How to negotiate salary mid-career?
December 3, 2013 8:05 AM Subscribe
I am interviewing for a new job. I'm a mid-career professional with 15 years of experience in my field. I've made the second round of interviews at three different organizations. I expect a job offer from at least one, possibly two of these places. I have NO IDEA how to negotiate a salary offer when it comes, and most of the advice I've found is geared to new college graduates, not people with more experience. How do I do this?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
So far, I've dodged the salary question when it's come up with variations on "I'd prefer to focus on how I might be able to satisfy X need your organization has REASON WHY I'M AWESOME." But once I get an offer, that will no longer be possible. I'll have to accept it or negotiate. I would of course always prefer more money.
--My visibility in my field has increased in a significant and meaningful way in the last 3 years.
--I have unique knowledge about an issue that has recently become central to my field. This won't last more than 3-4 years before others catch up with me, but it's huge right now. I'll keep learning, of course, but won't be so far ahead in a few years.
--I've tried and failed to negotiate a raise and promotion with my current employer based on the first two points above. I've come to realize that my employer doesn't really get the field, and I'm better off moving on. So I'm not all that interested in getting a counter offer from my current employer, unless it might help me get a counter-counter offer from a new employer.
--I have reason to think I'm seriously underpaid, even without my visibility and unique knowledge, and based on my research into these organizations and my field in general, I expect any job offer I receive to exceed my current salary by 35%, if not more, and for most benefits to be comparable.
--My current compensation package includes my salary and an annual bonus that's equal to about 10% of my salary. The organizations I'm interviewing with don't have bonus programs.
--I also get insurance, stock in an employee ownership program, a 401k contribution (separate from my employer match), 4 weeks a year of vacation, and a bunch of sick leave.
--My field is research. Advanced degrees are required, and I have one.
--The field is populated by a mix of universities, for profit companies, non-profit orgs, the government, and foundations.
--The offers I'm anticipating are from for-profit companies.
I know I'm in a really weird position, especially for someone my age. I've spent my entire career with one employer, which few people do any more. I've literally never negotiated a job offer before. When I got this job, my boss offered me more than I asked for, so I didn't even try negotiating then. I know that was a mistake, and I want to be better prepared this time around.
So when I get an offer, what do I do? How do I say I want more money? And if I push on that and fail, what other things can I ask for (like more vacation or something else) and how do I do this?
I'm really flailing. I need some help imagining what these conversations will be like, and thinking through both strategy and tactics for how to approach them.