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What if the employer rejects my counter?

Many negotiation hurdles are the result of stating your salary expectations up front. What do you do when a potential employer offers you a sum lower than your desired rate?

Q.I was recently interviewed for a position of senior network analyst in Chicago. My current position is network administrator (MCSE W2K). The position I was offered was network analyst, reporting to a senior network analyst. They offered $69,000. Initially I had said I wanted $70,000, but I countered their offer with $73,000. The hiring manager rejected my counter. Basically they told me, "Thanks, but no thanks" and took the original offer off the table. Did I make a mistake, and if so, what should I have done to correct it?

A. Let me make sure I understand this correctly. You interviewed for a senior network analyst position, but were offered a network analyst job that would report to the senior network analyst position.

Here are some things you may want to remember in your next salary negotiation.

First of all, its never a good idea to divulge your salary requirements until you get a clear understanding of what the job is and to whom the job would be reporting.

Second, when you apply and interview for one job, but are offered another, ask the hiring manager why the company offered you a different job. The company may have a number of good reasons to do so. For instance, a company may think your skill set is better suited to a position at a different level from the one you anticipated when you applied.

Whatever the reason, both you and the employer should properly define the job before you enter into salary negotiations.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

Copyright 2000-2004 ©, Inc.

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