I accepted an offer over the phone, and was caaught off guard. Can I renegotiate?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Jimmy M., Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Jimmy M.

    Jimmy M.
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    Here's the whole story.

    I've been working as a contractor for two years in the A/V business, and make $20 - $45/hr when I get work. Work has been so slow for the past 6 months, I've been trying to get a job desperately. I have 15 years of Management experience, an Associates in Computer and Electronics Engineering, and a Bachelors in Business.

    I finally got a good opportunity a month ago as a Broadcast Tech for a large worldwide Satellite company, with over 2.500 employees. I interviewed for the position, and hit it off well with the hiring manager, Bob, who would be my future boss. At the close of the interview we talked salary. He told me the position paid $33,500 + a 20% increase if I was willing to work the night shift. I told him I was very interested, but I'd prefer the night shift if possible for the pay increase. He told me he would "hire me on the spot if he could, and thought I was a great fit for the position, but had to go through a second interview". He even gave me tips for my second interview. We scheduled it for the following day.

    The next day I met with his boss, Tom, and the interview went excellent. we discussed salary, and I mentioned that Bob told me $33,500 + 20 % for the night shift. Tom then told me that "That's the bottom end, and someone with your experience and education will start at more than that". I was very excited, because my expectation was $39,000 - $48,000/yr. I didn't show Tom I was excited, but let him know I was very interested in the position.

    They had me take an aptitude test and a drug test, and I passed both. I emailed both managers thank you notes, and received positive responses from both.

    I waited two weeks without hearing anything, so I sent Bob an email asking how the process was going. He told me I had nothing to worry about, but HR was very slow, and I would be getting a call soon.

    Two weeks later I called HR at 1:30 PM on a Friday. The HR manager told me she had been very busy, but wanted to talk with me. She told me she would call me back by the end of business, 5 PM that day. She didn't call me until the following Tuesday, and I had been working on my leaky roof for the past five hours. She caught me completely off guard. She told me on the phone that my offer was $32,300 and only $1,040/yr for working from 2 PM - Midnight. I never in my life expected an offer over the phone, I thought she would call me into her office, and we would negotiate my salary. That's the way I have always received offers in the past.

    I told her that I thought that was lower than I expected, and she gave me about 25 seconds of silence (it seemed like forever). I know that this is a negotiation tactic, but remember, I was completely off guard to be discussing offers over the phone. I had put a month of waiting through this interview process. After her 25 seconds of silence, I told her I would accept the position, but asked when I would have a review to discuss a pay increase. She replied coldly "Employee reviews are held every six months, and pay increases are based on performance.

    She asked me to start the following Wednesday, and be ready for my first day of work.

    To put it mildly, I'm desperate for income, and have not had an offer this good in the past six months of job searching. I need to take this job at the salary she offered, but I feel that there has been a breach of trust. I put much effort into being offered this position over the past month. I was told in the first interview by my future boss that I would be paid a little over $40,000/yr for working the night shift. His boss told me that I would be making more due to my education and experience, so I was thinking I'd be making $43,000 - $48,000/yr. My offer is $33,040, over 20% less than what I was told.

    I'm going in tomorrow. I need the job. Do I attempt to negotiate a larger salary after I have verbally accepted the offer, and will be starting my first day of work?

    Any advice at all is greatly appreciated.
     
    #1 Jimmy M., Oct 7, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. Clementine

    Clementine
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    man, don't blow it off this time. have you ever watched, "Deal or No Deal?"...

    know when to stop...

    you know, it's not how fast you drive your car but how good you are at avoiding or preventing accidents.

    yes, i understand your situation, as well as those millions of other Americans who are jobless..

    think about it: you don't really need a high salary this time...just a job. and by God's grace you now are about to enter one of the most exciting professions not just in America! others could kill themselves with envy, but here you are acting like a blind man.

    if you prove your worth to your company, then maybe you will have your raise. but even that is no guarantee. life has no guarantee other than what you're willing to make out of it.

    i could never stress enough the saying, "strike the iron while it's hot." don't be demanding when there's no demand for it.

    just be thankful for this break and show that to your upcoming employer.

    with the right attitude, more blessings will come your way.

    good luck and god bless!
     
    #2 Clementine, Oct 7, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  3. GekiDan

    GekiDan
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    Well, I could say that "as long as you have a job, even how high or low the salary is, it is still a job".
    Other people are making desperate moves to get a job wherein you are already have one.
    Just continue performing good and you will definitely get the increase you want soon.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Jimmy M.

    Jimmy M.
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll accept it, and work smart and hard. This company has many locations, and positions, I'll have to prove my worth, and live close to the bone for a while longer.
     
  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Hi Jimmy, welcome to Business Advice Forum and thanks for posting your question. First off I'd like to congratulate you on getting a job. That's great news and I hope you are very pleased with it.

    Your first priority will obviously be to protect your job and maintain good relations with your employers. However, I personally can't see that there would be any harm in mentioning the salary to your boss. Explain to him that you are delighted to have been offered the position and you are really looking forward to working there and getting to know the company. Then remind him of the salary you discussed with him and his boss and ask him does he know why HR offered you a lower salary.

