Ok - long post. Sorry. Here's the summary if you don't want to read it all: How much of a signing bonus is reasonable to ask for? Is $10k over the top?
And the long version: I'm in the process of interviewing for a new position at an interventional pain management practice (not a pill factory - they wean people off). I have 5 years' experience, mostly in FP/UC, so I know my way around the exam room and EMRs, and am totally comfortable in the PA role.
The odds of me receiving an offer are really good - they're expanding the practice and hiring 3-4 more PAs at once, and I've been invited to do the 2nd (working) interview on Tuesday. They haven't interviewed tons of candidates, and per the recruiter, they really liked me. :)
Since I haven't received an offer yet, we haven't had any negotiations, but here's what was advertised (in a nutshell):
$85k for the first 3 months, then $95k (which is more than the $40 per hour I'm making now)
Quarterly productivity bonuses (don't currently get that)
$50k loan repayment after 2 years (currently in a $30k/2y agreement... ish)
Full medical/dental/retirement benefits (already have that)
No call whatsoever (I take frequent call. I HATE HATE HATE call)
About 20 patients per day (I currently do 24-30)
Signing bonus available (never had that before)
This job is about 35 miles from where I am now, but because it's in a downtown/urban area, the commute there and back is really nasty. Since I also hate long commutes and being stuck in rush hour traffic both directions, I'd want to move much closer. I am also hoping to buy a home soon.
At my current job, I'm on the front end of a $30k loan repayment agreement. Nothing has been disbursed yet, and I don't have a formal employment contract, so I could still walk without a penalty. The only thing that makes that hard is that I would be receiving the first disbursement of $15,000 this month. If I change jobs, I'm effectively walking away from $15k. That really stings. Long term, this job is significantly better financially, but short term, it isn't. At all.
In negotiations, would it be reasonable for me to tell the potential employer this, and request a $10k signing bonus to offset that loss? I'd use basically all of it it to help with a down payment and moving costs. Do you think that would be offensive to the employer? I'm paranoid of seeming to greedy and not getting the job because I asked for too much. Should I not tell them why I want it and just ask for it?