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Ask HN: How do you negotiate a salary?
17 points by patientplatypus on Feb 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
What is your strategy for negotiating salaries? How do you know when you're asking too much or when you're getting low balled? Do you have any stories that you can share that are insightful, or have you made decisions that you wish you hadn't? Decisions that turned out well? Anything would be helpful, thank you.

Going to link the obligatory patio11[1] post on this - it's a must read.

[1]: https://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/

Definitely check out patio11.

Maybe check this out also for better awareness of HR "power dynamics" (most arguments still apply for juniors in the current market):


1. Get information: the employers have lots more information than you do about compensation ranges. Try to get your own information. That can tell you whether an employer is above or below other employers, and also whether their offer is low/high relative to their other employees. Some sources: https://www.levels.fyi/comp.html and https://h1bdata.info/

2. Have multiple offers. At least two if you want to have any leverage at all. "I want X" is vastly less effective than "I have another offer for Y, can you offer more". Guessing that you're being low-balled possible, I guess, but it's much safer and easier to actually auction your work. Bluffing might work but having a strong BATNA is way better.

I had success with the following technique:

Printed a spreadsheet with how much I was earning annually, bonuses, performance, estimated salary adjustment in 6 months, 12 months etc.

Put this physical paper on the table and said: "I want to earn 30% more than this".

Two hours later, got an offer with such number.

Before you go into negotiations, have a number in mind. Agree if they offer equal or higher, disagree if they offer less.

Your number should be something you're happy (not simply comfortable) with. Like you'd go home all excited to take the job.

Don't be that guy who haggles on everything. In fact, if you encounter a person who haggles on a good offer, reject them. They would be the type who are either unappreciative of what you bring or always looking for more. Those types are dangerous in tech - they're likely to push more responsibility to you (e.g. testing, UI), get you to work after hours for free, manipulate you. They'll often find some excuse to turn down raises, bonuses, claims on benefits like sick days.

Sometimes neither side will name their price first. If forced into showing your hand first, don't highball. Just stick to your number.

Buy this book, it’s well worth it: https://fearlesssalarynegotiation.com/

Read the book Never Split the Difference. It has a whole section on the strategy to use for salary negotiation.

We'll just ask 20% more than you current pay

If you get it easily, ask for more after sometime.

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