New job salary advice…

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  • New job salary advice…
  • user-removed

    Public sector?! You’re talking about taking the bread out of my babies’ mouths (apparently)!


    Hi all,
    I’ve been in the same job for the last 13 years so somewhat out of the loop with these things. I’ve seen a job advertised that would be perfect for me and give me the new challenge and direction i desperately need and thought i would never get.
    The move would mean me taking a sizeable pay cut but i thinks its doable based on initial figures but wonder how things could pan out so if you’d be so kind I’ve a few questions that you may be able to help me with….

    – When a job is advertised with a payscale of £21,000 – £23,000 am I right in assuming that the starting figure would be somewhere in between the two depending on experience.

    – Is the figure set in stone or is there room for negotiations, bearing in mind the drop in pay I’d be taking?

    – How would you expect wages to go up in the first say five years after starting. I know that’s a hard one to answer and prob can only get the specifics from the employer but I don’t want that to be my opening line of questioning!!

    If it helps its a role in the public sector that is very very very unlikely to ever be adapted much or the role lost.
    A very secure role but still in the public sector, I’m in the private at the moment. The only other info I have right now is that its pay scale grade G, whatever that means!

    Thanks all

    Premier Icon stumpyjon

    If you’d been talking private sector I would have expected there to be some latitude on initial pay above those figures with sod all chance of a payrise once in post (cost of living if you’re lucky).

    Public sector, less chance of initial negotiation above the advertised figures, still no chance of pay increases and cost of living capped at 1%, so real terms pay cuts.

    Never quite understood the automatic in role payrise thing unless it’s specifically a development role, nor does the government it seems. Sounds like a gamble to me, I took a role 3 years ago to change career direction knowing it would likely end up with no job in that organisation but with some experience in the new role. Only did it with a hefty payrise. Did get made redundant 18 months later but had enough experience to get another job in the same role for a further small payrise. If I had taken a py cut to change durection it would have taken a long time to get to my current salary level.

    What you need to ask yourself is how desperately do you want to change roles, if a lot suck up the pay cut and live with the consequences. If not that much apply, I you get to second interview start to negotiare hard, you’ve nothing to lose and will gain interview experience that will help when a higher paid opportunity comss along.

    Just remember nobody is guaranteed career or salary progression these days.


    I have negotiated (successfully) starting salaries in the public sector several times. As with any negotiation, you need to have something to offer that they want – otherwise they will just say ‘no’.

    As for progression, it used to be automatically applied each year, but this is no longer always the case (although may still be for your job), and the govt are looking to remove this over the next year or two in any case.


    I’d imagine the starting figure would literally be the starting figure of the 2 amounts given that it is public sector.

    As for increases I’d guess over that over that side of the fence they will be few and far between.

    Good luck with the decision though.


    Public sector pay tends to not stray from that advertised. If you can sell yourself then you might start on the higher figure. If you do not have loads of experience it will be the lower figure they offer. they can show savings if they offer you the lower pay even if you sell yourself well, so aim for the lower and you at least have the chance to rise to the higher pay through time. good luck.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    You have nothing to lose by applying for the job. If you’re the right candidate and they can see you’re commanding a higher salary elsewhere that is the best bargaining position you can have.


    negotiate towards the higher end. The fact that you’re prepared to negotiate will mark you out as a fairly advanced individual within the public sector so they’ll take this as a sign you’re going to be quite good.


    its always harder to justify a price increase, tell them that their offer is too low and that you’ll be taking a sizeable pay cut for their highest offer, then ask them for additional benefits such as subsidised transport, expenses, accommodation, etc


    Given the current slash and burn economic policy I can’t see it being realistic you’d be able to negotiate above the advertised band, it probably took them 6 months to get approval to recruit for the role. I wouldn’t assume any pay rises for the next 3 years either.


    Personally, I’d explain your situation and go for the high figure. It’s a very common thing to want a job for development / challenge / lifestyle reasons and work out they you can survive on a lower salary. You then go for the interview, get offered the job…..then think it over and decide that you don’t really want it, as the salary is too low.

    It happened to me few years ago, and talking to a mate in recruitment, he said it’s a very common thing to happen. His take on it (which I think is dead right) was “Don’t sell yourself short just to get the job, because your wasting everybody’s time, just be straight about the figure you would actually like to take the job at”.

    3 months into the job, if the salary is too low, you’ll jack it in, and you have to explain it away on your CV. IMHO, the options for salary improvement once your in a role are much harder than at the interview, so unless they indicate otherwise, what you ask for is what you’ll get for the foreseeable.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Apply first and give the interview process your best. Just because it’s lower paid doesn’t mean you are a “shoe in” for the job.

    As for the money I would agree with the view that its a published pay scale, to be at the top end you’ll have to fulfil or exceed their requirements. Don’t forget the value of the benefits like pension which are very valuable versus the public sector.

    What I’d add is whats your medium term goal ? You are taking the job for lifestyle ? Is this a new direction which you hope (expect ?) will lead to better pay in the longer term. Living on less money needs to be though through carefully.

    Premier Icon dday

    Most companies will pay based on the individual. The advertised rate is typically a ‘book’ price (HR band or grade the role or title not the job, and its always the lower part of the scale)

    Kick in plus 5k an the top number. You can only negotiate down. Never up.

    I’m not familiar with public sector payment. But after the 1st year in the job, its not unreasonable to expect a 1% to 3% payrise. At minimum to keep up with inflation. It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask at the interview. Good Luck!


    I suggest that you’d soon find yourself miserable at having to take a pay cut for a job that won’t turn out to be what you expected. The right thing to do is to look hard for a job at a higher salary. (That’s assuming you’re a “professional” rather than a tradesman.)


    Cheers for all the help guys. The job itself is kind of dead mans shoes so I expect the role becoming available is more likely to be due to retirement of the current employee.
    With this in mind I expect the salary offered will a good amount less than the person who is currently in the role which is why I wondered about negotiating up.

    I’ve wanted to change my job for a while now and after doing this for 13 years I do not want to be here in 30 years time! I know i’m going to be taking a pay cut if and when I do change but the role on offer certainly seems in the boundaries of what I can manage but obviously the starting and expected pay over the next few years will determine that.

    Thanks for all your help guys. I think I’ll put the application in anyway as I really have nothing to lose. I’ll no doubt be back on here asking for interview techniques!! Haven’t had one for a loooong time now!!!


    depends on the department

    IME of public sector, at that salary range if you have the relevant qualifications and experience you should be able to see your starting salary at the top end of the range advertised.

    some departments still use ‘pay spine progression’ this tends to equate to an annual payrise of about £500 and was originally designed to reward commitment/experience*

    further than that, the ‘actual’ value of each point on the payspine is inflated each year under the departments pay agreement*

    *pay spines are to be removed, or progression stopped
    ** inflation capped at 1% for the foreseeable

    take the job, help vote a labour government back into power in 2015, and let the good times roll.

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