New Job Offer?

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I currently have a job that I'm not happy with and haven't been happy with for a while now.

I interviewed with another company and asked for a salary that would be a 40% pay increase for me, the employer said they had in mind a salary range for me that would be between a 10% - 25% raise for me, they got back to me and verbally offered me the top number, so it would be a 25% increase for me. However their benefits aren't quite as good:

-current employer has high-deductible health plan with HSA, so my premiums are low and I also get a HSA match
-new employer has a traditional low-deductible health plan, so no HSA, higher premiums
-current employer has a 401k match although it's crappy, new employer doesn't do a 401k match
-I have seniority with current employer so I have 4 weeks vacation, with new employer I will only have 2 weeks vacation
-current employer has an annual bonus which won't be paid out until next year so I'd be leaving money on the table, new employer has no annual bonus

I like the new employer and think it will be a better move for my career long-term. Because my skills are pretty specific and the job opening is fairly rare, I likely won't have a good opportunity like this come around again for a while.

So between increased insurance premiums and lost retirement contributions it's going to only be effectively a 15% pay raise. The new employer has told me they can't offer me a higher base salary. I'm going to next bring up a signing bonus, but I'm not sure if they will even entertain it. What should I shoot for? If they give me no signing bonus I'm concerned this may not be the best move for me, would it be a bad move to try to renegotiate the base then? The last thing I want to do is have the new employer rescind the offer.

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Well just to update this thread, I'm still in limbo:

I finally got my job offer, I think it's taken so long because the n... (more)

jobofferdude (Jan. 18, 2013 @ 7:22p) |

You basically said you think this new job offer is the best career move long term and with your specific skills job open... (more)

DaveTheStud (Jan. 18, 2013 @ 7:56p) |

Well, I ended up turning down the offer, but I think it was for the best. I was leaning towards accepting it but they s... (more)

jobofferdude (Feb. 03, 2013 @ 12:09a) |

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Well, if you are young, I suggest you go with the new employer. The things that you concern about are nothing. Seniority can be build up (or you can talk to your new employer on giving you more vacations). 15% is still a raise and you already said is a better move for your career long term.

Good luck.

You are getting a 15% (effective) raise into a new job with a an employer you like and "think it will be a better move for my career long-term" from a "job that I'm not happy with and haven't been happy with for a while now". This is with "my skills are pretty specific and the job opening is fairly rare, I likely won't have a good opportunity like this come around again for a while". If you feel inclined, ask for an opportunity to reevaluate after say six months for a possible raise. If you really want to ask for a signing bonus to compensate for the "lost bonus". But renegotiating is not a good idea.

I agree with uutxs above - a couple other things to consider:

1) You can probably ask for and get more vacation at your new employer. Maybe not the 4 weeks you currently have, but maybe 3 instead of 2. Many employers are flexible on this - especially when coming into a higher level job. 4 weeks vacation is pretty good for private sector - but usually only gained after being at a place for at least several years. I would let the new employer know that you would like to take the offer, but that you are really concerned about the reduction in vacation time - especially if you have family or need to travel to see family, etc.

2) If you know this new offer is solid - you can always go back to your current employeer and let them know that you have another opportunity. A 25% raise is a lot to give to keep you - so they might not match it if you are not very valuable to them. Plus, there is the fact that you are unhappy - but you don't say why. When you have nothing left to lose (i.e. you plan to go to the new job anyway) it is a perfect opportunity to go to your current employeer and let them know what you need to make you happy and make you stick around. This could be talks about salary increase, promotion opportunities, etc.

BenH said:   I agree with uutxs above - a couple other things to consider:

1) You can probably ask for and get more vacation at your new employer. Maybe not the 4 weeks you currently have, but maybe 3 instead of 2. Many employers are flexible on this - especially when coming into a higher level job. 4 weeks vacation is pretty good for private sector - but usually only gained after being at a place for at least several years. I would let the new employer know that you would like to take the offer, but that you are really concerned about the reduction in vacation time - especially if you have family or need to travel to see family, etc.

2) If you know this new offer is solid - you can always go back to your current employeer and let them know that you have another opportunity. A 25% raise is a lot to give to keep you - so they might not match it if you are not very valuable to them. Plus, there is the fact that you are unhappy - but you don't say why. When you have nothing left to lose (i.e. you plan to go to the new job anyway) it is a perfect opportunity to go to your current employeer and let them know what you need to make you happy and make you stick around. This could be talks about salary increase, promotion opportunities, etc.


