Jump to content

Offer negotiation failed?


Lawman27

Recommended Posts

Lawman27
  • Lawyer

Hi everyone, I need some help

So I'm currently on contract with a firm as a first-year associate. My contract is coming to an end, and my boss gave me a full-time offer. I told my boss that I'll want to negotiate the offer, and he said that we can discuss terms later and he'll see if he can make it work. The following week after the offer was made, we had a meeting where I asked for two things 1) a salary increase of 10-15% based on what I think the current market rate is, and 2) an annual review of performance and salary at the completion of 1 full-year with the firm from when I had started. My boss said that he'll let me know soon.

Today I heard back from my boss, who emailed and said that he is unable to accept these terms, and that he wishes me all the best finding a position. I was confused and anxious, because I didn't think he would revoke the offer altogether. I recognize that when you counter offer, the first offer is technically no longer on the table, and I failed to consider this as a real risk. If he wasn't going to accept the terms, I thought he'd at least say "hey, we cannot accept these terms, please send me the signed original offer if you'd like to stay". I replied to my boss saying thank you for considering my terms, I would like to stay with the firm and grow, and I emailed the signed original offer. I am awaiting a reply. I'm really hoping that there was some sort of confusion/miscommunication, and he thought that I wasn't going to accept at all unless I got what I wanted, which I don't think I represented myself as such.

Has anyone encountered something like this before? Is this normal when negotiating an offer of employment?

Any insight is welcome

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diplock
  • Lawyer

For whatever it's worth, speaking as a small employer, I'd calibrate your understanding of how you're perceived by your employer as "good enough for now." Because unless your boss is pulling some kind of obscure power move (if he was, it's working, but I don't read it that way) you've basically established that you're good enough to keep around at what he was offering but not for much more.

I don't know if there's still room for further communication without looking desperate, but the positive take away from that would be something like "okay, I get that's where I sit right now, and it was premature for me to ask for more - my goal will be to become so valuable over the next few years we won't need to have this kind of conversation again." I mean, that's a better message than "shit, I over-played my hand, please let me stay!"

Anyway, good luck.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lawman27
  • Lawyer
29 minutes ago, Diplock said:

I don't know if there's still room for further communication without looking desperate, but the positive take away from that would be something like "okay, I get that's where I sit right now, and it was premature for me to ask for more - my goal will be to become so valuable over the next few years we won't need to have this kind of conversation again." I mean, that's a better message than "shit, I over-played my hand, please let me stay!"

For sure, I think that's how I look at it as well. It would have been good to say something like that in the email I replied with, but I basically just said maybe there was some confusion, I want to stay here, thanks for considering the counter, heres the original signed offer.

And I'm really hoping that there was just some sort of miscommunication, that perhaps I represented myself to him in such a way that "if I don't get this, I'm walking"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get you need to eat, pay rent etc so this may not be an option, but I wouldn’t work for that person (at least long term). 
 

Your assumption that the original offer would still be on the table was reasonable. Especially as you indicated a desire to negotiate and he welcomed it. 
 

If his offer was take it or leave it, he should have said so when you first raised negotiating it. 
 

Unless you somehow insulted him in making the counteroffer (I don’t see how you could), his response was ridiculous. This is not someone I’d want to have negotiate salary with on a yearly basis nor ever want to actually want to work as partners with.

A reasonable response would have been something like “sorry we looked at the financials, we can’t afford to offer more than the first offer, which is still on the table”.

My advice, look for another job. Hopefully if the contract is accepted, it doesn’t have too long of a notice period.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

happydude
  • Lawyer
8 hours ago, Cool_name said:

I get you need to eat, pay rent etc so this may not be an option, but I wouldn’t work for that person (at least long term). 
 

Your assumption that the original offer would still be on the table was reasonable. Especially as you indicated a desire to negotiate and he welcomed it. 
 

If his offer was take it or leave it, he should have said so when you first raised negotiating it. 
 

Unless you somehow insulted him in making the counteroffer (I don’t see how you could), his response was ridiculous. This is not someone I’d want to have negotiate salary with on a yearly basis nor ever want to actually want to work as partners with.

