Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
So I think I just might have made a very Millennial-esque fool of myself in trying to negotiate a job offer 🙁
I’ve been in talks with a firm whose work I really respect for the past couple of months now, which would entail a move to a large coastal city. I finally finally finally got a job offer out of them. However, after visiting the office for the first time on Friday (at my own expense – I only had phone/email interviews and an informal meet up at a conference) and the city to check out apartments over the weekend, I am a little scared now of being able to afford to live there. I’m not really sure how other young professionals in the office do it – I suspect they might have live in relationships and rent is split accordingly.
Anyway, you know how they always tell you to negotiate, what’s the worse that can happen, women never negotiate, blah blah blah? Well I did (twice) and guess what. It made me look like an idiot to even try. I looked up my industry salary levels, I looked up cost of living calculators, I showed that I had done internships in addition to my current work experience, I phrased it as simply asking a $1 higher hourly rate more rather than a $2000 a year more, the whole nine yards. And it was still a no along with lines of ‘a lot of young people have moved from out of state to work here and made it work.’
Unfortunately, I’m learning that these standard workforce practices of telling women to negotiate don’t always apply to all industries.
SO. Some tips for other young professionals trying to navigate new job offers:
- Make sure you understand your industry. In my case, government jobs (or private consulting jobs that contract for government) have little room for negotiation. On the public side, salaries are set the previous year by City Council budgets, and on the private side, it really just depends on the amount of work they have right now and their employee ladder or tier system.
- Don’t negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Find out what your peers / friends in the same city and same industry are making, and what skills you bring to the table. As yourself what the company would ask themselves – Are you really worth it at this moment in your career?
- What do you care about? Cash, benefits, professional development or building relationships? Figure that out before you say anything.
- Realize that you will likely have to live with multiple roommates farther away from where you work or in a closet at least for a year or two in order to make your dream job happen.
- Whatever you do, do NOT burn bridges especially if your industry is small and close knit. Even if you don’t take this job now, you might want to work with this company in the future if you and/or your spouse (since this is WeddingBee) end up needing to relocate to a place where they have offices.
Sorry for the really long post. I’ve been in frets all day and just really need to get it all out right now :'( I tried really hard to sound polite, professional and reasonable and for some reason now I feel like came off sounding like a whining baby. I didn’t realize that getting a second job can actually be harder than getting your first job out of school.
Anyone else have stories of failed negotiations? I feel like all you ever hear are the success stories and stories of women who failed TO negotiate. Share your negotiation experience and what type of industry it was in.
Post # 2
- Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery
Sorry you had a bad experience, but don’t give up!
Also, I totally second the “getting a second job in your field is harder than the first out of school”. I’m in a field that can be public or private also and it’s so frustrating. Now that I want more than entry-level salary, it’s been very hard to move on and up. Had a few interviews but no luck. Gah.
Post # 3
I asked for $7k once thinking they might meet me halfway and the company pulled the offer. They thought my expectations were too high.
I am happy it worked out that way and I’m glad I negoatiated for what I’m worth. I have since moved on and make almost double what I was starting at so screw that first place!
Post # 4
Sorry that happened. Industry research and company research is really key. I’ve seen a few “governement job” negotiations fall flat because people don’t understand that government agencies have set budgets and are beholden to the public. Additionally, many are union whose wages are set through collective bargaining and the payscale is what it is without negotiation. The most that can be done is an occasional bump up a payscale step for experience, but that usually doesn’t happen at entry level, only with internal promotional opportunities. So a few fresh out of college people have come in for entry level positions and tried to negotiate what the equivalent private sector is paying and have ended up pretty embarrassed and disappointed. So, don’t worry – you’re not the only one.
Post # 5
When in a government job it’s a bit different. As you said, they usually have set salaries. However, in many industries, asking for 2000 is nothing. You should negotiate. Not just women; anyone. Fight for your worth. If the offer is fair, leave it. If you feel you are worth 2000 more, ask. To most reputable companies, 2000 is a drop in the bucket. 20k is a different story.
Sorry that your experience turned out the way it did. I’m sure you’ll be able to make it work. We are always capable of more than we think 🙂
Post # 6
so they said no. Maybe they have fixed ‘bands’ within the company. But I can’t see how asking would have done you any harm. Did they mention targets/future opportunities for a rise?
Post # 7
So you asked, they said no. I wouldn’t consider that “failing hard.” Give yourself a break.
Post # 8
Sorry negotiating didn’t work out this time but it never hurts to try! Great advice for most peole in most industries.
Post # 9
Also, this situation has nothing to do with being a millenial:) It happens to everyone.
Post # 10
When I was a hiring manager I had people ask and I said no sometimes. I didn’t think less of them for trying though! Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Correction: the one woman who expected $70k for an entry level position we listed in the mid-$40k I thought less of – she clearly didn’t read the posting well and wasted my time! But that’s not what you did lol
Post # 11
Don’t feel like an idiot. You didn’t ask for something unreasonable. For example if you asked for 52K instead of 50K it’s only a 4% difference. If you asked for 102K vs. 100K that is 2%. This isn’t a generational or gender mistake. You just received a poor response. I hope things still go your way, but if they don’t, please realize your professional worth is not tied up in one organization and one job. You have many more places and things to do in your career.
Post # 12
I don’t think you failed. At least you tried. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.
FWIW, I’ve spent my entire career in government and government contracting. There usually is room for negotiation. In my most recent job, they asked my prior salary to ensure that the switch was worth it for me financially.
Post # 13
You didn’t fail. I tried and tried and did not recieve the requested salary but a guy after me hired only 2 weeks got 10K higher bc of surplus. He left after 7 months and I continue to have same salary.
And none of this women don’t negotiate bs google recent studies and data women DO negotiate DO articulate and they get denied – for all candidates asking for higher pay, women get their request denied more in a statistically significant way.
I learned to value my skills and that the places I work for that value my skills will pay – moved jobs and got promoted after trial period, got a bonus, and salary increase with recognition award.
I have no advice but I’m angry as hell still at how the market treats us, value your skills and that will transfer to your employer, and remeber these experiences when it’s our turn to hire as millenials (bc boomers clearly don’t give a s and live in mad men mentality).
Post # 14
You should be proud of being so prepared, doing your homework, and treating yourself like you’re worth driving a hard bargain.
Yes, you learned that it doesn’t always work- but you should also learn that it didn’t hurt to try:-)
Post # 15
Great advice! However it’s great to also not lowball yourself. I did that and I’m still paying for it.