Not happy with culture, values, people, management, pay, etc. So I really don't want to stick around and think if I asked them to match it they'd most likely show me the door.

I'll see if I can negotiate vacation pay, as far as a signing bonus, what do people typically ask for?

One thing I forgot, since no more HSA, I used to max it out, it reduced my taxable income.

Current employer pays twice a month and new employer pays every two weeks so it makes it more difficult to compare the numbers.

Depends on the type of position you are going into. Honestly I would never expect an employer to give a signing bonus to someone other than senior management - unless the job was highly in demand. I think you might be better off talking to them about yearly bonuses instead - and if they offer those and under what terms.

15% (assuming you weren't too stagnant with raises at your old job) is not a horrible increase - especially to get out of somewhere you don't like.

If you think the new place really likes you and wants you - I would go back to them and make a case for the complete package. Tell them that you really want to come and work for them, but the diminished vacation, lack of 401k match, medical program, etc are concerns for you. If you told them, or it comes up, that your salary is increasing 15% you should reinforce that you are worth that (or more than that - after all you started at 40%).

If you approach this professionally with the idea that you really want to make it work with the new employer, you just need them to give a little more then there is very little chance they are going to rescind an offer to you. On the contrary, if they see that you really want to be there, and approach this conversation professionally, they will probably bend to try and get you to come on.


jobofferdude said:   BenH said:   I agree with uutxs above - a couple other things to considr:

1) You can probably ask for and get more vacation at your new employer. Maybe not the 4 weeks you currently have, but maybe 3 instead of 2. Many employers are flexible on this - especially when coming into a higher level job. 4 weeks vacation is pretty good for private sector - but usually only gained after being at a place for at least several years. I would let the new employer know that you would like to take the offer, but that you are really concerned about the reduction in vacation time - especially if you have family or need to travel to see family, etc.

2) If you know this new offer is solid - you can always go back to your current employeer and let them know that you have another opportunity. A 25% raise is a lot to give to keep you - so they might not match it if you are not very valuable to them. Plus, there is the fact that you are unhappy - but you don't say why. When you have nothing left to lose (i.e. you plan to go to the new job anyway) it is a perfect opportunity to go to your current employeer and let them know what you need to make you happy and make you stick around. This could be talks about salary increase, promotion opportunities, etc.


Not happy with culture, values, people, management, pay, etc. So I really don't want to stick around and think if I asked them to match it they'd most likely show me the door.

I'll see if I can negotiate vacation pay, as far as a signing bonus, what do people typically ask for?

One thing I forgot, since no more HSA, I used to max it out, it reduced my taxable income.

Current employer pays twice a month and new employer pays every two weeks so it makes it more difficult to compare the numbers.

jobofferdude said:   

Current employer pays twice a month and new employer pays every two weeks so it makes it more difficult to compare the numbers.


Why is it difficult to compare because of the difference in pay periods?

Compare annual salary A to annual salary B.

OR if they aren't giving you annual salary numbers for some reason,

Compare (biweekly salary x 26) to (semi-monthly salary x 24)

Am I missing something? It seems really easy to me to compare the two salaries....

nbha said:   BenH said:   

Current employer pays twice a month and new employer pays every two weeks so it makes it more difficult to compare the numbers.


Why is it difficult to compare because of the difference in pay periods?

Compare annual salary A to annual salary B.

OR if they aren't giving you annual salary numbers for some reason,

Compare (biweekly salary x 26) to (semi-monthly salary x 24)

Am I missing something? It seems really easy to me to compare the two salaries....


Ok not difficult, just considering the higher premiums it's not going to translate to a very big increase each paycheck, but ya if I work out the numbers the annual salary is correct, guess just psychologically I'm thinking I should be seeing a big increase each pay period.

