Negotiating Job Offer - more money plz!
July 5, 2012 9:09 AM   Subscribe

I got a job offer! Hooray! The job doesn't have any benefits attached to it, but I have been offered a high salary to compensate for this. Should I negotiate one particular benefit important to me?

I am working in a particularly lucrative industry with many benefits and perks associated with the job. Let's say this is a tech company and I am a software engineer. In my old job, I was working in City X (in the UK) and I was getting paid within top 10% for my experience and skillset.

I have interviewed and got a job offer from Startup Tech Company in London. I was told in the interview that there will be no benefits, but I will be offered a high salary to compensate for this. I was expecting a pay increase of 30%, and would be very happy with 40%.

Job offer came, and offered me a raise of 90%!! After deducting for some benefits, I think that it's an equivalent of 80% raise. I'm probably the highest paid software engineer in my experience range (not even kidding). I am not going to negotiate the salary at all, because I think this is definitely a very generous salary and fairly compensates for the risky nature of a startup. I was also offered very generous stock options.

However, would it be fine to ask for a small one-off relocation allowance, and how should I phrase this? I would expect a relocation allowance of 2% of annual salary. It's fairly typical for "tech" companies to offer a one-off relocation allowance, but I'm wondering whether I should ask because the salary is already very generous.

Also relevant is that I had already intended to move to London long before, and stated this explicitly in my interview. So this is not a relocation hardship, and Startup Tech Company knows this. Secondly, let's assume the best from the hiring manager and no one is trying to lowball me (far from it).
posted by ZEsockpuppet to Work & Money (13 answers total)
You could ask something innocuous like, "is there a relocation allowance"? They might say no, or they might just give it to you. If you're making as much as you say you are (hint: "standard" salaries for software engineers in Silicon Valley are around $150,000/yr, so if they offered you the British equivalent of that, you're not being overpaid now, you were being underpaid before), you should take the job even if they say no, because you'll make back the relocation allowance in a couple weeks.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:16 AM on July 5, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry, just to clarify before this thread goes any further, I'm not actually working in the tech industry. It's an equivalent -- a high-paying lucrative industry. Trying to remain anonymous here.
posted by ZEsockpuppet at 9:20 AM on July 5, 2012

You're getting a 90% pay rise. I would ask "Is there a relocation allowance?" but i certainly would not try to negotiate for one if the answer is no.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:24 AM on July 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

So, you had already intended to move to London long before, you stated this explicitly in my interview, your situation is not a relocation hardship.

Why are you even bothering to ask Should I negotiate one particular benefit important to me?

Why is it important to you? IF you're going to attempt to negotiate this benefit, you must do a much better job than you have so far of answering this question.
posted by John Borrowman at 9:28 AM on July 5, 2012

I would not be surprised if 80% was the expected level of pay rise to account for a London cost of living. Are you sure you're being well compensated compared to Londoners?
posted by emilyw at 9:30 AM on July 5, 2012

Response by poster: emilyw: Yes, I'm being well compensated compared to Londoners. I would expect 30-40% pay rise to compensate for the London cost of living and to remain within top 10% of my category.

John Borrowman: not a relocation hardship per se, but the first few weeks will be very expensive living temporarily and finding a flat. I'm looking for a relocation allowance to make sure the first few weeks at work to go smoothly (and does not involve me jumping from one short let to another). It's typical for this industry to offer 1-3 months fully paid serviced accommodation.

will stop thread sitting now! :)
posted by ZEsockpuppet at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2012

Why is a relocation allowance "important to you?" I mean, of all the benefits to really matter, especially in light of such generous compensation, it's a relocation allowance?

And I'm gonna do a dramatic interpretation of the last 'also relevant' part of your question:

ZE: I'd like to work for you, Lucrative Industry Start-up Company!
LISC: We're interested in that as well, ZE. We will pay you lucratively.
ZE: That is so awesome, I was already intending to move to your city! Getting there is no problem at all!
LISC: Good, because although we will pay you in dump trucks full of gold ducats we will not arrange any healthcare or savings or any other benefits for you. You have to figure out what to do with the dump truck ducats.
ZE: Wait, I know I just said I was coming anyway, and am excited about the dumpcats which, by the way, totally make up for the lack of bennies, but could you guys give me one anyway? A relocation bennie?
LISC: LOL what.
posted by carsonb at 9:45 AM on July 5, 2012 [6 favorites]

not a relocation hardship per se, but the first few weeks will be very expensive living temporarily and finding a flat.

It certainly doesn't hurt to ask, but this is exactly the kind of situation that a credit card or other form of consumer loan product is perfect for, as long as you are responsible about paying it off as promptly as possible once you are settled. Talk to someone where you bank to find out exactly what kinds of options are available.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:52 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

but the first few weeks will be very expensive living temporarily and finding a flat

So ask for relocation allowance, and if they balk, ask for an advance on a month of salary, or something like that. Should be like an interest-free loan. (Not sure if this is common in the UK.)
posted by supercres at 9:55 AM on July 5, 2012

The first hiccup that came to mind is that even asking is going to imply that, despite being one of the best-paid people in your job even in your old city, that you are currently cash-poor and don't have credit available. And therefore that you may not be very good at managing money. This would range, depending on industry, from "just something I'd prefer my boss not think of me" to "serious hit to my professional reputation", but I don't see any situation in which it would look good, anyway.
posted by gracedissolved at 9:57 AM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just ask if there's a relocation allowance, and take it if they say yes, and say "okay, just checking!" if they say no.
posted by Kololo at 10:26 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Could you say something like "Is there a relocation allowance or any other relocation assistance available?" Perhaps they may have a deal with a moving company or some such. I think this makes it seem less like "RAH! MORE MONEY PLEASE!" and more like "I'd like assistance with relocation if you've got the means for that."
posted by NikitaNikita at 12:15 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

The alternative to the relocation allowance would be to ask the company for a loan against your costs, repayable over 3-6 months.
posted by biffa at 1:26 PM on July 6, 2012

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