The secret is something your mother and especially your pre-school teachers told you as a child. Keep your mouth quiet. It’s really that simple. However, if you stop reading now, you won’t find my free offer of how to maximize your salary negotiation…

In my prior blog, The Only Way to Get Paid Fairly Is to Leave Your Job I describe how leaving your job is the only way to properly get paid. In my weekly newsletter entitled How to Increase Your Salary at Least 25% When You Switch Jobs, I also describe how a little market research will yield incredible fruit.

However, as part of this transition, how you negotiate salary with your target employer is the cherry on top. Especially in this environment of wage inflation, your future employer will lowball you every time with an offer. They must since job seekers have the upper hand in this land of scarce talent. Read on to hear how you can maximize your salary negotiation.

Case Study on the Sub-Optimal Way

My client Bob was a mid-level manager at a major commercial bank. His boss Stan was your typical asshole, full of insecurity and killer of new ideas. Can I say asshole? Free 30-minute interview preparation to someone who emails me their opinion (

You get the picture since you might have a Stan boss. However, my client liked the security of the banking world, especially in the current macro-economic war environment. He even liked his daily responsibilities. It was just Stan.

As an aside, do you fantasize as I do about getting rich, buying your former employer, and firing your former boss? At the age of 56, my fantasies are less uh, interesting than in the past.

We worked to network him with several competitors after we told his story on his resume and LinkedIn profile. My secret tip of the day is: if you really perfect your resume, you won’t need help telling your story. It will emerge from your resume work.

Then the salary negotiation began. One competitor started discussing a position with a $175-$200k base, and Bob indicated his range was $200-$250k. Bob was so sick of Stan that Bob would have paid the competitor a sign-on bonus of $50k just to change jobs!

The company came back with an offer of $235k, higher than their original range. Bob accepted the offer since it was in the upper part of his range and at least $50k more than his current salary. However,…

His current salary really has nothing to do with his negotiations. It’s a sunk cost/concept. The only thing that matters is who will pay him the most for his time and brainpower.

I get it that negotiating may make you feel like a used car salesperson. However, if you want more money, then do some breathing exercises and keep in mind that money=respect=kidsgotoprivateschool=happyspouse.

Case Study on the Optimal Way

Let’s pick up Bob’s story from where the company offered him $235k. What could Bob have done? He could have done some breathing exercises to get comfortable with the process. Please check out my 3 Awesome Breathing Exercises to Calm Your Interviewing Nerves! I created this video 2 years ago, and I noticed amazingly I have not aged 1 day!

Back to Bob. When someone makes you an offer, shut up! Say “thank you very much, I really appreciate your offer. I will think about it and get back to you within 48 hours”.

48 hours gives you a chance to calm down after you did your jiggly dance in your PJs. It gives you the opportunity to bounce some ideas off of someone who knows negotiations.

Bob could have gone back after 48 hours and said:

I really appreciate your offer and all the work you did to get me a higher base than you originally indicated. My original target was $200-$250k when we first started discussing the position a month ago. Since then, I have read so many articles about wage inflation and spoken to many friends who have changed positions. I will not change my range, but I ask you to speak with your team and propose $250.

A more aggressive approach could have been to ask for $25k more than the upper part of his range since the world is moving quickly and you can be aggressive.

HR won’t even go back to anyone internally since they most likely have a range of $230-280k already approved. In this environment, HR will come back at $250k easily, satisfying my client’s original top-of-the-range. HR will also save face since $250k is mid-point of their approved range. Salary negotiation makes everyone win.

Bottom Line

I don’t do bottom lines. If you skipped my article to get here for the quick summary, shame on you. I poured my heart into this article on salary negotiation! My lord, it’s a 5-minute read; go back and start from the beginning to show me some respect. For all those that skipped to here, you now owe me a free resume review or its equivalent. My equivalent is a champagne-filled bath at the French Riviera Ritz with my favorite vegan pizza. Oh, you can pay for me and my new girlfriend.


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