I've received an offer that seems very good in terms of salary and other factors (e.g., reduced teaching load for first couple of years). I'm wondering if it's a given that, regardless, you should always negotiate these terms? I haven't been told that there is no room for negotiation. Any advice is appreciated!
Date: 26 Jan 2015 15:02
Number of posts: 6
RSS: New posts
Yes. Always. If they haven't said no, then you haven't asked for enough. Be polite and respectful of course, but advocate for yourself. Small differences in starting salary can have a lasting impact over the length of your career and now is the time to ask for whatever else you want because the opportunity won't arise again.
Most important, congratulations on your job offer!!
When I received the offer for my current job, the salary was generous (and much higher than I anticipated). However, following my mentor's advice, I asked for a bit more — and I got it. Unless they tell you outright that salary is non-negotiable, it doesn't hurt to ask for more (within reason).
You should feel out the culture of the place, but I agree - always negotiate. Salary is a no-brainer. But there are also always other little things to ask for here and there.
As others have said, always negotiate on salary and other perks. Before you accept an offer is the sole time you truly have the power as a faculty member over things like salary. Thereafter, much of this is determined by rather formal institutional regulations usually spelled out in a faculty guidelines or faculty handbook. Even $1,000 more in salary will compound with future raises, tenure promotion, and ultimately what's contributed to your retirement. I also recommend that you check cost of living calculators, freely available online, especially if you'll be moving to a new region. For example, $110,000 salary for an assistant professor can seem stellar until you realize what San Francisco costs.
Salary isn't everything. Try to get a feel for whether there's some room to negotiate. Always negotiate for lab start-up and equipment (dream here - administrators are more often willing to throw out some one-time budget lines than something that needs annual renewal. I wish I asked for more lab start-up when I started just to get snazzy equipment that'd be useful). You can also negotiate for reduced teaching load, extra conference travel budget for some period of time, or perhaps summer teaching. Check into moving expense coverage, too. If moving even a few states away, hiring a moving company can easily run $2,000, and remember that you might need to live in a hotel for a short while between the moves.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for such helpful responses and guidance. Just as an update, I did negotiate and although they were not able to improve the salary offer, they were able to increase the offers on other items as described above. I appreciate the support, guidance, and encouragement you all offered.