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Old 01-25-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,609,830 times
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So, I just got an offer from a federal agency. Is there any room for negotiating? I've heard no (from friends, colleagues). But I have also read that, yes, you can negotiate.

I didn't expect the feds to totally match my private sector salary, but what they offered kind of surprised me. And the surprise was not in a good way. :-)

Thanks for any insights or advice.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:13 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 3,727,473 times
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I wouldn't count on it. At least you have job security
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:33 PM
 
371 posts, read 732,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMUAlum08 View Post
I wouldn't count on it. At least you have job security
With all the budget cuts in the air, I wouldn't count on the job security either, especially if you are a brand new fed. Maybe still better than many private sector companies, but its not the sure thing it used to be.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: NOVA
393 posts, read 1,091,629 times
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I only know of one person who successfully negotiated her grade with the federal government.
Take it from someone who retired from the government after 34 years: be glad to have the offer.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:44 PM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,128,397 times
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In my agency, you can negotiate within your grade.

Where I work, if you are hired from the outside, the first thing they ask for is your paystub from your current employer. They then give you the next step above what you are making. So if you are applying for a GS-12, let's say, and you currently make $75,000, they will bring you in at the step that is just above your current pay. I have seen people negotiate higher than that, within the advertised pay grade, based on having superior qualifications.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,609,830 times
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Thanks, ChristineVA. I have asked to speak with the HR rep, to see if there is any room for negotiation. The Agency Lead for whom I will work absolutely gushed about my qualifications (superior, superior, superior! you were the top, the best choice by far!). And it's clear they really want me. They have 4 other openings they are trying to fill, and I have a bit of a specialized skill set and will help train/lead junior staff.

I'm fine with a pay cut. But I can only slash so much.

If producing my pay stub gets me to the next level...I'm more than happy to do that. Anyone else have the "pay stub" experience? Thanks again for the great advice.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,643,701 times
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I negotiated somewhat. The job I applied for had a range of GS-11 -- GS-13. The hiring manager and I talked about it after my first interview, and she agreed that my master's degree should warrant the GS-12, so that's what she took to HR. FWIW, this was at a small independent (non-Cabinet) agency back in 2002.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:23 PM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,128,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austindoxie1972 View Post
Thanks, ChristineVA. I have asked to speak with the HR rep, to see if there is any room for negotiation. The Agency Lead for whom I will work absolutely gushed about my qualifications (superior, superior, superior! you were the top, the best choice by far!). And it's clear they really want me. They have 4 other openings they are trying to fill, and I have a bit of a specialized skill set and will help train/lead junior staff.

I'm fine with a pay cut. But I can only slash so much.

If producing my pay stub gets me to the next level...I'm more than happy to do that. Anyone else have the "pay stub" experience? Thanks again for the great advice.

In my agency, the superior quals would mean not that you were so much better than the other applicants but that you rated the absolute highest in all areas based on your experience and education. If you have that, and depending on what your agency does, you may have a case.

We just hired someone in whose pay stub indicated that they would come in at the GS 13/step 2 pay grade. He wanted to come in higher because he knew he wouldn't get a raise for at least a year (if not more) and also had some defined skills that we couldn't readily get elsewhere. After a few weeks of back and forth, we were able to give in a GS13/Step 5.

Also we hired someone who was making over the GS13/Step 12 rate so we could not bring them in as a GS-14. But we did bring that person in as a GS-13/Step 12 and provided a rather large signing bonus. Not everyone gets that, it really depends on how bad that want/need you.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:47 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,614,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
In my agency, you can negotiate within your grade.

Where I work, if you are hired from the outside, the first thing they ask for is your paystub from your current employer. They then give you the next step above what you are making. So if you are applying for a GS-12, let's say, and you currently make $75,000, they will bring you in at the step that is just above your current pay. I have seen people negotiate higher than that, within the advertised pay grade, based on having superior qualifications.
I worked in federal HR many years ago and this is how we were able to negotiate a higher pay for new hires. What you are trying to do is find the step closest to your current salary within the grade offered. There were agencies where the hiring official had to write a statement making the request and justifying why it was necessary. It was easier to do than justifying a recruitment bonus or relocation assistance. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
2,435 posts, read 3,085,664 times
Reputation: 4455
Never worked for the Feds, but remember, they are competing for the best and the brightest, just like the private sector...one thing is certain; if you don't ask for more money/perks, you'll never get more money/perks. Negotiate for the moon, settle for a star or two. Negotiate for relocation assistance, negotiate based on cost of housing/cost of living at the new location. I'd go for it...what is the worst they are gonna say ? What do you have to lose ?
Nothing makes you feel bad about your decision as much as forever wondering if you left money on the table.

Regards
Gemstone1
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