Discover the one big secret to negotiating any offer. Plus, learn how to buy more time to consider an offer, how to evaluate and negotiate an offer holistically, and how to make sure the negotiations remain amicable.
- Okay, are you ready for the secret to negotiation? It's really simple and really complex at the same time. You have to be willing to walk away. That's what you want to keep in mind, the attitude that you don't care either way it goes, you're willing to hold out for what you deserve, and know your worth. And even if you don't believe this right now, today, fake it until you make it. Confidence and strong negotiation skills show that you'll also bring the same diligence to the company. We have courses specifically on negotiating your salary and I highly recommend you check them out, but here are my favorite tips.
First, when you get an offer, say thank you, ask for all the details in writing, and express that you're very eager to look it over and discuss with your significant other. Even if you don't have a significant other, it's good to make it clear that you need some time to ponder such a big decision. Second, know your reservation points on all parts of an offer. By that, I mean that least you'd accept without having regret. Maybe it's 60K in base salary and three weeks off, and a 2K educational stipend.
Maybe it's a certain amount of vacation. But for all the variables that go into an offer letter, base, bonus, stock, or options, vacation, medical, education, and on and on, know what you need to feel whole. Write this all out and have it ready before you have to make the choice, which will keep you from accepting something less than you deserve. Next, if you, like most of us, tend to get a bit tripped up on the stock options RSUs part of offers, especially for startups or big companies, invest a lot of time in researching your financial options here.
Talk with a financial counselor or trusted advisor to ensure you understand vesting, cliffs, dilution, and all the other factors that go into this part of a package. Know your strike prices and the current valuation. Now, you're going to want to evaluate any offer holistically and come back to negotiate it holistically, meaning don't go in with a salary ask and then surprise them with a vacation ask, and then an ask around medical. Come to the table ready to negotiate all points. Everything's negotiable.
Start date, pay, extra perks, relo, signing bonuses. You just have to know what you want to ask for and read how in demand you are with the company. My advice is don't negotiate every part of the package, highlight the key two to four drivers you want to adjust. If you're going to nitpick everything on an offer, it's likely a sign you don't really like the job or company, so pay attention to your gut there. And while you're negotiating all of this, don't take the hardball tactics as your stance. Come across as cooperative, friendly, and interested in signing a mutually agreeable offer ASAP.
Offers age really poorly. The sooner you come to agreement or realize you won't, the better for everyone. And if you get an exploding offer that has a timestamp on it, stick to your guns on needing time to mull the offer and decide if you do have enough time and want to operate under the pressure. If it's a job you want, chances are good you will. But if it's feels too rushed, don't hesitate to push for an extra day if you really think you need it. Being your own best advocate during negotiations is great, but I challenge you to also think about each item through the company's lens.
Imagine their response or objections. Decide which battles you want to pick and approach them with a win-win mentality. After all, you're going to work with these people, you will see them again. Alright, you're ready. Now go get that money.
- Setting job hunting objectives
- Writing a compelling resume and cover letter
- Tailoring your approach
- Finding the right jobs
- Reentering the workforce
- Identifying which of your skills are transferable
- Excelling in a phone or video interview
- Negotiating a job offer