I hate, hate, hate negotiations. This morning I had to go into the office for the new job and receive my offer. Actually I should probably back up and say that during my interview the two managers interviewing me asked me if I knew Jane (Jane not her real name) who also worked at my previous job. I said yes, and they asked me a few questions about her. I said all positive things cause I thought she was a good co-worker. So then I ask how they know her and they said she had also interviewed last week. So when it was clear yesterday that they would be making an offer I called her up and asked how her interview went and found out they had already made an offer to her too. She didn't tell me what the number was for the salary, but she indicated that it was way better than what she was making before and that she was surprised at how high it was and that she was really impressed with everything about the company. Since I knew what her salary was at the previous job I had a ballpark for about what they offered her.
Sooo fast forward to this morning when I go in to get my offer. It is 8 - 10k less than what I think they offered her. I know they based it off what I had put for a salary requirement and is in the range I might have accepted if I didn't know what I know. BUT I'm feeling crappy that someone with fewer years experience and no Educational background in our field (Jane's degree is in something else) is getting offered so much more just cause she had the balls to put down a higher figure on her application.
So I told the recruiter I was a little dissapointed in the that figure and was really hoping for about 5 - 10k more. She of course looks at my application and can see that doesn't match with the application and I explain that I've done a little research over the past few days on what Tech Writers make in the Metro Milwaukee area and that the figure they've offered is more entry-level than five years experience. I also mention that I just went off the salary at my most recent position without thinking and that I felt really underpaid there (It's true), and I don't want to be in that situation again. So she says we'll see what we can do and ushers me out of the building saying they will contact me later in the day.
They of course figured out that Jane and I talked - they were the ones to tell me she was interviewing there too for Pete's sake. There was much drama of the HR person calling me up a few times to try to feel me out and I just stuck to the same reasons I gave before and not mentioning Jane. They called up Jane to feel out where she was and she admitted to talking to me but told them she didn't disclose her offer number, which was true, and I told the same story when they pressed me about it.
In the end they came up 6k on their offer and I've accepted and all is well. What stress though - I just hate negotiating and it always makes me feel like I'm the evil money-grubbing bitch or something. But seriously, I would have hated to work next to a writer who I know has less experience and education for less than what she was making. I guess I'm glad I stood up for myself, but now I'm feeling like maybe I'm starting off on the wrong foot with these people. All can I do now though is show up on Feb. 6 and work hard and show I'm worth it I guess.