Author Topic: Salary Negotiation Help  (Read 3139 times)


  • Stubble
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Salary Negotiation Help
« on: October 31, 2016, 10:43:40 AM »
I have a job interview on Friday for a promotion, and although there’s no certainty that I will get the job I need to prepare mentally to negotiate my salary if it happens because HR moves fast.

Potential Job (Director): Salary range $103,651 - $119,142

Background: I currently make $79,000 / year. I have been in my current position (Assistant Director) for just under 2 years. I was in a different, non-management role for 8 before that. The pay range for my position is 76,800-112,834. When I took this job, it was my first management position and they brought me in at the bottom of my pay scale. I was fine with that at the time because (1) I knew I lacked experience, and (2) it was still a 20,000+ annual increase.

In July, they changed the pay structure for some of the people I manage. Now a few of them make more money than me and work fewer days (210 vs. 230). I feel like the pay scale for my current position needs to increase regardless of whether or not I am promoted. The pay scales just don’t make sense. But in this line of work, salaries are political and can only be adjusted at the beginning of the budget year. That’s why I haven’t tried to negotiate my current salary yet.

So, knowing that I have almost a decade with this company, that I have proven I can adjust and grow, and received stellar reviews, what would you use as the starting number for negotiations, and how low would you go? Even at the bottom of the range it’s still a 25,000 raise for the same number of days, but if the range on my current position rises to adjust for the changes that were made for other members of the department, I don’t want to end up making the same or less than my Asst. Director. I know females are statistically more likely to sell themselves short on salary so I could use some unbiased feedback. Thanks!!     


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Salary Negotiation Help
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 10:50:06 AM »
I would ask for the highest amount and explain to them what you said here. Part of the problem when women negotiate is that they have the mindset of how low can you go instead of how high can I get. What are salaries like outside your company and do you have any other offers for leverage?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Salary Negotiation Help
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 11:38:30 AM »
I just got done with a negotiations class last week at work, so let me pull up my notes and see if I can share anything useful. :) Note, the class specifically did not cover salary negotiations, and when I asked the instructor about it, he pretty much admitted that my company didn't want him teaching its employees how to negotiate for salary. That said, I found many things that could be relevant all the same.

To begin with, you need to do your homework. 1) LEVERAGE: This means getting outside industry data on what your job title earns for your education, company size, geographical location, and experience. I use and myself, though I have found them imperfect in my own situation. Arm yourself with that, your last several performance reviews, your recent significant accomplishments, and what you bring to the new position (relevant experience, etc.).
2) PLANNING GRID: List out everything that is negotiable and rank them in terms of how important they are to you. Examples of items could include salary, # days off, work schedule, remote work or flex schedule, signing bonus, performance bonus, etc. Once you have these ranked in importance, use the research you did above to establish your counteroffer position. The counteroffer should be stretch but realistic. AIM HIGH, but have the data to back yourself up. Your bottom line should be the lowest you are willing to go in each category. Keep in mind that if you get your bottom line for each area, you will still consider this a successful negotiation.
3) For advanced credit, try figuring out what the other side has for their leverage against you and their planning grid. i.e. What factors are most important to the company? If there are things that are very important to you but you suspect are going to be less important or easy for the company to give to you, flag those as negotiation points.
4) When stating your counteroffer, use STRONG language. “I know based on market research that I am worth $x. In order for me to accept your offer, I need you to increase the vacation to four weeks a year.” Don’t use “believe”, “think”, “would like”, or similarly wishy-washy words.
5) When negotiating, make sure to always start by stating your leverage, then follow with your counteroffer. When doing the back-and-forth bit, never GIVE up anything but always trade concessions. As an example, “I can accept the lower salary provided that you increase the sign-on bonus to $10K. Never give up something without getting something in return.
Note: I haven’t tried any of this in real life yet, but the practice scenarios in the class were very useful. I highly recommend role-playing in advance if you think the negotiation will be in person or on the phone. The first role-play we did in class was brutally tough, but by the third time, it was smooth and natural. Good luck and let us know how it goes!


  • Bristles
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Re: Salary Negotiation Help
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 12:36:26 PM »
A few tips from experience. I negotiate when it comes to everything...
1. Do your research and know what the salary range offered is and always ask for the highest. Be ready to make the case as to why you deserve that number.
2. It's all about what you can bring to the table as far as value, not what the salary should be or what others are making.
3. Do not be scared to counter-offer. The employer expects you to. If not salary, then PTO or bonuses, everything is negotiable.


  • Stubble
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Re: Salary Negotiation Help
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 04:19:38 PM »
A few comments:

Something doesn't seem right with the numbers:
Asst Director $76,800-112,834
Director $103,651 - $119,142

You're right and I should have been more clear. The salary range for the director position is 103-134000. The hiring rate is what I posted above, so they're not hiring anyone above midpoint.


  • Stubble
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Re: Salary Negotiation Help
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 04:22:40 PM »
Thanks all for the advice. I'll give a few more details to make the case more clear (anonymity be damned).

I work in public education. That means that vacation time is non-negotiable. Flex time and bonuses don't happen. Those things just aren't on the table.

I have looked at comps, and our ranges are in line with other districts our size across the state, but we're the largest district within 30-50 miles and these positions don't come up too often.

No negotiations will take place until after I'm offered the job. I'm thinking positively and trying to be proactive  :)

I do think I'm underpaid, and if I get the promotion I don't want my assistant to fall into the same situation. So it's more about making sure the tables line up appropriately than me being greedy (which I DO fear being viewed as Bender).

Regardless, it's a huge bump in salary. It will put me that much closer to FIRE even if they come in at the bottom of that range. It's more money than I could have ever imagined making when I started my career. I just don't want to be taken advantage of because of my age (younger than most in my current position and certainly than any other director) or gender. I'm damn good at my job. I just want to make the right decisions.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 04:41:24 PM by GoConfidently »


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!