Salary negotiations for a lateral career move?
May 21, 2012 8:28 PM   Subscribe

What exactly should I say during salary negeotations when I am changing jobs within the same company?

I making a lateralish career move. The new position has a different pay scale than my current position of about $1 per hour. I know I have an offer, because HR guy emailed me saying he had an offer and to please call him.

How exactly should this conversation go? I'm worried they aren't going to offer me the raise I deserve for being awesome.

I was planning to say something like, " I'm super excited that you want me in this position but I was really hoping for more money."

My husband said I shouldn't say hoping. Can you help me?
posted by MadMadam to Work & Money (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"I understand that [new position] has a different pay scale. When will this take effect?"
posted by AlisonM at 8:30 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm usually not one to harp on individual word choices, but "hoping" is really terrible here.

You want something more like: "I'm glad your offering me this position. I think it's really the best way for the company to take advantage of my skills and talents. My expectation is that this new position will come with a $3 per hour wage increase."

They can then scale that back to $1 per hour if they wish.
posted by 256 at 8:49 PM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

And hopefully you are having this conversation by phone or in person rather than by email so that you don't look stupid for making a your/you're error.
posted by 256 at 8:51 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

You are free to simply ask for more money. The biggest raises I've ever gotten were because I went to my manager and said "I think I've earned a higher salary". During a change of a position is as good a time as any to ask. Say something like "yes, I'm excited about this new opportunity, but I think that given my experience, dedication, and the value I bring to the company, I think it's fair that I'd get an increase in pay to go along with the new position."
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:53 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

"A salary increase commensurate to my new responsibilities" is how I would further polish tylerkaraszewski's already good answer.
posted by gingerest at 9:06 PM on May 21, 2012

You have some leverage here in that you are a known quantity to the company - they are not taking a risk by hiring you and finding out you are unreliable, etc. You also saved them the cost of going through a recruiter or other activities they would have needed to spend time and money on to fill this role if you weren't in place. Enter from a position of confidence, not hopefulness.
posted by judith at 9:15 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

the raise I deserve for being awesome

The issue of course is quantifying "awesome" in such a way that they agree that you bring x-more dollars of value to them. Things they might be looking for are:

-- ways you've improved processes in your current role, and how that saves them time and money (or improves safety, or employee morale, etc.)

-- any specialized skills from your current role that will lend extra value in the new role

Also, you can help make your case by finding out what the salary range is for similar positions in other companies, and showing that the rate you are targeting falls within that range.
posted by quivering_fantods at 11:48 PM on May 21, 2012

The conversation should usually go the same way regardless of whether you're a new hire or changing positions, i.e. you go in armed with real knowledge about what the market rate is for someone of your abilities/experience in that the position, and you ask for that. How much of a discrepancy you're willing to accept is up to you. If you don't have a clue how much you deserve, then you're automatically in a weak negotiating position.
posted by wutangclan at 1:08 AM on May 22, 2012

One extra thought to tylerkaraszewski's answer.... don't say "BUT" say "AND" as in:

I am looking forward the new opportunity to AND considering my service and experiene blah blah

And is less likely to invite a defensive response and makes an assumption that the statements are ones of fact not ones open for contrary discussion.

Good luck!!
posted by chasles at 5:24 AM on May 22, 2012

This can go one of two ways:

1. They offer you X.

You may be pleasently surprised. You can say, "oh, that's less than I was expecting, do you have any flexibility?" If they do, yay, negotiate, if not, decide if it's good enough and go. "I see that money might be an issue, perhaps I can get 5 more days of vacation time?" It depends on how ballsy you are.

The other way is:

2. They call to discuss the salary.

If you're discussing it, it's a good sign, that means that there's room for negotiation. Sometimes though, the HR person doesn't have the ability to negotitate, or there's a static policy in place that the maximium you'll get for a change in payscale is a certain percentage. One time I was offered a salary and it was low, so low that I got angry, "why would I give up what I have now for less?" (Because what did I have to lose?) That bumped it up $10K per year. At that point, I took it. The HR person had the authority to make that jump. Shocked the hell out of me.

At my current job I was offered the money, pushed for more and the HR person said, "Oh, I'll have to go back to the hiring manager to discuss that." Never mind. I'll take it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:46 AM on May 22, 2012

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