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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Should You Ever Take a Low-Ball Salary Offer?

Topics: Negotiation

You know you should negotiate salary, but sometimes it’s hard to act on what you know. Other times, you do your best to drive up the offer, to no avail: it’s either take the gig, and deal with the low pay, or stay put. (And if you’re unemployed, that can be a particularly difficult option to contemplate.) This week’s roundup looks at what one expert says about taking lower offers, plus how to tell when it’s time to look for a new job, and a few hints that the hiring manager probably won’t be extending a job offer.


(Photo Credit: cohdra/

Suzanne Lucas, The Evil HR Lady, at Why You Should Never Accept a Low-Ball Salary Offer

Do You Know What You're Worth?

First things first: if you’re unemployed, all bets are off.

“If you’re unemployed and receive a low-ball offer, you’ll need to have stronger salary data. It’s possible to get a good offer while being unemployed, but it’s also a good idea to go ahead and accept an imperfect offer rather than being unemployed,” Lucas writes. “Don’t hold out for perfection. You need money.”

In almost any other situation, however, it pays to negotiate. Why? Because your raise will be calculated as a percentage of your current salary. Start off low – or take what they offer, without question – and you’ll wind up with a salary that’s pegged to that rate. Lucas explains the math and how to make it work in your favor, here.

And if you’re in need of salary data to use as ammunition, there’s no time like the present to take PayScale’s Salary Survey, generate your free salary report, and figure out what your salary range should be.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk at The Office Blend: 4 Signs You’ve Already Left Your Job

“It’s been months. You’ve been unhappy at work and in spite of your efforts — things haven’t improved. Through all of the discussions with your manager, colleagues and friends, you still find yourself upset, unmotivated and unfulfilled,” Gottschalk writes. “You may not realize it — but you may already passed the threshold of ‘gone.’ Simply put, you may not be getting enough from your current role to sustain a viable, healthy relationship.”

Think that might be you? Look at the signs, and think about making a change.

Alison Doyle at’s Job Searching: How to Tell If You’re Going to Get a Job Offer – or Not

“One of the worst parts of job searching is not hearing back from employers, even after an interview,” Doyle writes. “Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm these days rather than the exception. So you might consider yourself lucky if you hear anything at all during the interview process.”

Of course, even if you hear back, it’s hard to get honest feedback – or even a straight answer about your chances of getting hired. But there are a few ways to tell if you’re probably not going to get the job. Doyle offers some translations for hiring manager speak, here.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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