Thursday, February 5, 2015

The low stress salary negotiation method I use


Negotiating salaries is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Both sides are very excited for the new opportunity and neither side wants it to fall apart. The offer might be the best I have ever received, but I still ask for a little more.

In my industry one of the opportunities for negotiation is vacation. Every company I get offers from always says two weeks of vacation. Since I have been working for a while I request more vacation and have been successful thus far.

My method is simple: start with what I currently have, point out where the new offer is less, then ask for the difference to be settled.

First I write down all my current compensations and benefits

  • salary
  • healthcare
  • dental
  • 401K match
  • vacation
  • sick time
  • maternity/paternity leave policy
  • tools/equipment
  • travel
  • anything else?


Second I do research on industry standards and write down what I can reasonably expect

  • salary
  • healthcare
  • dental
  • 401K match
  • vacation
  • sick time
  • maternity/paternity leave policy
  • tools/equipment
  • travel
  • anything else?


Third I compare my current situation and the industry standards with the offer letter I receive

  • salary
  • healthcare
  • dental
  • 401K match
  • vacation
  • sick time
  • maternity/paternity leave policy
  • tools/equipment
  • travel
  • anything else?


Finally, I ask to bridge the gaps for any benefits that I currently receive that are less or absent in the offer. If I have solid evidence for the offer being less than industry standard I will also ask for more in that area.

This method protected me from taking a cut in pay. One offer I received looked great in salary, but turned out to be much less in all other areas. The company wasn't willing to meet my current standard of living, so I had to decline the offer.

In all the cases where I did accept the job offer I am happy to report that I was able to get a little more and both me and my employer where happy with the deal.