Please help my friend with salary negotiations

Jassi

Diamond Member
Sep 8, 2004
3,296
0
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This is for a friend. I gave him some advice and he's a bit hesitant to take it without finding out how other people in the tech fields deal with this so I thought I'd ask here.

He started a little over a year ago with a small company in Maryland (as an EE). Salary was lower than market but he liked the field and there was talk of bump. Fast forward, no bump and company hits rocky waters. He still has a job but he decided to venture out and look at another field that he likes and looked at before accepting his current position. Its a larger company and a more stable field so he's banking on it being less rocky. In the interview, he was honest about what he makes (I read the other thread, some would argue that it was a mistake - damage done and I don't have a spare time machine).

Last week he got an offer - ~2.4% bump over his current salary. He went to school with me and graduated with a Masters from a top 20 field but since he's switching fields (I think the difference is cosmetic but it will require some time to ramp up). I think the salary is closer to the start for a B.S.E.E. and he has an M.S. My advice to him is to ask for a higher start because it looks bad if he were to switch companies and his salary history is lower than it could be for someone with his education. He will also likely get less in raises if he starts lower.

So my question is, is asking about $3.5k higher than the offer an acceptable counter offer? (would make an 8% bump from his current lower than "market value" salary). From what I've heard, the benefits package is pretty standard.

So keep this in mind - Young guy, smart and planning on working hard to gain more skills and tools (already talking about writing the FE exam next year - which will help him). MS from a top 20 school and then balance that with little over a year of experience (good applicable experience but not in the same field) and different size company in a new field. I know a lot of people here have good experience in their field and would find it easier to ask based on that but its hard for a new professional. Any and all help is appreciated.

Should the request be phrased as a request or a counter offer? I've been helping him sift through Salary.com but there is a wide range being listed there for EEs and his new title is not even in their list of positions.

A much quicker question - who should be the person to contact for the counter offer - the HR rep or the supervisor of the position that he's been offered. I said HR unless they ask him to contact someone else.
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
so we are looking at just under 50k right now, with a masters. Seems low, I would definitely not consider an extra 3.5k on top of the 2.4% bump too much to ask for. What part of the country?

Edit: Looks like my calculations were a tad low, more like around 62500. So a 1.5k increase to move doesn't look attractive unless the work conditions at his currect job sucks.
 

darthsidious

Senior member
Jul 13, 2005
481
0
71
To help you, I think we'd need to get an idea about a couple of things - What is his degree in, what is his experience in/what kind of field is he moving to, and what his current salary is. A rough calculation shows his salary is 45k or so, which seems low for a EE masters. But it really depends on what field he's working in.

As for who to contact for the counter, I think it should be the person who called him up to inform him of his acceptance/offer.
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
19
81
depends area of the country, but getting 8% for a 'move' may be a little low unless they will be moving him up.

Never take a job with the promise of a bump 'soon', it's a suckers bet.

He should counter offer with whoever made him the offer. The reason I'd give is their offer is what I was making already.
 

Jassi

Diamond Member
Sep 8, 2004
3,296
0
0
Originally posted by: KK
so we are looking at just under 50k right now, with a masters. Seems low, I would definitely not consider an extra 3.5k on top of the 2.4% bump too much to ask for. What part of the country?

Edit: Looks like my calculations were a tad low, more like around 62500. So a 1.5k increase to move doesn't look attractive unless the work conditions at his currect job sucks.

I think your second try at the numbers are more accurate (without giving away private salary info).

So, I proposed that he should counter with a 5k bump instead of the 1.5k. As for the change of field, I can't say where he is presently (privacy) but the new job is with a utility company with designing control systems.

This is the hiccup. Salary.com doesn't have info on this field and the job is within 50 miles of his residence so no moving assistance. Experience is what I mentioned - A little over a year with a job that involved some control systems but not whats directly applicable to the new company.

Any more thoughts ATOT? I think he is expected to call back tomorrow and he's still a little nervous. I guess you never know until you ask ;)
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
Originally posted by: Jassi
I think your second try at the numbers are more accurate (without giving away private salary info).

So, I proposed that he should counter with a 5k bump instead of the 1.5k. As for the change of field, I can't say where he is presently (privacy) but the new job is with a utility company with designing control systems.

This is the hiccup. Salary.com doesn't have info on this field and the job is within 50 miles of his residence so no moving assistance. Experience is what I mentioned - A little over a year with a job that involved some control systems but not whats directly applicable to the new company.

