A few times a week, I get requests for advice on negotiating a job offer. They usually start like this: I’m in the recruiting process, and I just received an offer from the organization that I want to join. I’d like to sign, but I was hoping for a higher salary. What should I do?
According to conventional wisdom, the best way to boost your salary is to get an offer from a competing employer with a higher salary. It’s true that a competing offer gives you leverage, but many people find this strategy distasteful. If you’ve already decided where you want to work, and you’re not well along the way with other employers, it’s disingenuous to start interviewing elsewhere, not to mention a waste of your time.
In many cases, I’ve proposed a different strategy. It requires no hardball negotiating and keeps your integrity intact.
It’s an approach that I used during three years negotiating advertising contracts, where I started out as a doormat but somehow ended up setting a few company records. Since then, I’ve taught it in my negotiation courses to executives and students, and it proves highly effective.
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