[OT] Salary Negotiations Advice

Tod Hansmann tod at todandlorna.com
Thu Apr 15 18:12:25 MDT 2010

As a mention of bias, I rarely care much about salary beyond that it 
pays my bills.  I talked frankly and openly with my last employer and it 
seemed to work out fine in both our favors.

That said, I usually wait for prospective employers to bring it up, 
because if you bring it up, it never seems positive.  I used to try to 
give a range, which would tell me, if an offer came, what they thought 
of my skills within that range (it's not the best indicator, mind you).  
that range dips slightly below what I'd accept, and goes higher.  If I 
were looking for 65k, I'd say something like 62-75k or somesuch.

I have only lost one opportunity over negotiations when I was offered a 
ridiculous salary, came back with something reasonable, and got turned 
down.  It was literally 8.50/hr for programming during a 4 week 
"training" to move up to 11/hr.  I stated a programmer would have to 
think themselves worthless if they accepted so low, even for an entry 
level.  That was in 2004.

In the end, if they ask, answer honestly.  If they offer X but you need 
more, counter with Y that meets your needs, but explain why.  It's silly 
to counter only because you think you should counter with something.  
That's just greedy, even if indirectly.


-Tod Hansmann

On 4/15/2010 5:24 PM, Robert Merrill wrote:
> Hey Pluggers -- I know this is way off topic, but i'm trying to gather
> real-world advice around salary/contract negotiations for a
> presentation a colleague of mine is doing.  I put up a blog post (
> http://bit.ly/98wvM6 ), but I don't care if you go there or post
> here--how do you go about negotiating pay?
> - Do you force the issue and bring it up first?
> - Do you make them tell you the offer-range before you cough up a number?
> - Do you go back with a counteroffer no matter what they come to you with?
> - Have you ever LOST a gig/job because your negotiations broke down
> and they walked away?
> I look forward to your straight thoughts, not sanitized "HR-speak"
> that I too-often find myself spewing.
> Thanks!
> Rob Merrill
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