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What advice do you all have on negotiating salary?

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  • 12
    Never hack the payroll system to find out what the other developers are making and use the info as a negotiation tool.

    Ex. "If you don't give me an XX% raise, I'll send out an email showing everyone's salaries."

    Yep, that happened and 2 seconds later he was escorted out of the building.
  • 6
    I plan on finding another job for more dollars. Bring offer letter to current employer. See how it plays out.
  • 0
    Usually works if you can get offers from other places to prove your market value.

    Unless, of course, your current employer isn't 100% happy with you and decide to stick to their guns and risk losing you rather than increase your pay.

    And always, before you try to give them an ultimatum - be prepared to leave if they don't budge. There is nothing more pathetic than someone that backs out of their own ultimatum! :)
  • 0
    @PaperTrail when life gives you a poker straight flush and you show your cards to brag about it before the round started
  • 5
    First step - research your market value, and decide what you're worth - you can be optimistic, but be *realistic*. Remember it depends on location as well as experience - you're not going to grab anything close to a $100k salary with 2-3 years experience in India. You would quite easily in the Bay area.

    For an existing job, it's harder. If you push too hard or too much, they'll get the impression you'll probably be gone soon, and potentially plan for your exit. Usually the best way to get a raise is to move jobs, especially if you've been there a few years.

    For a new job, make sure you can get a range upfront, and push for the top of that range. (It's often not as hard to do that as you'd think.) Never be afraid to walk away if the salary doesn't meet your expectations, and don't take anything like "we make up for it with a great working environment." Don't limit yourself to one option either.
  • 2
    @AlmondSauce I would actually take a truly great working environment for decreased pay. But those promising it are rarely the ones able to provide it.

    Greatest environment I worked in was actually one with zero fruit baskets or table tennis — In pharma R&D. Strict rules, but also no compromise to get you what you need, and extremely clear project development requirements.

    As for original question: Apart from the mentioned tips, also just ask during a meeting with your manager what "growth opportunities" there are within the company, because you want to keep moving forward.

    That signals that you want more pay, without exclusively & explicitly mentioning finances. Growth is about personal growth, growth in responsibilities, AND growth in pay.

    It also signals that you want to climb up, but prefer to do that at the current company, that you're not necessarily trying to pit two employers against each other in a bidding war — so it's a show of good faith.

    Of course if such a mild strategy doesn't get any response you can still increase the pressure — but that indeed also increases risks.
  • 4
    Trying to ascertain salary scales is a crap shoot. They can only pay what a scale allows, the fantasy of the "hard negotiator" is just that. Start 15% over what you want and negotiate down. If they can't meet you in your range, pass.
  • 3
    When you're in the recruitment phase, ask the recruiter how much is budgeted for the position. If they or the hiring company won't answer, thank them for their time and withdraw your candidacy.
  • 1
    figure out your skill level, and then from there determine what someone of similar skill level is paid. then figure out your expenses and what you need to make and add ten percent onto that. thats your bottom line.
    figure out your "top line", the one that if offered (or exceeded) you immediately answer yes to. figure out what their packages or potential benefits are and put a dollar amount on em (with a modifier specific to your preferences on it). Keep numbers in the thousands and keep it general. Salary negotiations can be open or they can be a take-it-or-leave-it affair.

    Always recognize you can walk away at any time. Do not go in desparate. example: I sleep in slacks so they're basically pajama bottoms. I interview in them. No interviewer has ever figured out im showing up well groomed but dressed for bed. Its my way of staying out of the desparation/approval-seeking mindset. Find what works for you.

    leverage is the ability to walk away. power is the ability to say no.
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