Another Take On Salary Negotiating

Last week we wrote about getting the best salary offer. “Don’t name a number” was the prevalent wisdom there, and Jane Turkewitz says much the same thing in her latest post, How To Get The Upper Hand In Salary Negotiations, except for one crucial detail.

Though you’re not naming a number, you have to have one in mind. Two, really. Your pie-in-the-sky number, as well as the absolute minimum you’d accept. Once you have that number, “stick with it. Don’t deviate. If you say your bottom number is $75K and someone offers you $70K, you KNOW you are going to say “no.” Then you can potentially negotiate into your range with the full knowledge that you will walk away if the final number does not fall within YOUR needs. Remember, although the economy sucks right now, it is going to turn around. After this job, you’re going to eventually start interviewing for another one.”

The only thing we’d quibble with on this post is Turkewitz’ hypothetical scenario where you talk salary after the third round of interviews. We’ve found it’s much more common for salary information to be brought up a lot sooner these days, mostly because, again, the hiring manager doesn’t want to waste her time if you’re $20k too expensive. Usually, we’ve found, it goes a little like this: “We’d like you to know that if you were hired, the salary range for this position is somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000, and we want to make sure you’re comfortable with that range.” Of course, instead of thousands of dollars these days, employers are offering pocket lint and Monopoly money. But same deal otherwise.