Episode 10 "Negotiating the Job Offer" Fear of Becoming Obsolete (FOBO)
Updated: Apr 20
This week we conclude our focus on finding a new job by helping you negotiate the job offer. A delicate balance during a moment in the process where you have some leverage.
Let's focus on how you can use this leverage to get the salary, benefits, and sign on bonus that your experience commands in the job market.
This week's pop culture references include Vito Corleone, Jerry McGuire, Monsters Inc., Milton and his red Swingline stapler, Deepak Chopra, Daniel Pink, He-Man, and a super deep cut from Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman tells her Fox Force Five joke.
Daniel Pink Drive Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&t=14s
Daniel Pink Drive Book: https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805
Have a valuable week! Tom
Go to full transcript
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Nobody likes to feel like they got taken advantage of. Be it at the car dealership or in an online auction.
The same can be said for the job offer.
You want the job, so you don’t want to seem too pushy. But you understand that at this moment you do have some negotiating power.
They have selected you over all the other candidates. They WANT you for the job.
How can you thread this delicate needle.
First, let’s go back to the work you did in episode 6.
When you were searching for this job, you did some research on salaries at Salary.com. You found out what is “fair market” for this role.
Now, you need to put some data points together:
Where does this offer fall? Below? Above? In-line with Salary.com?
How bad do you want the job? Is this your dream job? Is this at your dream company? Does this open doors in the future that you really want?
How bad do you NEED the job? Have you been out of work for a while? Is your current job impacting your health due to the stress?
You need to put all these factors together (Ven diagram) and finalize your strategy together to negotiate.
What are your “must haves”?
What are your “nice to haves”?
What are your “doesn’t really matter to me” items?
There is almost ALWAYS room to negotiate. Companies are businesses. And employees are their biggest expense. So, it is not amoral of them to try and get talented employees for the lowest possible salary.
Enlighted companies do understand that there is a number that can work for everybody. It is enough money for you to feel you are fairly compensated while it is a fair salary for the company to pay while maintaining healthy margins for them to stay operating as a company.
Daniel Pink has a great book and video called “Drive” that dives deep into this topic. I highly recommend it and will put it in this video’s description.
So now balance the fair market value with your want and need for the job.
If the finances are inline, and you want and need the job. Get them a yes as quickly as possible.
If the “need of the job” is the driving factor, but the salary is lower than you really wanted, but can make it work, you might just want to go with the “yes”, get the job, and then focus on doing such a great job that are your first annual assessment, you can negotiate for a raise that gets you to a market rate salary.
If you want the job, but don’t necessarily need it because you currently have a job you don’t hate, then you can use salary information as leverage.
Use phrases like: “I see that project managers with my level of experience have a market value of $90K. I really appreciate your offer of $80K and I want to join the company. Is there any chance we can get closer to $90k?”
No threats. No demands. Just a curious question based on real data.
Now based on their response, you add that back into your calculations between finances, want and need and decide if this is the right role for you.
Many times, when you change jobs is the chance to make up for any market increases for your skill set that may not have been recognized by your current employer.
Typically, a 3-5% increase can be expected at an annual review.
But if your skill set has been seeing a market of increase of 7-9% a year, after a few years you are maybe 10% lower than fair market.
That is significant. So, this might be the chance for you to get back in line with your salary.
Next, you might be going from 15 days of vacation, back to 10 days as a new employee. Can that be increased? Yes. Many companies can help you with this. Just let them know what you are leaving behind and why it is so important to you to keep. Give them a chance to help make this up for you.
Lastly, and this may be slowing down after the pandemic, is there a sign-on bonus? If you are in a highly sought after skill set, the company may try to entice you to join with a sign-on bonus. Here is where your market research can really pay off.
So, pick what is most important to you. Sometimes maybe you can blend a combination of salary, vacation days, and sign-on bonus to get you comfortable enough to say “yes” to the job offer.
This is a very personal decision. There is no one-way to negotiate. This is your life and your career. Just try to put all the pieces of the decision in place for you to make the most informed decision possible.
As hard as it might be, if this negotiation isn't feeling right to you, walking away might be the best move.
But based on your measured approach and winning personality, I am pretty sure the company will do whatever they can to get you onboard.
So, there you have it…. we have completed the journey together from:
· You identified your dream job, and you built up new skills and experiences before resigning.
· Then you built a powerful resume in 30 minutes
· Next you crushed the interview by preparing in every way.
· You followed up with thank you notes and left no doubt that you wanted this job.
· And now you just negotiated the salary that you deserved.
Congratulations…you have just started the next phase of your career.
And that brings us to the end of this topic for FOBO.
Next week we are going to talk about the Power of a Network. That group of people that believe in each other and help each other advance their careers.
This is extremely important for you to spend time on and to build and cultivate a network that can help each other stay relevant, at work.
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We greatly appreciate your participation.
I am Tom Auld your friendly neighborhood product owner, signing off. Have a great week. Take care.