@jobofferdude - misquote on above

Also - yes you shouldn't be looking at paycheck-by-paycheck. Would you rather me give you $100 a month, or $800 a year?

red for alt id

jobofferdude said:   -current employer has an annual bonus which won't be paid out until next year so I'd be leaving money on the table, new employer has no annual bonus.
Is this going to be early 2013? Can you delay joining the new employer long enough to get the bonus from current employer?
ETA: Depending on how the conversation with new employer went, and how urgent their need is, you can be upfront about this. Or tell them that you have some "unvested" benefits that you will lose unless you stay till xxx date. This would also give them an opening to offer you a "sign-in bonus" to somewhat makeup for this.

uutxs said:   jobofferdude said:   -current employer has an annual bonus which won't be paid out until next year so I'd be leaving money on the table, new employer has no annual bonus.
Is this going to be early 2013? Can you delay joining the new employer long enough to get the bonus from current employer?
ETA: Depending on how the conversation with new employer went, and how urgent their need is, you can be upfront about this. Or tell them that you have some "unvested" benefits that you will lose unless you stay till xxx date. This would also give them an opening to offer you a "sign-in bonus" to somewhat makeup for this.

Yes, I thought about just outright telling the new employer I'd like to delay starting until I actually get my annual bonus from my current employer. I just thought that would make me look greedy and historically the bonus is sometimes a few weeks late at current company so I don't want to to tell the new employer to wait an indeterminate amount of time. Also I'm thinking making the new employer wait much longer than the very beginning of January will seriously jeopardize my chances.

To further complicate things I have a bunch of paid time off that I was going to take for the holidays, but if I do that I really can't give my 2 weeks notice until next year unless I want to leave a bad impression on them. I could forego the vacation and give my 2 week notice in the middle of December but my current employer isn't required and won't out of generosity pay me for that accrued vacation time. I could always try having the new employer make up for this either monetarily or with extra vacation time.

Ultimately I know the new job is the right move and it's hard for me to imagine saying no, but at the same time I think my concerns about leaving money on the table at my current employer is enough for me to second guess myself.

I think it's fair to tell the new employer about the bonus you've earned as well as the vacation time off you have planned. Unless they have a backup candidate, starting over looking for a new candidate could mean 2-3 months until a new person could start.

They may very well let you delay your start date so you start off well rested and with a fat wallet (good impression of the new employer).

jobofferdude said:   
Yes, I thought about just outright telling the new employer I'd like to delay starting until I actually get my annual bonus from my current employer.


Why tell them that? Just tell them that you'd prefer to wait until after the holidays are over to start. It'd be hard to start in December anyway, with half the office out and the HR department more concerned with the holiday party than starting new employees.

jobofferdude said:   uutxs said:   jobofferdude said:   -current employer has an annual bonus which won't be paid out until next year so I'd be leaving money on the table, new employer has no annual bonus.
Is this going to be early 2013? Can you delay joining the new employer long enough to get the bonus from current employer?
ETA: Depending on how the conversation with new employer went, and how urgent their need is, you can be upfront about this. Or tell them that you have some "unvested" benefits that you will lose unless you stay till xxx date. This would also give them an opening to offer you a "sign-in bonus" to somewhat makeup for this.

Yes, I thought about just outright telling the new employer I'd like to delay starting until I actually get my annual bonus from my current employer. I just thought that would make me look greedy and historically the bonus is sometimes a few weeks late at current company so I don't want to to tell the new employer to wait an indeterminate amount of time. Also I'm thinking making the new employer wait much longer than the very beginning of January will seriously jeopardize my chances.

To further complicate things I have a bunch of paid time off that I was going to take for the holidays, but if I do that I really can't give my 2 weeks notice until next year unless I want to leave a bad impression on them. I could forego the vacation and give my 2 week notice in the middle of December but my current employer isn't required and won't out of generosity pay me for that accrued vacation time. I could always try having the new employer make up for this either monetarily or with extra vacation time.

Ultimately I know the new job is the right move and it's hard for me to imagine saying no, but at the same time I think my concerns about leaving money on the table at my current employer is enough for me to second guess myself.


I think it's pretty common to have the new company match accrued but unvested benefits, and to me wouldn't look greedy. I'll be a little concerned if the employee would leave thousands of dollars over something minor like that. It doesn't have to be cash. They might be more flexible in stock, options, etc. Ask. Don't make it look like you are trying to get them to reimburse for unvested benefits and at the same time collect said benefits from current employer, though.

From your view that your current company will walk you if they find out about this, if you value time off, perhaps asking for a later start might allow you to collect UE in the meantime.

StevenColorado said:   jobofferdude said:   
Yes, I thought about just outright telling the new employer I'd like to delay starting until I actually get my annual bonus from my current employer.


