3 Steps to Prepare for A Salary Negotiation

 

Did you find a perfect job for you, at least for right now as a next step in your career?

Have you received a verbal or written offer and you're not sure if it's fair?

Here are the 3 steps to figure out if you (1) should negotiate and (2) if so, what to negotiate if you do.

Please don't skip step #3 like many people do. It can be the most important of the three.

 

1️⃣ Do your homework.

Find the salary range for someone in a like role, in a like organization and geography. You can research online but my clients typically find a very wide range. Another more accurate option is to ask people in your network. It doesn't have to be personal about their own salary, it can just be asking them for the range they see based on their hiring, experience and any contacts they may have.

✅ Identify the variables you want to finalize (e.g. salary, title, stock options/equity, benefits, travel requirements, vacation, flexibility to work remotely).

 

2️⃣ Create your strategy.

Here's a list of 5 questions to answer in preparation for your negotiation.

✅ Think through all the scenarios and how you would negotiate each

✅ Identify what matters most to your potential employer (e.g. budget, incentives, travel flexibility).

✅ Define your bottom line minimum. Know the # and be ready to walk away if necessary.

✅ What are you willing to give up?

✅ What are the intangibles that you can use as goodwill? 

 

3️⃣ Prep your mental game.

✅ Analyze a recent negotiation you completed (e.g. promotion, salary adjustment, customer contract, etc).

  • Did you present yourself as your best? If not, why?
  • What feeling did you notice?
    • Did you finish out the negotiation feeling strong and confident (even if you didn’t get all you wanted)?
    • Or, did you leave the negotiation feeling powerless, taken advantage of, and defensive?
  • Determine what thoughts you had that made you feel those feelings (e.g. “this isn’t going as I had planned” or “they’re not being reasonable.”

✅ Now that you have a baseline example to start from, plan out how you want to purposefully approach your upcoming negotiation.

  • Plan how you will think, on purpose, in this negotiation regardless of the outcome.
  • Do you want to come across as confident, powerful, collaborative? Find that emotion you want to fuel you.
  • What do you need to think in order to generate that emotion? Examples:
    • This will all work out.
    • We're both wanting to get to an arrangement that's fair.
  • What thoughts can you expect that might derail you?
    • You might revert to thoughts like "this isn't going well", "I'm not good at this" or "they're taking advantage of me."
    • Notice that none of these thoughts is useful. They will diminish your confidence as you're speaking, like the air seeping out of a balloon.
    • Instead, notice them and go back to your intentional thought, such as "this will all work out no matter what."
  • Notice if you are you thinking about the negotiation as a win/lose scenario? If so, ask yourself:
    • Will it matter who won or who lost?
    • Who decides who won or who lost?
  • What do you want to think if they don't give you anything beyond the initial offer?
  • What do you want to think if you get your bare minimum (or slightly more), but not your best case?

Deciding in advance what you want to think and feel in this process will help you stay out of a inferior position in the negotiation process. It will also help you navigate your thoughts and emotions afterward.

And one last (bonus) tip

Please know it's normal to feel some amount of remorse or regret after you agree to a compensation package. It's normal, even in situations where you were offered almost everything you wanted.

The tip for managing through the regret and remorse is to notice it, ask yourself a lot of questions about why you're feeling that way, and then acknowledging that those feelings aren't going to serve you as you start your new job.

If you start the new job feeling regretful or that you haven't been treated fairly, you're not going to show up in a way that will set you up for success.

Find the thoughts that replace your remorse and regret with confidence and excitement to dive into your new job.

Congratulations!

 

Is It Time For A New Job?

Should you find a new job or stay where you are? 

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