Any more thoughts ATOT? I think he is expected to call back tomorrow and he's still a little nervous. I guess you never know until you ask ;)


How far does he gotta drive now? 50 miles one way, would be like 4 gallons of gas per day. $12/day ~250 days a year $3,100 a year

Does he plan on moving closer if he takes this job?
 

Jassi

Diamond Member
Sep 8, 2004
3,296
0
0
Originally posted by: KK
Originally posted by: Jassi
I think your second try at the numbers are more accurate (without giving away private salary info).

So, I proposed that he should counter with a 5k bump instead of the 1.5k. As for the change of field, I can't say where he is presently (privacy) but the new job is with a utility company with designing control systems.

This is the hiccup. Salary.com doesn't have info on this field and the job is within 50 miles of his residence so no moving assistance. Experience is what I mentioned - A little over a year with a job that involved some control systems but not whats directly applicable to the new company.

Any more thoughts ATOT? I think he is expected to call back tomorrow and he's still a little nervous. I guess you never know until you ask ;)


How far does he gotta drive now? 50 miles one way, would be like 4 gallons of gas per day. $12/day ~250 days a year $3,100 a year

Does he plan on moving closer if he takes this job?

I mentioned that because that was the low limit for another friend's job. It was less than 50 miles so the company did not offer moving assistance. The distance is about 10 miles each way. Looking over some of the details, he also did not get a sign up bonus. How odd is that for an entry level position? I didn't get one either although I have heard of offers from some companies of the same size that offered an average of 4k sign-up bonus.

Keep in mind that he was stupid (?) enough to share that his company had hit rocky waters with this potential new employer.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
Originally posted by: Jassi
Originally posted by: KK
Originally posted by: Jassi
I think your second try at the numbers are more accurate (without giving away private salary info).

So, I proposed that he should counter with a 5k bump instead of the 1.5k. As for the change of field, I can't say where he is presently (privacy) but the new job is with a utility company with designing control systems.

This is the hiccup. Salary.com doesn't have info on this field and the job is within 50 miles of his residence so no moving assistance. Experience is what I mentioned - A little over a year with a job that involved some control systems but not whats directly applicable to the new company.

Any more thoughts ATOT? I think he is expected to call back tomorrow and he's still a little nervous. I guess you never know until you ask ;)


How far does he gotta drive now? 50 miles one way, would be like 4 gallons of gas per day. $12/day ~250 days a year $3,100 a year

Does he plan on moving closer if he takes this job?

I mentioned that because that was the low limit for another friend's job. It was less than 50 miles so the company did not offer moving assistance. The distance is about 10 miles each way. Looking over some of the details, he also did not get a sign up bonus. How odd is that for an entry level position? I didn't get one either although I have heard of offers from some companies of the same size that offered an average of 4k sign-up bonus.

Keep in mind that he was stupid (?) enough to share that his company had hit rocky waters with this potential new employer.

He gave away any leverage he may have had with that last statement. He's screwed. He needs to make them beg him to work there.

General rule of thumb is to jump if you get a 20% increase all else being equal. The commute and it's associated costs is not part of that. Meaning if you incur expenses of 10% over what you have now just to get to work then that is not part of 20%. 20% plus the incurred expense of the commute = 30%.

 

Imdmn04

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2002
2,566
6
81
If a company is not willing to pony up for 4k more for an EE position that has a qualified candidate, then the company is not worth working for anyways.

4k in terms of the big picture is nothing to any engineering position, even for entry level positions. I've seen desperate companies that are willing to pay a candidate that is worth only 85k, with an 100k offer.

Just move on to the next company if they are not willing to pay.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
True - only by checking salary.com and constant interviewing does one know what one is worth.

That and paying consultants/contractors at 175-250 an hour.

Bid out enough jobs and one soon learns what one is worth.

-edit-
what you guys call "oh, he just runs cable" - what a poor man's job.

He's billing at 75 bucks an hour and probably gets 50 of that, PLUS overtime.
 

Argo

Lifer
Apr 8, 2000
10,045
0
0
Personally unless I was already making towards the top of the salary range for this position I would not settle for anything less than 10% bump.

Job change is a risky business, you never know how well would the new position work out. The hiring company must make it worth your while.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,577
432
126
A ~2.4% bump is not anywhere near enough to justify a change of jobs. I too would be thinking in the 8% - 12% range. The risk is simply not worth it otherwise.
 

LS21

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
3,746
1
0
<3% or a few k is nothing

that is, you wont *feel* it at all when the check gets issued

then you lose some vested 401k, lose seniority (if your vacation# counts on it), etc...

however, if the OPPORTUNITY for advancement is better at the new company, then change job for that