Salary Negotiations: Make Me an Offer I Can’t Refuse


What do you do when you’ve put in your time on the resume polishing and interview prep– and the offer you get is not what you were hoping for?

One of the things I learned in a negotiation class is to make sure that you start any negotiation with a target point (the best package of terms you could hope for) and a resistance point (the lowest you’re willing to take). Write it down, and keep it in your mind as you negotiate. And make sure you don’t sell yourself short on the target point – many people set it too low and leave money on the table. This blog explains the concept reasonably well.

Got your own salary question? Need a pep talk as you prepare for negotations? Check out the thread Make me an offer I can’t refuse (or salary negotiations) (log in first, it’s in the Work and School section of the forum)

Want more suggestions? If you’ve got your geek hat on, you might enjoy this guy’s take on negotiation , which walks you through the whole process with a series of scripts. Need a pep talk to remind yourself why it’s important to negotiate? Check out the site Women Don’t Ask— what happens when women don’t negotiate?

First and foremost, they earn much less money than men over the course of their careers. We calculated that just by not negotiating her first job offer—simply accepting what she’s offered rather than negotiating for more—a woman sacrifices more half a million dollars over the course of her career. This is a massive loss for a one-time negotiation—for avoiding what is usually no more than five minutes of discomfort—and it’s an unnecessary loss, because most employers expect people to negotiate and therefore offer less than they’re prepared to pay. And far more men than women negotiate their first offers. Since men also negotiate more than women throughout their careers—or negotiate more aggressively—the financial losses to women can be truly staggering.

In addition to the financial consequences, women often advance more slowly than equally qualified men because men are more likely than women to ask for prestigious assignments, volunteer for opportunities that will give them more visibility, and pursue raises and promotions that they think they deserve. Women, in contrast, often expect that hard work and high quality work will be recognized and rewarded without their asking. And this is frequently not true. Because they don’t ask to be considered for the opportunities and advantages for which men ask, they often aren’t recognized for the good work they do and don’t progress as fast or as far in their careers as their talents should take them.

So check out the links in this article, or drop by the discussion Make me an offer I can’t refuse (or salary negotiations), and ask your own questions or give some advice yourself. SPOILER: people posting to this thread are likely to get that extra salary they were pushing for. It’s a fun read just for the good news.

Image credit: 09-mar-11 by sashafatcat

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