Do you negotiate pay for your first tech job?

I saw a posting for a remote junior web designer. I wanted a job that was remote so I could work from home. My family is a priority but still wanted to make some money. I started working when I was 16 and always had a job. Until we moved to Japan. That was the first time in my life I didn’t work. I realized I need to work because I enjoy working. So when I saw a remote job I was thrilled. Here is what the qualifications were.


Most women will not apply to a job if they don’t meet 100% of the requirement. 

I am one of those women. I want to be sure I can do the job and do the job well. I met all the requirements and so I applied. This was the first job junior job posting that I saw that didn’t expect to have 5+ years of experience. I hadn’t worked in almost two years. I applied and they asked the dreaded question. “What is your rate?” What is my rate?! Let me see I’m new to the tech industry and I’m transitioning to a new career. I’ve never held a tech web designer/developer job. Oh, did I mention I am desperate to start working again? What should my rate be?


This is what I did. I googled junior web developer salaries for my area and national average.  I used the national average hourly rate as my rate but I put that it was negotiable. I didn’t want to be too high and price myself out of a job. But I didn’t want to be too low and not be taken seriously.

They counter 25 % below my rate. Here are some questions I asked myself.

  1. Should I just take the pay and be grateful for the job?
  2.  I have read you should always negotiate your pay and women are notorious for not asking their worth.
  3. Should I take this job and negotiate my next job after I have more experience?
  4. If this was a friend what advice would I give them?

I asked my sister who is my best friend. She told me, “You have to negotiate. Because they will respect you more.” She said even if they can’t pay what you want at least you tired and the company knows you think of yourself as a valuable person.  She was right. The worst they can say is no. They can say that they honestly don’t have it in their budget. Don’t say no to yourself. Let’s other say no. Then at least you know you tried.

I decided to negotiate and I responded that even though my rate was flexible I was hoping for more like 10-15% off my rate and not 25%. I asked the questions could we look at a higher amount somewhere between my original rate and their rate.

The story has a happy ending. The company told me that after my probationary period of three weeks they would pay me negotiated rate. Score! This is where I do my happy dance.


Do you negotiate pay for your first tech job? Yes! Trust me you are worth it.

Here are some additional resources for salary negotiations.

The Exact Words To Use When Negotiating Salary

Salary Negotiation: Make More Money, Be More Valued


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