When going through the process of an OFFER NEGOTIATION, reflecting on your overall value based on experiences and skills, your personal and professional needs and wants, along with how you meet the needs of an employer and position, is key. Consider starting the negotiation process after you have the offer in writing. Whether to accept or reject is totally in your control, but you want to make the most informed decision possible—and that means reviewing the details in black and white. It's perfectly normal to be nervous during salary negotiations, but if you don't actively engage in the process you may leave money on the table. Developing effective transaction skills will help you get not only what you need but also what you want and deserve in any professional situation.
GCS CAREER GUIDE - Salary Negotiation
Preparing for Negotiation
During the Interview
There are times where the hiring manager will ask you about compensation during the interview itself. Start your answer by asking for the range that is budgeted for the position. If that tactic doesn’t work, state a broad range based on the salary research you’ve already done:
- “Based on my research, it appears that the market value for this position is anywhere from $XXX to $XXX, depending on the position responsibilities, the organization, and the total benefits package offered. I’m currently most interested in learning as much as possible about the position itself. If I were lucky enough to be offered a job with [Organization Name], I’m sure it will be fair.”
Providing a salary number at the beginning of the discussions inevitably results in a number at the lower end of the range. It’s essential to define your salary requirements based on total compensation, and not simply the base salary if you’re giving yourself the option to negotiate for other non-monetary requests.
- In his article "Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Agree", Ladders writer Jack Chapman argues that interviewees should learn how to respond to initial offers by using just one word: "Hmmm." He refers to the move as “The Flinch,” and he explains that it works "...in salary negotiations, raise negotiations, flea markets, used car sales, the sewer repair bill — just about anywhere financial transactions take place."
Salary Information and Cost of Living
Specific to Employer
- Glassdoor.com - An inside look at specific employer and position salary information
- Higher Ed Jobs - Salary data for higher education administration careers.
- H1Bdata.info - Database of H1B salaries data disclosed to the United States Department of Labor, searchable by company, job title, and location.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Salary Comparison Tool, Indeed
- Salary Expert
- StackOverflow — Focused on tech salaries
- YourRate — Calculate what your freelance rate should be
- Hourly/Yearly Wage Converter, Calculators.com
- LinkedIn Salary Calculator
- Moving.com — Provides a salary/wage calculator that allows you to see what people are making according to location and profession.
COST OF LIVING
- Cost of Living, CNN Money— How far will your salary go in another city?
- Nerdwallet — Cost of Living Calculator
Negotiating Your Salary: Academia
- Inside Higher Ed Faculty Compensation Survey (American Association of University Professors) - Largest independent source of data on full-time faculty salary and benefits at two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States
- Chronicle Data - Search and explore faculty, staff, and adjunct salary data at thousands of colleges
- A Dean’s Take On Salary Negotiation, Roger Sinclair (Article)
- Negotiating That First Offer, Jennifer S. Furlong and Julie Miller Vick (Article)
- Health insurance, retirement or pension benefits, and faculty service requirements are not usually negotiable in the academic market. Instead, consider including the following areas as part of your initial “ask”:
- Office & Lab Equipment: Ask for office/administrative support (office supplies and printers, computers, etc.)
- Research Assistance: Ask for travel funding (availability, conditions, grant business management support, etc.)
- Teaching Assistance: Ask for teaching support (teaching assistant/s, teaching load reduction for your first year, etc.)
- Institutional Support for Trailing Partner: Ask for possible tenure track appointments, available resources for helping partner find employment
- Negotiating for your first academic position
- Salvaging an insufficient offer
- A starter kit to open negotiations
Negotiating Your Salary: Outside Academia
- Everything Is Negotiable: Learn the Power Facts, from Salary.com
- Salary Negotiation and Job Offer Tools For Job Seekers, from LiveCareer
- Guide to Negotiating Salary, Cheeky Scientist
- How Not to Bomb Your Offer Negotiation, Haseeb Qureshi (Blog post)
- Salary Negotiation FAQs, by Randall S. Hansen
- ♣ Additional Negotiation Articles, by FirstHand (formerly Vault)
- Industry/Nonprofit organizations tend to be more open to negotiating than the government where offers are relatively standard/not usually negotiable. Consider the following areas as part of the initial “ask”:
- Benefit Plans
- Bonus Opportunities
- Early Evaluations (6-month timeline rather than annual etc.)
- Profit Sharing
- Stock Options
- Vacation Time
- Niche - Discover the schools and neighborhoods that are right for you!
- Look into location-based resources by city, state, and country. These may come in the form of Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Organizations, or nonprofit community-based organizations (ex. Hello West MI).
- Moving Cross Country: The Ultimate Moving Checklist
- Stop! Don't Try To Negotiate Your Salary Over Email!, Stacey Lastoe (Blog post)
- Get Paid What You’re Worth, Robin L. Pinkley and Gregory B. Northcraft
- Knowing Your Value (Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth), Mika Brzezinski
- Sample Resignation Letter