Let’s Talk Money

It’s that uncomfortable part of every job seeker’s journey to a better opportunity—the salary discussion. Part of my job is to negotiate salaries, so I know it can be touchy subject. But without a recruiter to have the “money talk” for you, how do you ensure you’re paid what you’re worth? Here are some tactics I’ve seen work over the years:

Speak up
Ask and you shall receive…something, at least. Don’t expect to get what you want right out the gate. You will need to be direct in communicating your wants. If it’s more money, say it. If it’s a relocation package, say it. If it’s stock options, say it. Now’s the time to negotiate the terms of your employment, not after you’ve already been hired.

Be realistic
Not all companies have the cash flow to offer up huge monetary incentives right out the gate. If this is the case, you may want to negotiate incremental pay increases based on performance, bigger commission percentages or bonuses. Remember that cash is not the only pawn you have to play. Incentives can come in the form of more time off, flexible work schedules and benefits. Just make sure all that’s promised is written down in your offer letter and/or contract.

Be bold
Be resolute if the offer given to you is less than you deserve—lean in! You don’t have to be combative and make heavy-handed demands, but you may have to be willing walk away if the answer is no. Above all, stand up for yourself and do what feels right for you and fits your career goals. It’s better to turn down a job offer that you don’t want than be stuck in position that you hate.

What negotiation tactics have worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’re looking for a new high-tech sales position that fits your bill, contact me.


Career Advice To My Younger Self

Wisdom comes from living.
Anthony Douglas Williams

I’m a corporate war dog. I’ve seen it all over the course of my long career and my life experiences have shaped me into the kind of professional I am today. While I have to vantage of hindsight, as a novice, you don’t. If I could roll back the clock and mentor my younger self, this is what I would say:

“Take your education seriously.”
While I received a great undergraduate education (I’m a Temple alum), it’s going to take a bit more than that in today’s business landscape. I’m seeing more and more employers requiring a higher level of education these days. And while it may sound elitist, companies (especially the most prestigious ones) care about where you went to school, especially when you’re just starting out. Gaining acceptance into a top MBA program will pave the way for a long and prosperous career. These programs have an amazing network you can tap into and give you an edge when competing for internships and jobs.

“Make that first real job count.”
While it may sound exciting to join a startup right out of business school, getting your feet wet within a Fortune 500 firm will shape you into a more well-rounded professional. I would look at companies with a strong management trainee program that will allow you to experience operations within multiple departments. After you’ve gotten a grasp of the way big business works, feel free to venture out into alternative career paths—especially if you know climbing the corporate ladder isn’t right for you.

“Learn how to play the game.”
Whether it’s at a large corporation or within a small team, you will need to learn how to navigate office politics. Corporate culture varies from place to place—even from department to department—so know what you need to do to build alliances that will keep you doing your best work.

“Be comfortable with getting uncomfortable.”
Early in your career, you will likely be asked to do a lot of “grunt” work. And later in your career, you may need to diversify in order to keep moving forward with your career. You need to get over the anxiety associated with stepping out of your comfort zone if you want to succeed. Understand that fear can be an asset if you handle it correctly.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from my experiences and incorporate my advice into your own career path. What advice would you give your younger self? I’d love to hear your thoughts.