Manager Tools Team-

I need some advice. I am a recent marketing graduate and have just been offered a position with a reputable bank here in Australia.

Key points:

[b]Received Offer
Need to call back ASAP
How do I negotiate a better salary?[/b]

I just received an offer from them (via voicemail) and will need to return their call soon.

The question I have is how do I negotiate a better salary? During the initial stages, the salary expectation question came up, and as per Mark & Mike's suggestions, I used the line, "I don't have any...I trust you will offer a reasonable salary, ....". They then told me what salary they are offering.

Do I still have a right to negotiate, seeing as though the ball is in my court?

I am new to this, and would appreciate any assistance.



jprlopez's picture

Hi matto,

Congratulations on the offer.

Here is a question, what constitutes a better salary for you?

Think about the following:
1. Do some research specific to pay scales within your industry and position
2. Identify the value you can give the company in exchange for better compensation
3. If it is important, try to see if you can have better benefits and not just specific to the salary component
4. Group/performance bonuses - see if they provide this

It has been a fine line for me trying to decide whether I am still asking for fair compensation and looking too greedy at the start of the relationship.
I have never been comfortable with negotiating compensation but having these information have helped.

I am sure some of our friends on the boards will have more to add.

jhack's picture

Why do you need to negotiate a better salary? Can you live on the salary they're offering, and do you want the job?

You should know your personal budgetary needs, and if this meets that level, you're in good shape. You shouldn't have to build up credit card debt just to get by.

There's always someone out there making more than you. The salary surveys always seem to be higher than your actual salary. It's not a contest; it doesn't matter. Can you live on the salary they're offering, and do you want the job?

OK, off the soapbox. If you are going to negotiate, you need to do so from a position of strength and knowledge. You have to know the market, you have to know if you're the candidate they really really want, and you have to be sure that you won't alienate them. If you told them that you believe their offer will be fair, you run the risk of telling them that they weren't if you counter offer. I wouldn't recommend this course of action. Why?

Most banks in the US (don't know Australia) reward performers. Once you're in there, you can have an impact, and earn the right to ask for more responsibility and more compensation.

Let us know how it goes.

arun's picture

Hi Matt,

Most large recruitment firms in Oz produce salary surveys. Check out Hays, Michael Page or Robert Walters websites. This should give you an idea of what the salary range should be.

Not sure about the negotiating bit though. M&M discourage this. Some firms increase from the starting base after successful completion of probation period. Something to bear in mind or ask.

MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Hi Matt. Congratulations on your offer! Not sure of the norms in Australia but if the salary is something you can live with than I would recommend taking the position and give them a reason, once you're there, to pay you more. You'll come out better for it.

Best wishes to you!

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I agree with all of the above. Do you simply feel like you ought to negotiate just because? Are you not confident they have offered you a fair salary to begin with? If so, were you not telling the truth in the interview when you said you were sure they'd offer you a fair salary?

They told you what their salary range was when you said you knew they'd be fair. And they told you early in the process. It seems like they have been up-front with you.

If their offer is low, tell them so. Tell them why. Have a frank and honest discussion.

If their offer is not low, smile, raise your eyebrows, and accept their offer.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

A small favor: would someone please aggregate a couple of the links that have my posts in it to answer this question? I'm trying to meet the Premium Content Deadline, and a little pinched.

Bottom line: not sure you need to be negotiating.

matto's picture

[b]I accepted the offer. [/b]

Thank you to everyone for your assistance. Much appreciated. I took on board your advice, and accepted the offer without needing to negotiate. I guess strong performance will lead to a positive performance review, which eventually will mean a higher salary. I'll let my performance do the talking in the future.

Arun, you suggested that I check out the Hays Salary Survey 2007, which I did, and found that the salary on offer was higher than the average for that particular position. Thank you - I didn't realise these surveys existed.

I am looking forward to the set of interview casts, as Mark and Mike mentioned in their blog posting that they will be dealing with this topic in depth: [i]"is is one of the least understood and most dangerous areas of interviewing. The old rule that “he who says a number first loses” is just plain WRONG. We’ll tell you why you can’t negotiate (it’s true), and how to discuss compensation effectively. And, when you can and when it’s too early".[/i]


arun's picture



Most large orgs participate in and use these surveys as guidelines to set their payscales. Glad to be able to help.

Good luck Mate

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

SWEET! Glad it went well. When you perform, your income will grow.

Glad we helped...and the credit goes to you, in the ring.