it started. Am I doomed to a lower salary because my first salary was low?

    Any thoughts on how to get around the mandatory “salary history” questions on an application?

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