May 16, 2019

New Grad - Negotiating a counteroffer


I'm a recent grad from Berkeley EECS, and I'm curious what the consensus is on negotiating a counteroffer. Is it too early? Is there harm in asking, "Is there any room for discussion in regards to my package?" Am I arrogant to think I deserve more than they give me? This is not my first job. I have about 8 years of professional experience at an engineering firm in a non-engineering role. I obviously don't want the offer to be rescinded, but I also want to be excited about the package they are offering. Opinions?

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    I wanted to give an update on how it went.

    My on-site lasted the entire day, and the final interview was with the VP engineering. I felt we had great rapport.

    I received an offer for X from HR via email copying the VP. I replied all and asked if there was an opportunity to discuss negotiation north of X as I was hoping for X + 5. ( I gave a range initially and they gave me the bottom of range ).

    This time, the VP responded copying HR saying it would be hard but not impossible and that he would work on it. Then, he asked if he could be confident I’ll accept the offer after that number was met.

    It felt very good to have a senior employee go to bat for me. While it may not have been a mountain for him, he went out of his way to help me and that’s the kind of person I want to work for.

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    I'd caution you against self talk like "Am I arrogant to think I deserve..."

    The word "deserve" sounds like it's tied to your worth as a person. In almost all cases, your salary will have nothing to do with what you deserve - it's just a number that a company has agreed to pay. No one else can tell you what you deserve!

    Obviously I think you should ask for more money. It would be extremely unusual for an offer to be rescinded over a (polite) push for a higher salary.

    Good luck!

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    One very low risk option is, whatever you got over email, just respond with:

    Great! Can you do X + $10,000?

    I've never heard of an offer being rescinded or a relationship damaged from this kind of response. You might get X + $10k or X + $5k or just X, and it takes only about 30 seconds to do.

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    INHO, Negotiation is fine as long as it's reasonable, you have a better offer and align with your career goals. One thing to consider though is your personal career choice / goals, for ex. if company X is your dream / tier-1 company, but gives you a level down than some other tier-2 company, then it may be ok to consider that, if you can learn more to grow faster in your career. Also, if you ask the questions gently as you put it, it should be fine.

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