FWD: Negotiation questions

Subject: FWD: Negotiation questions
From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 07:28:10 -0600 (MDT)

A friend of mine has been offered a job out of the area, and I was hoping
someone on the list could help me help her with the negotiations (neither
of us has ever been in this situation).

The salary offered is about 10k less a year than the median average for
the area in which the job is located; however, the company is offering her
a lump sum "bonus" for relocation expenses or "whatever she wants to spend
it on" that brings the salary close to the average.

Her immediate concern is: is it worth negotiating for more pay since the
combined total of the salary and bonus equals about the average for the
area? (She thinks most companies try to "lowball" on their first offer,
so she's wondering if they are expecting her to counter-offer while hoping
she doesn't.) I'd hate to see her sell herself short, but I also don't
want her to risk the job.

Her secondary concern is negotiating for time to start. She can't rent
because she has pets, but she won't be able to close on a house for at
least 60 days. Is that too much to ask for, in anyone's opinion?
Again, I'd hate for her to ask for too much and risk losing the job (it
has great benefits, including tuition reimbursement, and the company is
located near a school with a terrific Master's program). She probably
could have someone watch the animals while she rents and looks for/closes
on a house, but she'd rather not.

On one hand she feels greedy for asking them to get the salary closer to
the median average because 1) the other benefits are so great and 2)
because the salary is close to the average for the first year (including
the bonus). On the other hand, I know she'd like to be at least a little
closer to the average (thinking about the future, when she may start
resenting being so far behind the average), and it seems to me they should
understand the time she needs to buy a house.

Does anyone have any insights or tips on how to negotiate? Is she out of
her mind to ask for more? Or out of her mind to take the job as offered?
Any tips on how to ask for a higher salary - does she just say "I can't
take less than $X"? She's supposed to call them this afternoon, so
immediate responses would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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