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Your salary negotiation — which routinely takes less than 5 minutes to conclude — has an outsized influence on what your compensation is.
That makes your negotiation five very important minutes. Indeed, you can trivially pick up $5,000 in salary negotiations just by sucking less.
The reality is that rich, successful people negotiate. It is an all-day-every-day thing in much of the business world, which is where most rich people get their money.
Salary negotiations are very asymmetrical. Companies know this and routinely exploit it. Job seekers don’t, perhaps because they think doing so would be unfair and the word “exploit” makes them acutely uncomfortable. So we often default by pretending that the employer is evaluating the negotiation like we would. This is not true, and acting like it is true will harm both your interests and the interests of your future employer.
The job of recruiters is to get you signed with the company as cheaply as possible, but generally a recruiter is not super motivated to do so, because it is not spending its money to hire you. A recruiter is spending its budget.
This is an interesting perspective that can be leveraged to increase the salary even by an “insignificant” number.
Only negotiate salary after you have agreement in principle from someone with hiring authority that, if a mutually acceptable compensation can be agreed upon, you will be hired.
If you think about it, you’ll quickly reach the conclusion that the company has spent thousands of dollars just talking to you, and that doesn’t even count the thousands they spent deciding to talk to you instead of whoever isn’t in the room right now.
For this reason, they really want to reach an agreement with you.
When you have the offer, you are now in control of the company, because they want you and spent a lot of money to arrive to you. Thus, it is in their interest to hire you.
You are an expert in your own skill set, life story, and (ideally) value you can create for the company. However, the person you are talking to is not.
If they ever resist about something which you want, consider reaching into the treasure chest that they are buying mostly blind and revealing one of the many glittering jewels inside. They are going to get them all anyhow if they buy the chest, but each one you bring out decreases the perceived risk of buying it and therefore increases its perceived value.
“Interesting” is a wonderful word: it is positive and non-commital at the same time. If they tell you a number, tell them it is an “interesting” number, not a “wonderful” number.
Software engineer by 🌞 and sleepyhead by 🌑. Software architecture. Distributed systems. Personal productivity. Cats.
We are used to think that negotiating salary is bad and we tend to compare it to exploitation, however, the sooner we realize that this is objectively false the better.
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