Why tell them that? Just tell them that you'd prefer to wait until after the holidays are over to start. It'd be hard to start in December anyway, with half the office out and the HR department more concerned with the holiday party than starting new employees.


That would be fine if I had an exact date it would be paid but the problem is my current employer usually doesn't tell us until sometime in January exactly when the bonus will be paid out. Sometimes it's at the end of January, sometimes it can take several weeks longer due to whatever reason. So that's why I'm somewhat hesitant about exactly how to approach this with the new employer.

Just pick a date in January and stick with it. You'll at least get to use some of your accrued vacation time and if you happen to get the bonus, great.

If you work past December 31st, say until Jan 15th and your previous employer decided to pay out on the 20th, can you still collect your bonus?
This is why I prefer hourly contracting. Pay me all the cash up front/hourly, let me decide what benefits I want to pay for. No need to wait for a bonus, it's built into your hourly rate!

hirenrp said:   If you work past December 31st, say until Jan 15th and your previous employer decided to pay out on the 20th, can you still collect your bonus?
This is why I prefer hourly contracting. Pay me all the cash up front/hourly, let me decide what benefits I want to pay for. No need to wait for a bonus, it's built into your hourly rate!


Most likely not, the company policy says you have to be actively employed to be paid the bonus.

Well just to update this thread, I'm still in limbo:

I finally got my job offer, I think it's taken so long because the new company has been dragging their feet but anyways.

The new employer said no signing bonus and wouldn't negotiate at all on the benefits or budge on the base salary.

Since all this time has passed I've gotten a raise for the new year, what was going to be a 25% raise is now more like a 20% raise by going to the new job, and again due to increased premiums, lost contributions I'm really only be getting effectively 10% raise now. I've found out the date my current employer will be giving me my annual bonus and it's going to be end up past my new employer's start date.

I'm thinking of trying to re-negotiate, but I already have the offer and they were pretty firm on not budging on the base salary. My current job has a potential annual bonus of up to 25% of my base salary, I almost hit that one year, and so far have never hit less than 10% thankfully. So as much as I'd like to get on board with the new employer, I can't get past the numbers and what looks like a small increase for such a big risk. Thoughts?

You basically said you think this new job offer is the best career move long term and with your specific skills job openings are very rare and you are not happy in your current job. I think that alone should answer your question on what you should do. Sometimes it's worth leaving some $$$$ on the table so you can be happy.

Well, I ended up turning down the offer, but I think it was for the best. I was leaning towards accepting it but they started playing fast and loose with my job title, they gave me an offer letter with the wrong job title, HR asked me if I'd be willing to sign it anyways, really? Then I politely asked for a new one that was corrected, after a couple weeks of waiting I was told the delay was happening because the Executives has no idea my would-be manager wanted to hire me, and I was told they did not give approval for my salary. That sounded really weird because my would-be manager told me there was no room to budge on my salary because he had sat down with the Executive already and hammered out what a 'fair' offer would be and he didn't want to have another discussion with them, internal politics? After being left in the dark for weeks, leaving voicemails and writing emails with no response, I call and magically HR answers, they say "Didn't your new manager XXX call you?". I said No, HR said sarcastically, "Excellent!"

Finally, they gave me a new offer letter with a completely different job title. HR said they asked if I would be comfortable taking Manager out of my job title because they said current employees would likely complain because I wouldn't actually be managing anyone, well why was Manager in the original job listing then and the job we agreed on? Then they told me they'd have to delay my start date because they didn't advertise the position to employees internally first. My would-be manager seemed to have no idea how hiring even worked, I thought my 2nd interview was to speak to HR, it wasn't, my would-be manager neglected to tell HR they wanted to hire me so HR never got invited to my interview the first time around, so I had to come in for a second time just to meet HR!

During my initial interview I was asked if I had a problem working with people of different ethnicities. I was also asked if I was married, I said yes, and they said because I will have to work late hours quite often and if I have a family at home that can be difficult. I was so blinded by the dollar signs they were offering me I chose to ignore those warning signs.

Too many red flags, I told them thanks for the offer but I needed more money to justify a huge risk just to see what they'd say, they told me to go pound sand.

Oh well, sometimes the grass isn't green as it seems on the other side. On a positive note there have been some non-financial things happening at my current job which are making things a little better for me, so maybe things can improve.



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