How to Successfully Negotiate Your Salary

Negotiate your job offer

Negotiating Your Salary

Salary negotiation is an important way to increase your salary earnings when getting a new job, promotion, or performance review. Though most companies are willing to negotiate salary, most employees never try. Below, we’ll review preparation tactics, best practices, and additional resources to negotiate your salary with confidence and poise.

How to Prepare - Before the Interview

Research appropriate pay rates for positions:

Conduct your research by looking online (salary.com, glassdoor.com) and asking colleagues and friends. You can use this information during your negotiation conversation.

Example phrasing: “I’ve done some research and comparable positions in the bay area that include content production, UX design, instructional design and product management average closer to $80k - $109k yearly. Because I realize that [Company] is an early stage startup, I’m fine with earning the lower end of that range.”

Believe in your value:

This is essential! Reflect on the concrete value you can bring to a company and make note of specific accomplishments, contributions, and positive character traits. These can also be used in your negotiation conversations.

Example phrasing: “My background in technology, UX design, radio / podcasting and education ​lets me take on a range of tasks, ​as well as interface between the content production, design and tech teams. Given my unique background in the both technology and radio/podcast production, I believe a salary of $80,000.00 is appropriate ...”

Practice:

Practice makes perfect! Sit down with someone you trust and role-play a salary negotiation. Record yourself so that you can see areas for improvement. If you have the opportunity to negotiate over email, share a draft with a trusted person. Remember - the more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll be in actual negotiation.

Still having trouble? Try thinking about someone else. Research from Columbia Business School shows that people—especially women—tend to do better when they negotiate for someone else, reports Stern. In preparing to negotiate, think about how your requests will impact those around you: it’s not just for you, but also for your family and your future. It’s even for your employer! After all, if you are happier with your position and compensation, you’re more likely to work hard and be successful.

5 Rules of Negotiation - During the Interview

Rule 1: Be Patient
Patience is key in negotiations! Postpone salary negotiations until you’re offered the job and let the other side make the first offer. If they ask for a specific amount on an application - leave it blank or write a reasonable range. If they ask you verbally, stall by refocusing the conversation to the role.

*The last two tips are very important if you are part of a minority group or if you are of junior skill level as these groups are frequently offered less.

Rule 2: Be Silent
When you hear the offer, repeat the number -  and stay silent. Consider asking for time to review the offer before sharing your response. If something is unclear, take the initiative to ask questions.  Next, counter the offer with a researched response. Your counter offer should be based on what you know about the market, the company and yourself and NOT about what you make now.

Here is a great script to try, courtesy of Rebecca Thorman at U.S. News & World Report:
“I’m really excited to work here, and I know that I will bring a lot of value. I appreciate the offer at $58,000, but was really expecting to be in the $65,000 range based on my experience, drive, and performance. Can we look at a salary of $65,000 for this position?”

Rule 3: Be Persistent
In many cases, the employer will reject your first request for a higher salary. Push back gently, justifying your proposed salary. Don’t fear the “no”.  “No” is often a part of a respectful negotiation discussion.

Rule 4: Be Flexible
If the company won’t budge on salary, negotiate other compensation. Examples include extra vacation days, transportation benefits, gym memberships, etc. 

Rule 5: Be Brave
The biggest mistake you can make is to not negotiate at all. Even though you may not get the exact salary that you want, you can still learn from the experience and potentially get more than the original offered salary!

Nanodegree Specific Tips

Use your Udacity Network as a way to research!

Remember that being brave is important, especially for women, who are statistically less likely to negotiate.

If you are new to the field, use your enthusiasm, initiative, ability to learn quickly, grit, and self direction as a value point.

Make sure to fill out your Udacity profile.

As usual, any questions/comments/feedback: career-support@udacity.com.

Additional Resources

General:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-negotiate-salary-37-tips-you-need-to-know

http://offerletter.io/blog/201412-understanding-and-negotiating-your-startup-equity.html 

Harvard Business Review’s 15 rules for negotiating your salary and getting results: https://hbr.org/2014/04/15-rules-for-negotiating-a-job-offer (Video illustrates the article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km2Hd_xgo9Q)

This article details how to have body language that communicates confidence and calm in the negotiation space: http://skillcrush.com/2014/09/19/body-language/ 

Language - guide of what to avoid saying when negotiating your salary:http://www.businessinsider.com/never-say-this-in-a-salary-negotiation-2014-7

Women-specific:

General and straightforward: http://valerieaurora.org/howto_salary/

A whole website dedicated to learning how to leverage your career and wage as a working woman: http://www.levo.com/ask4more

Lean In’s website details how to negotiate your salary and get results: http://leanin.org/education/negotiation/

Offers advice on how to get comfortable asking for more pay: http://skillcrush.com/2014/04/08/equal-pay-day-what-women-can-do/

If you are interested in getting more information about this topic, check out a more in-depth presentation in the workshop below. Hosted by Ryan Fong, Director of Finance at Udacity (formerly Microsoft, Yahoo) and Kathleen Mullaney, VP Careers at Udacity - this workshop will include a real life case study, tips for salary negotiation, personal anecdotes, guidelines for staying confident, and an in-depth Q&A with Udacity students.

Negotiating Your Salary

If you are interested in getting more information about this topic, check out a more in-depth presentation in the workshop below. Hosted by Ryan Fong, Director of Finance at Udacity (formerly Microsoft, Yahoo) and Kathleen Mullaney, VP Careers at Udacity - this workshop will include a real life case study, tips for salary negotiation, personal anecdotes, guidelines for staying confident, and an in-depth Q&A with Udacity students.