I got an offer and am in the midst of negotiating. If I'm happy with the salary they offered and they offer additional salary because they were unable to meet some other needs of mine, should I ask for more? My problem is, they opened the door to say "hey here's some additional money", should I be greedy and ask if they can bump up that number more? I don't really have any reason to other than the fact that they showed their cards and let me know there was some wiggle room there. I'm happy with salary, is it really worth it to haggle? What reason would I give other than money is nice?
Date: 28 Mar 2013 00:19
Number of posts: 6
RSS: New posts
Personally, I'm for getting the highest salary you can - you only have one chance to do this, and your raises will be based on this starting salary.
If you have legitimate reasons to ask for more (e.g. the salary is low compared to similar positions, etc.), then certainly do so even if they've already raised it. If it's just to press it as far as you can, I would consider the nature of the negotiations thus far - if they've been very tense, or you have any sense that there's been irritation on their end, you might not want to run the risk of engendering bad blood. Especially if you are negotiating with someone who'd be a closer colleague (e.g. chair). It really depends on your situation.
I second everything Anon said. Just be careful, because what may seem like, "showing you their cards" could simply be a negotiation tactic to get you to back off something else that is important which they might budge with enough pressing. If this other thing is really that important, then try to fight for it. If not, then ask for the additional salary but give good reasons beyond, 'well.. since your not giving me X, then at least give me a higher salary." I guess what I am trying to advise here is to not get into this either or mentality.
Asking for a higher salary is an awkward and difficult thing to do, especially for academics that have been implicitly trained to not care about money, but it is not greedy or selfish. Academics make good salaries relative to the general population, but not relative to their education, so you should not feel bad about asking for more. All of your future raises, retirement contributions, summer salary, and possible future negotiations with potential new employers depend upon your starting salary, so it's hugely important. A different of just $1K or $2K now can really add up over time. Most people understand this, so negotiating shouldn't be a cutthroat process.
If I were you, I would simply ask if there can be any further negotiation on the salary. If they say no, leave it. If they say yes, ask for a bit more. The rule of thumb I learned was to ask for $5K more than they offer you. Since they've already gone up a bit maybe ask for $4K more, and maybe you'll get half that. It's still something!
Final point - if you can find evidence of current faculty salaries, and they are higher than what you've been offered, you'll have more bargaining room. Info is power.
Definitely ask for more. Across a 30 year career, assuming just a standard cost of living increase of 3% each year and not account for other general merit raises, the difference in starting salaries of $2,000 is approximately $100,000 lifetime—or a large chunk of the cost of a house or retirement. Further, merit increases and promotion increases are typically higher if you already have a higher salary so the real cost across a career is likely to be much higher.