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Negotiating Base Salary

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Path-oh

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Interested to hear how much, if any, people were able to add to their initial offer. Obviously easier to do so with experience.

My experience (1st job):
- Most groups flat out said it was non-negotiable.
- Few said there was a "little wiggle room", whatever that means.
- 1 was willing to increase by 15% after the site interview.
 

icpshootyz

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Mine was non-negotiable. Every person in the group, regardless of skill level/experience was started at the same level during the employed, pre-partner time period. After that employment period ended you were either kept on and put on partner track (which was negotiable depending on skill level/experience) or you were let go if you weren't a good fit.
 

gbwillner

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Negotiating should be attempted, unless they tell you up-front it is not negotiable. In that case, you take it or leave it.

Always consider how much you need (or want) that job, vs. how much they need it filled and how much they value you above other applicants. I have hired many people at this point; I am always willing to pay more for someone I really want, but not willing to up the offer substantially for someone I think I am settling for. A few thousand bucks either way is always worth it just to close a deal and move forward. At the end of the day, everyone has to come away feeling good about it, and that they came away winners. If there is too much leverage in either direction, one party will really get what they want, but it is likely to be temporary as the other party will be looking for ways to improve their position ASAP.

Also consider other aspects to the negotiation:
Will they pay moving expenses?
Will they pay a sign-on bonus?
Will they cover insurance (health/disability/life)?
Will there be annual bonuses? what about the rate? How is it structured (your performance vs. company performance)?
If industry or large lab, is there equity? how much? What is it worth?


Good luck
 

Euchromatin

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I had a similar experience. Some groups had non-negotiable starting salaries. I was able to negotiate a bit with my current group, but I didn't attempt to do so until after I had gone on both initial and secondary interviews, they had given me the contract and I had a lawyer review it (and discussed what it would be reasonable to ask for with the lawyer too, based on his experience seeing a lot of other physician employment contracts). I was able to get a standard moving bonus that had not previously been offered, converted some compensation from an optional bonus, given at the discretion of the partners to part of my standard salary (I'm really glad I did that, by the way) and got a very slight (less than 5%) absolute salary increase. Not sure if it helped or was necessary, but I used slightly higher salary offers I had received at other interviews with comparable groups as my reasoning/basis for asking for more money.
 

yaah

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I would worry less about the starting salary than the following years. Are you going to be "equal" to the rest of the group?
 
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coroner

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Now that I think about it, you really don't know if it's negotiable or not unless you try to negotiate in the first place. Regardless, I'm pretty sure the offers I received were non-negotiable. These were from community-based, private practice groups. The best I tried to do was to see if I could make partner a half year earlier than scheduled, otherwise I'd have to wait a half year longer. In my case, the philosophy from other equal partners was "we started out with a lower base salary and had to wait just as long to make partner; therefore you do too". I think one would have a better chance of getting an upgrade of their initial offer at employed places vs private practice, but ymmv. Having said that, the whole art of negotiating revolves around a very basic principle: leverage...which you have next to none as a new pathology grad.
 

chimchar

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Suppose the job is offering loan repayment but you don't have any student loan, will you be able to bargain for a higher base salary or may be towards the signing bonus? Suppose you don't need to avail of relocation allowance, can that just go to the signing bonus?
 

Pathbusiness

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If you don't have to relocate or don't incur any expenses, then you just leave it at that.
 
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