Submitted by pandaxpressd t3_11masm5 in washingtondc

Currently up for a role that seems to have a pretty concrete salary schedule. Just curious if it’s worth negotiating and if anyone has had success in similar circumstances.

I’d like to ask for about 5k more than the max which would match my current salary in the private sector. Role is mid-level and this would be my first time working for the government.



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giscard78 t1_jbgvn4n wrote

> I’d like to ask for about 5k more than the max which would match my current salary in the private sector.

I assume this means that with a certain grade, the pay for the max step is $5,000 below your current salary. Whether you can get the max step is office dependent but there is no mechanism to go above the max step except for maybe a hiring bonus (and if the advertisement doesn’t mention a hiring bonus, there isn’t one). You can provide pay stubs to ask for the max bonus, a couple should suffice, and it depends on office if they consider things like bonus or commission (no idea if that applies to you). If they counter and say “this is the best we got” (whether that changes or not), that’s what they can do, and since you’re mid-level, they’ll probably just go to the next candidate after that.


Existing365Chocolate t1_jbgyajo wrote

My friend was offered a ton of leave when they went government for a lower salary since they couldn’t match the difference. He started with like a month of leave or something

Could be an option to ask for depending on how much you value time vs money


luworld3 t1_jbh7l36 wrote

DC gov won't do this for a mid level position.


rw2016 t1_jbguhdb wrote

My husband was able to negotiate up a few steps when entering the government. It did extend his time to get his final offer and he had to provide evidence to support the request


ericv51389 t1_jbgusvb wrote

If it is a CS position or any other non-management level position, you will have little success, but may be agency specific. At least with my agency, all CS positions are unions who set the standards for where new hires fall within the pay grade and then yearly step increases. No new hires are able to negotiate a different salary.

If management level, you should be able to negotiate successfully, pending the hiring department has the funds to give over the minimum starting. I was successfully able to negotiate for mine.


luworld3 t1_jbh7sol wrote

If they're offering more than what you make now, you won't have much luck negotiating. My agency told me they'll go to about a Step 4 in negotiations, and anything beyond that would require the Director's approval.


AsbestosIn0bstetrics t1_jbjez17 wrote

Be sure to talk a lot about "Aunt Muriel" during the interview. They'll give you anything you ask for.


dcsnarkington t1_jbjykc4 wrote

You need to provide more detail. Most likely this is a GS schedule position.

Most likely you can negotiate steps within the range but not a whole grade. E.g. you can negotiate to get bumped up from.a GS 10 step 2 offered to a step 4 but not to a GS 11 step 1. The reason is the position is usually set at a Grade, but not a specific step.

Its no skin off the hiring managers back to bump you up steps Human resource financing and budgeting is handled by positions not really by what step or by absolute cost. In other words having too many maxed out step 10s doesn't hurt the organization really.

Also you absolutely must negotiate for PTO now. You will never get another chance to do so. You should get credit for prior experience outside of govt. So if you have 5 years of general experience you should get 20 days per year. This also doesn't cost your hiring manager anything.

Less than 3 years of service - 13 workdays per year 3 but less than 15 years of service - 20 workdays per year 15 years of service and over - 26 workdays per year

HR is often at odds with the actual people hiring you. The people hiring you do not care about paying you more or giving you more pto, as long as it's justifiable. HR will try to lower your comp because that's their job. You have very strong negotiating power as if you have an offer they have already gone down a very long road to get there. If you walk they have to start all over.

Also if you need it, ask about relocation which is also often very generous in govt.


Sentence_Electrical t1_jbqscmy wrote

I think it might be hard, but also might depend on a lot of factors like agency rules and seniority. I know someone who took a pay cut relative to their last role and also had a private sector offer for twice more than what DC gov was offering, tried to negotiate for a bit more than the initial offer, and they didn't budge.