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How to Negotiate your Offer

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Do not negotiate the terms of a job offer until you’ve read this.

This is Negotiating 101, a step-by-step guide I encourage clients through.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Come into negotiations knowing where your current salary ranks in the industry range. And don’t just rely on the internet for your research.  Tap your network within and outside your workplace to get information about salary ranges. The company will nudge at what they’re willing to pay and will likely ask what your expectations are to get some numbers on the table. Whatever you do, don’t say you’re open (you might come off unresearched, like you’re lacking confidence or aren’t a strong enough candidate.)

2. GAUGE THE DYNAMIC

Do you know how much they want you? The more they want you, the more leverage you have. The reverse is also true.  If the job falls in your “dream job” category, you might have less leverage. But remember that when you’re joining a new company, you tend to have the most leverage and negotiating power so don’t let it go to waste.

3. PICK IT APART and ADD IT ALL UP

Bring your fine tooth comb to the page knowing you can negotiate on all of it.

  • base salary
  • bonuses (sign-on and merit)
  • stock options
  • schedule flexibility
  • vacation
  • standard benefits like healthcare
  • extra benefits like gym memberships, mental health, professional training, coaching, and graduate degree budgets).  

 

4. BE STRATEGIC

Most companies are going to try and bring you in for as little as possible while you’re going to try to come in for as much as possible. That’s the obvious nature of negotiations, but there’s always wiggle room. When asked for your salary expectations, present a salary range vs. a specific number with the caveat that you’ll likely be offered the lower end of any range you present, so make sure that what you really want is at the lower end of that range! 

Remember:

  • The first offer is likely not their final one
  • If you’re what they’re looking for, you can get 10-20% more depending on whether it’s an early startup or a well-funded larger company.
  • If this job is your option B, you can afford to push harder for what you want whether it’s responsibility, flexibility, titles, and/or pay. 
  • If you get a lowball offer,  you’re either overqualified, your expectations around the role are off or they aren’t valuing your prior experience enough.

 

5. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF LIKE YOU DO FOR OTHERS

Women are just as good at negotiating as men if we’re negotiating on behalf of someone else. Where we fall short is when we’re negotiating for ourselves. Isn’t that wild? With that awareness, try to channel the energy you put into others, into yourself while you negotiate. If you wouldn’t take terms and conditions for a friend, sister or peer, don’t take them for yourself.

6. DON’T GO TOO HIGH, TOO LOW OR TOO FAR

As much as I’m a fan of getting exactly what you’re worth, I’m not a fan of taking the negotiation tactics too far. 

Coming in too strong on the numbers has the potential to hurt your relationship with your future employer and have you pegged for someone who is just interested in the bottom line. 

Coming in too low and they may get the impression that you’re not as good as they thought you were. 

You can also exhaust your options dribbling the ball back and forth too much, so conserve your energy. If the company is checking off all the right boxes, there’s no need to make things dramatic or prove your prowess if it’s an easy win for everyone. 

7. MONEY COMES SECOND

That might sound nuts, but I know more professionals that are unhappy with the role they’re in than are unhappy with the money they make. Don’t take the job primarily because of the dollar signs. Above anything else, you want to get the job that best serves the next step in your career. The right fit will produce way more professional fruit than money for money’s sake, I promise you. 

You’re here to kick ass, do a great job, get recognized, and be rewarded.

A few mindful steps in the process will get you there.

 

Have a high-stakes negotiation that you need my strategic advice on? Book a laser coaching session to get your challenge solved NOW.

Pooja Dang is a Women’s Executive Leadership Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving clients globally at companies such as Google, GoPro, Dropbox, and more. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, advising, and propelling women towards rapid career advancement and promotion, she specializes in high-impact workshops and dynamic 1:1 coaching, delivering breakthrough outcomes and accelerated change. Pooja has a proven track record of coaching women into the C-suite and is a trusted expert in growing executive presence, expanding influence, high-stakes negotiations, and leadership development. Using proven scientific strategies, transformative behavior tools, and a no-BS approach, Pooja is on a mission to empower more women to live confidently at the top of their game. Book your free consultation today. #ExecutiveCoach #LeadershipDevelopment #WomenInLeadership #BehaviorChange #CsuiteCoaching

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