Should I ask for a signing bonus?

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Aug 27, 2006 6:18 am

Okay, as I previously mentioned in an earlier post, I was sponsored by a regional firm that is a subsidiary of a larger insurance company.  They paid for ALL my expenses including books, cd's, dvd's, classes, and licensing tests.  I think that most reputable firms would take care of these expenses.  But I am also sure that the least respected firms on this board like Ameriprise usually pay a "bonus" only to compensate the individuals for their studying expenses they incur.  So in reality, they're just reimbursement checks.

I have not, however, received any compensation for the duration of my studying.  My hiring manager seemed excited that I had a fulltime job at the bank to help with my finances while I studied (of course he was happy so that he wouldn't have to pay me a cent).

My distinguished collegue had an interview a couple of weeks after mine and managed to get the manager to agree to pay him a bonus after he acquired his licenses.  Obviously I know that deals and negotiations are applicable to the specific individuals involved, but would it be absolutely absurd to ask, negotiate, or even demand a similar signing bonus?  If so, how would you go about bringing this up to them after you hand in the preliminary papers.  I can't imagine saying,

"hey mr. manager, here are my signed docs, oh and btw, how about giving me that bonus you offered my friend?"

 I am officially hired tomorrow after I turn in my paperwork and contract, but I still have some big concerns about payout and now the bonus issue.  I don't want to competely turn off my branch manager and make him think that this is a horrible glimpse of what is to come from my hiring.  But then again, if there is a chance that I can get an extra $2000 I am going for it.  Trust me, I am gratefull to have my educational expenses paid for by the firm, but getting a signing bonus wouldn't hurt.  Does anyone have any professional advice on how I would go about this situation.  I do not need to hear judgemental and assuming remarks.  Thanks!

Aug 27, 2006 9:12 am

tsaem, why do you feel that you're entitled to a signing bonus?  What have you done for the company so far?  Is your talent in financial services so overwhelming that the firm is blessed to have you work there?  Are other firms clammoring for your services?

I'm not trying to belittle you, but please...take stock of yourself and if it's a good that's hiring you, be thankful for the opportunity.

Aug 27, 2006 9:42 am

I agree.  Take the job, do a good job while you're there and get a big bucks bonus in five to ten years when you move somewhere else.

Aug 28, 2006 1:16 am

If you didn’t ask for it up front, it would probably not be wise to ask for it now.  At best it’s bad form, at worst it could really make a bad impression on this hiring manager who barely knows you, and could queer the whole deal.

You have a (very) outside chance that he’s an old glengarry glen ross sales type guy and will be impressed that you had the chutzpah to ask.

The odds are not good for a favorable outcome, in my opinion.  I wouldn’t ask if I were you.

Aug 28, 2006 7:00 am

"...could queer the whole deal?"

Damn man, it's ".....could gay the whole deal," are you not in the 21st century?