Never accept the first offer you get and always appreciate your own value!

Made a throwaway because I would hate for my co-workers to find out what I just negotiated.

A company in Silicon Valley hired me for an internship last year. I had a fantastic time working for them, all of my co-workers were great, and the work was interesting. However, one thing all the full time staff was telling me was that the starting salary for this position and this team was ~$70K. I struggled with this because, as many people know, California and Silicon Valley in particular are very expensive places to live. I also had some previous experience under my belt and some expertise in some areas of the company which I believe made me more valuable to them.

I got my first verbal offer from them shortly before leaving, and (as I expected) it was for the base of $70k. I explained to them that this was well below the standard for someone with my experience and the engineering degree that I would have upon graduation. They stated there was not much they could do with that, so I said I would get back to them but I was going to certainly explore other options.

I applied to other jobs, some that I still have interviews scheduled for, and they began throwing around some preliminary offers of $90-100k. These other jobs are not necessarily exciting and I don’t know much about the company culture or management.

I decided to reach out to my manager from my previous job and explained to him I was very interested in seeing what an offer on paper would look like with my experience and education taken into account. He said he would get back to me.

The first offer I received from HR was for $80k with a signing bonus! Already a decent jump from the first verbal offer I got. However, since I received the offer from HR, I wanted to see if I could negotiate the base again. I explained in detail my experience, what I thought I could bring to the table, other offers and also brought up the fact that relocation was not being considered.

Today, they got back to me with an additional $5k on the base salary and a relocation bonus! Needless to say, I ecstatic!

Many people coming out of school think that they can’t ask for more or don’t even think to ask. I was always told that you never accept the first offer and that surely worked out for me! I hope this pushes others out there to make sure you aren’t selling yourself short of your full potential!

TL;DR – Got a verbal offer from a company for $70k, shopped around for other offers between $90-100k. Went back to original company and wanted a written offer and gave evidence as to why I deserved more. Got written offer for $80k with sign on bonus. Pushed back and got another offer for $85k with sign on and relocation bonus. Today is a good day!

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