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Employer pulled the job offer after I tried to negotiate
by Alison Green on
A reader writes:
My job offer was rescinded after I sent an email attempting to negotiate the base salary to ,000 plus what was originally offered. I was horrified after receiving the employer’s initial response withdrawing the offer. Such a situation is rarely talked about in internet job articles (I read yours on this matter but like I said — not too many others) and I was not expecting it. I have been job searching for almost a year now and I just cannot seem to get past the interview stage. I have had many interviews and no offers — until now.
In an attempt to be professional, I emailed the employer back asking the reason for his decision and thanking him for his time and consideration. He just replied with this: “Simply, I’ve never had a negotiation process with any new applicant in hiring. My experience is that if a new employee is not content that he or she didn’t get enough in the beginning, it results in lack of commitment.”
I’m very desperate right now. I know I should not have attempted to negotiate if I wasn’t ready to walk away. Now that I have realized my mistake, I would really like to rectify it. So my question is, should I frame a response that essentially begs asks for the first offer since I am content with it? Or should I just let this (as painful as it is) go?
Well, the first thing to know is that this guy is completely out of line. Assuming that you were professional and polite when you tried to negotiate, no reasonable employer would yank an offer just because you asked for a few thousand dollars more. They certainly might say no, but telling you that people shouldn’t even try to negotiate? Negotiating in that range is a normal, common, totally accepted part of the hiring process. Unless he told you earlier that he doesn’t negotiate and that his offer was his best and only offer, it’s irrational and wildly out of touch to penalize people for engaging in normal behavior.
That means that you really might be better off not working for this guy. People who have rigid and weird and wrong ideas like this are often terrible to work with. You’d almost certainly see similar rigidity and weirdness and wrongness from him about other issues too — like vacation time or speaking up when your workload is high or expressing a dissenting opinion.
Basically, what he just showed you is that you dodged a bullet.
That said, if you’re desperate for work, even a bullet can be appealing.
If that’s your situation — if you just need work and don’t care if it’s for a horrible employer — then you can certainly try responding and seeing if it can be salvaged. It may or may not be salvageable, but you have nothing to lose by trying.
If you do want to try, I’d say this: “I’m actually very committed to this job and was incredibly excited to receive your offer. I’ve always worked with employers where negotiation was an expected part of the offer process, and most of what I’ve read encourages candidates to negotiate. But I’d be glad to accept your original offer, and could do so very happily if you’re still willing to extend it. I’d love to do this job.”
But again, I’d think long and hard about this before doing it, because if he says yes, you’ll be signing up to work with a horrid and unreasonable person.
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