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Old 01-29-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: No VA
225 posts, read 480,168 times
Reputation: 263

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we moved here 1 year ago. My husband had a regular job and got a new federal job out here. He took a HUGE pay cut. But our family is here and so we wanted our kids to grow up near grandma. He tried to talk to them about a higher pay, but nope, it didn't happen. we are struggling and he is having to work about 70 hours this next week. It's not easy!
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,030 times
Reputation: 556
Thanks again, everyone! I appreciate the advice and links. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,030 times
Reputation: 556
I was asked to submit pay stubs and provide the range of salary acceptable to me. They can't match my private sector pay, but are getting pretty darn close. I believe they are working to categorize me as a "superior candidate," and that will take some approvals/signatures, and one to two weeks to process. Nothing is a done deal yet, but I've gotten positive comments and words of encouragement from the team hiring for the position. My fingers are crossed!
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
487 posts, read 1,211,802 times
Reputation: 516
Getting an Offer is the Win.
Its harder and harder these days to get that offer.
Only you can decide if you can afford to live on a Federal Salary.
I took a cut, when I came on board, but have never regretted it.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,969,149 times
Reputation: 3858
The short answer to this question is YES, federal salaries are negotiable within the range stated on the job announcement. As to what you can actually get: I think depends a LOT on what the job is and what your qualifications are. I'm betting that the folks who managed to get signing bonuses are in some sorely needed speciality of IT or have some other major-need skill (e.g., fluency in Pashto). Someone who took a cut for a federal position may have just been doing really well in the private sector.

I managed to negotiate a slightly better offer when I came on board as a mid-career new fed. There were a lot of weird circumstances in my case that I won't go into. The point is that if you e-mail back a well-written, logical argument that you should get more money, based on specific facts, you have a good shot at succeeding. (Presuming their offer isn't 15% more than you're currently making! In which case trying to negotiate makes you look like a jacakass.) Whatever you do, DO NOT SAY NO. That is key. The most you want to say is, "The current salary offer would be difficult to accept." At the same time, you want to lead them to believe that you will probably say no if they don't come up much.

Some examples of specific things you can base your reasoning on:
  • Their initial salary offer isn't much of an increase over your current position.
  • You get less time off than from your current position. (This is especially important for mid-career folks, since most USG agenices will start you at 13 days/year no matter if you had 3 or 4 weeks of annual leave at your old gig. Some agencies will negotiate this; some won't.)
  • Federal employees won't get an annual COL increase (at least for the next couple of years), as announced by POTUS.
  • Your skills are at the highest level of those stated in the job announcement, and thus anyone with your skills will demand a higher salary.
Some agencies have an agency-wide cap on the amount of increase they will offer a new employee over what they're currently earning. I received one offer (that I declined for other reasons) of about 6% over my current salary and was told that was as high as they could go, in accordance with an agency-wide edict. At my current job, I managed to get 10% more than I'd been making, but I don't think they'd have gone much higher.

That said, if I were the only guy on the East Coast who can program in C+++++, who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by austindoxie1972 View Post
I was asked to submit pay stubs and provide the range of salary acceptable to me.
Avoid doing the latter if you possibly can. If you give a range, they'll probably offer you something close to the bottom of it. In salary negotiations, whoever names a number first loses. If it's not too late, tell them that you are signficantly underpaid right now and are determined that your next job will come with a salary that reflects your real market value. Ask them to just make their best offer.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 02-02-2012 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,030 times
Reputation: 556
Thanks, Carlingtonian. Great advice.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,030 times
Reputation: 556
Quick update: I was able to raise the salary 11 steps (had to stay in the same Grade). However, I had to receive "superior status" ratings and submit my paystubs to prove current compensation.

So, in short, it can be done. But I think it might depend on circumstances. I'm excited to be working for the agency that selected me!

Thanks again to everyone for their advice and opinion.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:40 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,130,459 times
Reputation: 6498
Quote:
Originally Posted by austindoxie1972 View Post
Quick update: I was able to raise the salary 11 steps (had to stay in the same Grade). However, I had to receive "superior status" ratings and submit my paystubs to prove current compensation.

So, in short, it can be done. But I think it might depend on circumstances. I'm excited to be working for the agency that selected me!

Thanks again to everyone for their advice and opinion.

Congratulations!
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,710 posts, read 6,261,438 times
Reputation: 1579
Awesome, glad the persistence paid off.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,969,149 times
Reputation: 3858
Congrats! Wow--11 steps. You did something right!
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