A reasonable response would have been something like “sorry we looked at the financials, we can’t afford to offer more than the first offer, which is still on the table”.

My advice, look for another job. Hopefully if the contract is accepted, it doesn’t have too long of a notice period.

Agreed fully. It's not like you out of nowhere asked for more money when someone offered you a permanent job, as opposed to your current contract situation, in a tough market, as a fresh call. Which some might perceive as biting the hand that feeds. You indicated a desire to negotiate, he welcomed it, and your offer was only a raise of 10-15% so it was hardly an offensive or insulting counter-offer. In fact, you said it was market rate.

Look elsewhere. This screams toxic boss.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
SoIWantToBeALawyer
  • Law Student
On 5/27/2023 at 4:22 PM, Lawman27 said:

For sure, I think that's how I look at it as well. It would have been good to say something like that in the email I replied with, but I basically just said maybe there was some confusion, I want to stay here, thanks for considering the counter, heres the original signed offer.

And I'm really hoping that there was just some sort of miscommunication, that perhaps I represented myself to him in such a way that "if I don't get this, I'm walking"

Curious to know what your boss responded with, if anything

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 5/27/2023 at 3:27 PM, Lawman27 said:

Hi everyone, I need some help

So I'm currently on contract with a firm as a first-year associate. My contract is coming to an end, and my boss gave me a full-time offer. I told my boss that I'll want to negotiate the offer, and he said that we can discuss terms later and he'll see if he can make it work. The following week after the offer was made, we had a meeting where I asked for two things 1) a salary increase of 10-15% based on what I think the current market rate is, and 2) an annual review of performance and salary at the completion of 1 full-year with the firm from when I had started. My boss said that he'll let me know soon.

Today I heard back from my boss, who emailed and said that he is unable to accept these terms, and that he wishes me all the best finding a position. I was confused and anxious, because I didn't think he would revoke the offer altogether. I recognize that when you counter offer, the first offer is technically no longer on the table, and I failed to consider this as a real risk. If he wasn't going to accept the terms, I thought he'd at least say "hey, we cannot accept these terms, please send me the signed original offer if you'd like to stay". I replied to my boss saying thank you for considering my terms, I would like to stay with the firm and grow, and I emailed the signed original offer. I am awaiting a reply. I'm really hoping that there was some sort of confusion/miscommunication, and he thought that I wasn't going to accept at all unless I got what I wanted, which I don't think I represented myself as such.

Has anyone encountered something like this before? Is this normal when negotiating an offer of employment?

Any insight is welcome

You played right into his hands by signing back. Sounds like your boss is a piece of work and there will be limited opportunities for advancement. Start looking for a new job. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diplock
  • Lawyer
40 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

You played right into his hands by signing back. Sounds like your boss is a piece of work and there will be limited opportunities for advancement. Start looking for a new job. 

I wouldn't say the OP played into their boss' hand so much as they simply had a weak hand to begin with. I mean, taking a job you are desperately glad to have at the terms you've been offered and then trying to get more knowing you'd never walk away anyway...that's just a weak play. The last time I put myself on the line like that I did walk - because the job wasn't work staying for unless I got what I asked for. That's a strong play. This just isn't, and never was. So I don't know if we'll ever have the full story from a balanced perspective. But the OP just fucked up, basically. I don't know for sure the boss is even in the wrong. It would depend on a lot of information we don't have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lawman27
  • Lawyer

Just as an update for those who were wondering, I talked to my boss and he was fine having me stay on under the original contract. I think he just thought that if I didnt get the things I negotiated, then I didnt want to work there, so it was a bit of a miscommunication. 

I agree with a lot of the sentiments and thoughts you all have posted. It was never about walking away if I didnt get what I asked for, it was about just trying to adjust the contract to what I thought was more in line with the current market. 

At the end of the day, with as much uncertainty as there is in the job market right now, Im just happy to be employed as a junior lawyer and continue learning the practice. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By accessing this website, you agree to abide by our Terms of Use. YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT CONSTRUE ANY POST ON THIS WEBSITE AS PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE EVEN IF SUCH POST IS MADE BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE A LAWYER. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.