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Monday, August 25, 2014

Advice: Negotiate Your Starting Salary - Part 2

Monday, August 25, 2014 Posted by Chris Tung , No comments

So you've tackled the first step in negotiating your salary and calculated your total compensation to find out how much you're really making right, and now it's time to really start negotiating for a better offer with your possible future employer. But, before you get them on the phone (and you should ALWAYS get them on the phone), take a deep breath and...

Negotiate Logically and Rationally

Like I said in the beginning, everyone wants more money and that means the hiring manager and HR also understand that you might ask for more than what they first offered. Once you're ready to bring up the subject, they won't be incredibly shocked that you're mentioning you might need more money, but they could be taken aback if you do it wrong.

The most important part of a negotiation is to explain your current circumstance as logically and rationally as possible. Using the story of Jack from our previous example, here's how I would tell Jack to use the information he has to negotiate the best offer possible

1. Explain that you're extremely thankful for receiving the offer, but that you calculated your entire compensation at your current company at $52.3k. At the original offer amount presented by the potential new employer, the decision is still a bit difficult for you to make and that anything they can do to help you decide to accept the offer would be really helpful.

2. Pause and listen. At this point in the conversation, you can learn a lot about what the hiring manager is able to provide, what the company is like, and whether you'll be happy there based on how the respond to. Just about everyone that uses this technique receives a generally good response from the hiring manager because, at its core, this approach is entirely logical. You did the math. You realized that you're making a fair amount of money right now, and you'll need a little bit more to help you decide. Everyone understands that because everyone has a mortgage, a rent, and needs to eat. And, if they don't understand, then you know the company probably wasn't the right fit because, if they really want you, they'll try and help you out.

At this point, depending on the counter tactics used by the company, you may not be able to get anything or they'll give you the moon, but this is the moment you'll find out your next step.

3-1. On the off chance, you get a response that's "Unfortunately, we can't budge on the number" then your decision now should be a bit easier. If they can't give you anything better than what they've offered, are you comfortable making a transition to a new company knowing that the offer package was a bit on the smaller side for you? Only you can give the answer to this question and it's important to factor in things like company culture, work-life balance, and potential for growth. Depending on your feelings for each of these three subjects, you'll either choose the new company or stay at your current one, but at least you've taken care of the salary and you can move on from there.

3-2. If they say "We'll get back to you with a new number" or you've given them your number and they say "We'll get back to you", then the ball is now in their court. At this point, you should simply wait and see what happens. If they do not get back to you within a week or two, it's worth following up with them, but if you hear nothing at all, then it's likely that they won't get back to you and you should continue your search for another company.

But if they do get back to you with a new number, what do you do now? Check out the third, and final, part on this series to find out.

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