Last Friday I was offered a job, but I have to admit the salary was lower than I was expecting. Basically it was the same as my current salary, but this new job is based in central London while my current job is based outside of the city. Generally you'd expect a London based job to pay more due to higher cost of living.
Anyway, I asked for a little more money, and the employer said he'd get back to me this week. Initially I heard nothing from him, but he eventually got back to me this evening saying he couldn't better the original offer. He finished the email with 'I wish you luck in your future endeavours', which implies to me 'you've had your chance mate, see you later'. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I'm tired...
I'll phone him tomorrow and tell him I'm still interested in the original offer (even at the same salary it would still be better than my current job for a variety of reasons) but was I wrong to negotiate? Is it common for an employer to withdraw a job offer if you've asked for money? Is there any particular tact I should take when I call him? I'm really worried and I'd be gutted not to get this job
I don't think it's wrong at all to negotiate salary after a tentative offer. After all the employer is negotiating in some sense by kicking off with an initial offer.
If he really is that sensitive and withdraws an offer because you asked for a (reasonable?) increase in the original offer then you may want to question whether it's a company you want to work for... I also agree with Stroppy, do you really want to work for effectively less money. You might think it's ok now but come to resent it later.
It's quite possible that he took your meaning as you won't take the job unless you get more money.
I would contact him ASAP and hope that they have not offered it to the next person on the list by now.
New jobs are like relationships, it's easy to think "oh my god I really need this one" but you might find something better will turn up. Stick to your guns and keep your dignity, if they weren't willing to pay you a decent wage is this really the crowd you want to be in with? Why wont they at least match (in real terms) you current salary? Are they struggling as a business? Are they so short sighted that they'd rather employ someone on the cheap rather than reap the benefits of employing the right person for a bit more? What's the rest of the staff moral going to be like if everyone's thinking they should be paid more?
You did the right thing imo, as long as you were polite then asking for more money and supplying good, well evidenced reasons should make any decent employer more interested, not less.