Salary Starting Point

When I was younger, I was too humble and too easily satisfied to a fault. I’m linking this to a lack of self confidence in myself and my skills. If I was applying for a new job and they wanted to hire me, I would take it, no questions asked because I was just thankful to have a job. During early jobs, even after years of hard work and great service, if the company was skimping on deserved raises, I would look for excuses to the situation. “At least I have a job, at least I like my team, and at least they pay for my cell phone!” I had an endless list at my disposable to reason away any job shortcomings.

Fast forward to today. I’m no longer a rookie in my field, but for some reason my mindset and confidence is still linked to my newbie days. I must be doing something right, right? Get this into your thick skull Buck! The biggest challenge was at the end of last year when a new opportunity popped up. My mindset nearly crumbled at the 25% salary pop and additional responsibilities. I felt I didn’t deserve the pay increase because I thought I was being fairly compensated. I also doubted my self and my skills. “Could I really perform 25% higher than my current level?” Illogical, I know, but with Baby Buck on the way, I manned up, took the plunge, and shattered my old way of approaching a new job with my Robert California routine. Funny what a kid can do for one’s ambition. During the song and dance negotiation, I even counter offered the initial starting salary. My boss countered back with a lower number, but it was slightly higher than the initial number. He did understand this is the time to set the bar. In a way, I think this move earned more of his respect.

Final Thoughts

Thinking back I had three big advantages. I already had a job so I had nothing to lose. I had a man on the inside saying that I could walk on water and the person I was replacing had much to be desired. Seven months later, things are humming along. My anxiety was uncalled for. I carried several critical projects, hit some home runs in crisis, and feel I am more than earning my keep. Our annual performance review happened and I got a nominal raise for good work. Please don’t mistake this as senseless rant so I can pat myself on the back. This is a reminder to myself that my sleepless nights of anxiety were unnecessary. Since I wasn’t being unreasonable and I pushed my envelope ever so slightly, my future raises will be even more fruitful because my salary starting point was bumped higher. Hope this helps you in your future jobs, this includes you Buck!

What salary negotiation tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Stay Inspired!

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26 Responses

  1. I always look around at the industry and see what others doing the same job are getting paid. Then I offer a ball park and see where they can fall within it. It has worked pretty well. If they can’t match the salary I have negotiated other perks like more holiday time etc.

  2. I have never successfully negotiated my salary. It’s scary and even though I know it’s something I need to do in order to earn more money, it’s something I have a hard time contemplating.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Salary is not an easy thing to deal with so I understand your reservations. But when you get over your uneasiness, you will see it’s just part of the game.

  3. krantcents says:

    First you have to sell them on your accomplishments. Then you need to do your research on compensation for that job. Last you have to be prepared to walk away.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Great advice KC! If you can walk away, you are absolutely in control and calling the shots. This attitude actually works great in a lot of areas outside a job interview too!

  4. Arlee Bird says:

    No tricks here. I’ve never really dealt with negotiating my salary as I’ve always been relatively content with my situation. Now that I’m unemployed I’m not sure what I would do if I came to an offer that required negotiation. I’ve never had a clear idea of what the market should be or what my own worth should be. I need to improve on that.

    Tossing It Out

  5. Unfortunately I couldn’t negotiate a higher starting salary but I did negotiate more vacation. Something is better than nothing.

  6. AverageJoe says:

    Of course you link to one of my all-time favorite movies.

    I’ve always come armed with data. “I need more” or “I have bills” never works as well as “here’s the going rate” or “here’s what I’ll add to your bottom line.”

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Don’t hate me, but I haven’t seen the movie. Love the clip and I thought it fit well. Great advice to arm yourself with data. Better to be over prepared than under or not!

  7. I think having something to fall back on is a great asset to have in any negotiation. If you don’t “need’ the job as much, you’ll be in a stronger position as you’ll be less willing to make concessions that place you at a disadvantage.

  8. A good strategy is to be so good they have to pay you!

  9. Minda says:

    I tried negotiating about my salary even before I enter my current job but the employer said I can get a raise after 6 months. Oh well, I’m on my 7th month now, and so far,I’m still loving my job. Patience is a virtue, I guess.

  10. Mandy says:

    Sometimes I actually felt like I have anxiety problems or maybe I’m just a little paranoid and over reacting. There are also times that I want to quit my job and find a new interesting one but I thought that it will cause me to receive a bunch of bills.

  11. Shilpan says:

    Buck, I’ve found that best salary negotiation is to give man more than what you earn in return. That’s it. If you constantly go above and beyond, you won’t have to play any tricks to make more money. Remember, in the corporate world, we are tied to our ticket symbol in some way, shape or form.

  12. Salary negotiations are always so tough. I don’t have any advice, other that shoot for the moon, and then you may get close to what you want.

  13. In my humble opinion, young people tend to under or over estimate themselves. Therefore, part of them don’t get a job or earn what they expected.

    Very great video by the way.

  1. July 16, 2012

    […] Salary Starting Point – what are your salary negotiation tricks? […]

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