    That kind of approach shouldn't do any harm and getting it out in the open could actually help you in your new position, as opposed to bottling it up and feeling a little resentment. Have some possible scenarios planned out in your head so that you are ready to deal with your new bosses response. For example, be prepared with an answer in the event that your boss explains that you will simply have to accept a lower salary. You might simply tell him that you are delighted to have the job and are prepared to accept the salary. But the important thing is to be prepared.

    Good luck with everything and please post back to let us know how it works out for you.
     
  6. seanstevens

    seanstevens
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    I don't buy the whole, be happy you got a job argument. Pay is different in every town, let alone country, you should not feel guilty for wanting the best for yourself when you have the chance.

    You need to ask yourself an honest question: "how much are my skills worth and can this place deliver for me?”

    Yes, it’s great to interview and be offered a job, but at the same time, if you work somewhere and you are not getting paid what you deserve then you will never truly be happy.

    I honestly can't believe that you were told that the original figure quoted was the low end and you should be between X & Y - this is a big mistake by that guy as you now know what their pay structure is like.

    It would be worth doing a little digging and finding out what the average pay in the job and industry actually is. If you are now lower than that figure, when the time is right don't be scared to deliver this information.

    You probably need to sit tight for a little while and as Fergal mentioned, have a chat with your boss about it. When review time comes around bring out the information you have and ask for a pay rise to bring you into line to be considered. If they do not go for it, then you have learnt a valuable lesson about the company and need to make the decision "is this the right company for me" and "is this salary enough to keep me happy for the next x months or years". There may be less jobs around at the moment, but don't forget the picked you for a reason.

    Sean
     
  7. Jimmy M.

    Jimmy M.
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    I accepted the job

    I went into HR, and Sue, the HR manager asked me to sign the offer letter immediately. I nicely told her I'd like to go over the offer again in person, in detail. She brought me to Bob, the hiring manager to talk. I mentioned that what I was offered was not exactly what I understood the pay range was. Bob seems like a very honest guy, and it seems that I really misunderstood what was being offered. We went over the offer, and I gently tried to nudge the salary up a little. I was told that unfortunately, there was no room to move, so I accepted.

    I'm thinking that I'll put six months in, and keep putting my resume out. At least now, I'm not desperate, and can negotiate any other offers from a position of power, having a stable job. In six months, if the review, and salary increase don't meet my needs, I can more aggressively seek employment.

    This is a very interesting job, and I love the hours. The people I work with seem happy, and I was told by a coworker that they do start people low, and raises can be very good if performance is excellent.

    I'm happy that I at least tried, and when review time comes around, HR knows I will not instantly roll over. I have a job, and now can pay my bills. In two weeks, the collection calls will cease, so that's real peace of mind for me.

    Thanks for all your advice, and this is a great forum. I'll have to add to my profile on my next day off, and keep an eye on this forum.
     
  8. seanstevens

    seanstevens
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    Jimmy, congratulations on accepting the new job, hope it goes well for you.

    You are doing the right thing. You now have a good base to seek new a new position from if this one does not meet all your expectations. As you say, it is good that you have made it known that you are not a push over. It should also now be clear to the HR department that "bob" may need some advice on how to discuss packages so that everything is made crystal clear to potential new employees.

    Do come back and enjoy the forum and let us know how the job is going.

    Sean
     
  9. GekiDan

    GekiDan
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    Congratulations on being hired Jimmy. Now you have a stable and fixed income for six months and you don't have the problem on where you are getting the money to pay your bills.
    I can say that a job offered is still a job as long as you have a passion and you like what you are doing.

    Keep it up.
     
  10. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Congratulations Jimmy, that's great news and I wish you every success in the job. It can be easier to find a job when you are in a job, so that should help you if you decide to make a move in the future. I'd suggest that you try not to think about your salary for the first few months at least. Just focus on doing the job to the best of your abilities and to learn as much as you can.

    Please do post back to keep us updated as to how things are working out for you and let us know if you have any further questions or you feel there is anything else we can help you with.

    Once again, congratulations and good luck.
     
  11. merlinsorca

    merlinsorca
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    Well, I guess if you stick to the job they might give you a raise. If you stay long enough, you get promotions and rewards for your hard work.
    I'd say that you can stick with what you have; it might lower than you expected but don't worry about it. You can still make some good money on this job.
     
  12. Sagewing

    Sagewing
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    If you regret accepting the offer so much that you'll be resentful and unhappy, you need to bring it up as gracefully as possible. But, it's poor form to change your mind after accepting an offer, so unless you just can't do it I would just take the position and try to find other ways to increase your income.

    Don't forget, your earnings will be measured as they increase over your entire career. A lower rate of pay for an otherwise awesome job might work out well in the long run - you never know. And there are tons of other ways to make more money - do an awesome job and get raises, promotions, etc. or get a much better offer from someone else in a couple of years. Who knows?

    Follow your heart but look at the big picture, too!
     
    #12 Sagewing, Jan 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  13. johndale

    johndale
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    I've been there. I started in a basic salary then I got promoted and enjoyed the benefits after a few months. So you better test the water first.
     
  14. amndacatr

    amndacatr
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    It is sad that there has been a breach of trust, but as this situation having a job is more important than pondering over the breach of trust by the company. I think you should try to utilise the employee review period to you benefit and try to increase your pay, as experience on your part along with some very good work, there will be no stopping for you. I think that it's time for asking for your increment. Good luck!!
     

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