"how did you negotiate?"

my take on compensation

[originally from "jenny's latest job search"]

my go-to guides

ten rules for negotiating a job offer by haseeb qureshi

salary negotiation with josh doody by kalzumeus

these are my number 1 resource. they’re not for reading/skimming and then moving on. i actively referred back to these as references like “living documents” to interpret what was happening to me for my 1st and 2nd job searches.

i continued doing it until it felt natural for me to come to my own firm conclusions when recruiters spoke with me and when i didn’t have uncomfortable moments in negotiation conversations.

know the market

“market rate” doesn’t really matter. what matters is the standard for that team and company/direct competitors. that's your market.

in your team

i usually talk with my coworkers about their salary - people usually are free to sharing.

try approaching them 1x1 and try the waters by asking what happened to them last performance cycle, or how they feel about the last annual bonus, etc. it works when you have a genuine interest in the person (people can feel this) and you offer your honest take too.

it can be a good way to open up the convo to all the specific numbers.

for specific companies

find someone inside that company (if not that team), and ask them to chat! one question you shouldn’t miss is how much they would expect someone with your experience to get offered.

if you don’t have a connection, here are some great resources:

  • paysa.com (RIP)
  • levels.fyi

ask men

i tend to default to my familiar friend groups or female channels for advice. try asking men. you’ll always be surprised by some of the numbers.

get competing offers

it’s extra work for you, but this is the best leverage you can get. especially if the companies and roles are similar.

work your goal

once you’ve done research, set a goal for yourself. and then ask for 10k more than this. don't give your number if you haven't done research.

when i was in bootcamp (back in 2017), i realized many folks were getting offers north of $90k (i knew this because i asked people btw: see know the market)! and you didn’t have to be in fintech to get there, which was a big deal for me! so i started targeting that number. people think “targeting” this means asking for $80k - $100k as the range. well, this was the case when i was afraid of getting rejected. this actually meant telling recruiters i’m interested in ranges $100k -$120k.

caveat: if possible, please push this back until engineers have already met you (i.e., not the initial recruiter screen).

some other caveats

some companies don’t have the funds. i don’t see them as them trying to “cheat” you - they simply can’t afford it. move on if salary matters to you. there are “tiers” of tech company compensation.

if the extra money doesn’t matter too much, then move forward with them!