Negotiate Like A Pro

I just hosted my first ever group call. Topic: negotiating $. Groups make me a little anxious (I know, I know...I do public speaking as part of my job, what?), so this was a very big deal. If any of you want to join one of these chats in the future, let me know! I might do more.

In the meantime, here is what I learned from some of the most accomplished, kick-ass women I have had the pleasure to work with: 

  1. Always negotiate. The worst answer you can get is NO.

  2. Start high. You can always go down, but it's much harder (though not impossible) to go up.
    2.b. Ideally let the other party give the first price or range. It might be higher than you expected! Then add 20% in your counter-offer.

  3. Have your numbers ready - be prepared!
    Minimum - What's the minimum you will accept in order to 
    a) live
    b) retain your dignity?
    Mid - What number are you happy to get?
    High - woohoo!
    Fuck you price - You don't want this work, but you'll do it for lots of money.

  4. What if an employer asks about salary history? In some states that is not legal, so do your homework first. If it's legal, remember that salary is part of the story - compensation also includes benefits, etc., etc.

  5. Figure out what you're worth - do your research! Ask, ask, ask peers, colleagues, friends. Especially ask men because they're probably making more than their women counterparts. Use salary surveys as a guide, but don't stop there. Talk to humans.

  6. Calculate your Minimum Viable Employment: what is your minimum *annual* cost of living. Make a spreadsheet. Include retirement, dogwalker, etc. Those might seem like luxuries, but your annual cost might be lower than you think...and liberate you to pursue cool opportunities.

  7. If negotiating for a FT thing, you can also negotiate on non-salary benefits. Vacation, professional development, work from home days, etc. For example, I got 4 weeks vacation at every job I ever had. In the US of A! Because I asked for it.

  8. ASK, ASK, ASK. Even if you already have a job or gave someone a rate for a project...if you ever get to the point when you feel like you're not getting paid what you're worth, ASK for more money. The worst thing someone will say is no. Then you know where you stand.

  9. Know that you can always walk away from a negotiation if you're not getting what you want. It's OK. It happens. But you might also get what you ask for. 🚀