January 10, 2024

《Fearless Salary Negotiation》书摘

Fearless Salary Negotiation is a guide to getting paid what you’re worth. But it’s also something deeper— it’s an exposé on how companies determine salaries and job titles, and how they think about raises and promotions. It is my way of showing you how to successfully bridge the chasm between what you think you know about salaries, job titles, and pay structures, and how they actually work.

Counterintuitively, being lower in your paygrade is better for your prospects of getting a raise while staying in that paygrade. The higher you are in your paygrade, the less room there is before you bump into the “top” of the paygrade, and that’s often a hard limit. Even if a big raise wouldn’t bump you into the top of your paygrade, it can still be difficult to get into that top part because the tippy-top of a paygrade is often reserved for people who have been in that paygrade for a long time, and either aren’t being promoted or don’t want to be promoted.

Rather than talking about their salary, talk about a salary for a hypothetical person who is very similar to them. For example, you could say, “If someone were hired at your company today to do a job similar to yours, what sort of salary do you think they could make?” This is an extremely transparent and roundabout way of asking about their salary, but it gives them an out so that they can talk about salaries without explicitly mentioning their salary per se.

The most reliable way to significantly increase your salary is to change companies. The catch is that you only get so many opportunities to take advantage of this fact because most people will only work for a handful of companies during their careers. You have to make these opportunities count.

Your objective with your salary negotiation is to get them as close as possible to the maximum they’re willing to pay. You will do this by giving them as many reasons as possible to pay you more and by avoiding giving them any reasons to pay you less.

My pat answer to the “what are you looking for” part of the dreaded salary question is, “I want this move to be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility and compensation.” This answer demonstrates that you want to contribute to the company by taking on additional responsibilities and that you want to be paid well for those contributions.

“I’m not comfortable sharing my current salary. I would prefer to focus on the value I can add to this company rather than what I’m paid at my current job. I don’t have a specific number in mind for a desired salary, and you know better than I do what value my skillset and experience could bring to your company. I want this move to be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility and compensation.”

Never keep your interviewer waiting— there are few faster ways to make a very bad first impression. Odds are that Andy has just left a meeting, or ended a client call, or scarfed down his lunch so he could make sure you get started on time.

that you took the time to really think about your answer rather than just blurting something out. You can do this two or three times in a single interview, but no more than that.

Many hiring managers want to be sure you’re a good fit for their company and for their team in particular. A good way to figure that out is to learn more about you and, more importantly, to hear you talk about yourself. How you answer questions, your demeanor, how thoughtful or nonchalant you are— all these things give a manager a sense of what it would be like to work with you.

Most of the time, you’re being asked these questions because your résumé or something you said indicates that you should know the answer. If you have multiple interviews where you’re asked similar technical questions that you can’t answer, you may need to study up on that topic so you’re more prepared next time.

A common one is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Yes, it’s cliche, but it’s also a useful question

Frame your answers so that they define how you’ll contribute to the company and team you’re applying to. A good structure for an answer to this type of question is, “I would like to learn more about [something] and apply that new knowledge to help improve or grow [some business function] within the company. I would also like to help [the team you’re interviewing for] be more proficient at [something else].”

Mention things you like about the company in general, and then talk specifically about how your skillset would be a good fit for the company’s mission.

One of my most interesting jobs was building a technical support team from scratch. I was hired specifically to help build a local team, and our goal was to grow the team to 25 people as quickly as possible. The economy was still in rough shape and our company was in a college town. This led to a unique dynamic: We had far more candidates than we could possibly hire, and all of them had strong technical backgrounds (recent engineering and computer science grads, some Masters grads, and the occasional PhD).

You’ll feel the tone shift a little bit from more formal to more friendly. It may feel like the interview is already over, but it’s not! There may still be a few great opportunities to make a good impression on Andy.

You might want to start with this question: “What does a typical day look like for this role?”

Another good question is “What are the greatest challenges for your team right now?” or “What is the greatest challenge for this particular role?”

Some companies will let you know if they decide not to move forward with you, and some companies won’t. It’s difficult to know which you’re dealing with,

If you’ve already covered everything in your interview, it’s okay to say, “I think we actually covered everything already!”

Here’s the formula for your aggression factor: [How badly they need you] - [How badly you need this job] = Your aggression factor

When you deliver your counter, you have another opportunity to make your case for the maximum possible salary. And, more importantly, you can help the recruiter or hiring manager make a strong case to whoever is holding the purse strings. Your counter will probably require approval by someone higher up the chain of command, so you should give them everything they need to make the strongest case possible for you. Most of the time, if you’re this far in the process, they want to make things work, so this is the perfect time to make your case again.

Remember that although this negotiation may be a unique and special event for you personally, it’s just a series of numbers to most recruiters.

Regardless of why you’re leaving, the most important thing is that you do it gracefully. Why? Because people know people, and they talk to people, and they will talk about you. And when they talk about you, you want to be absolutely sure that they only have great things to say.

DO focus on yourself and your own needs. “I’m ready for a new challenge”

DON’T focus on others or the company. Don’t say things like, “The company culture just wore me down” or “My boss didn’t give me enough support.”

Leaving a job properly can go a very long way to boosting your reputation so that you’re top of mind when your former coworkers are looking for new colleagues in the future.

Your exit interview is one of the times when being vague is necessary. You won’t benefit by baring your soul on your way out, and the company isn’t going to change because of your feedback. Keep it short, sweet, and surface-level.

A well-timed request for an off-cycle raise or promotion can often give you the best shot at a nice pay increase because you’re not competing with everyone else in the company for a fixed amount of money. Instead, you can make your case as an individual who has earned greater pay or a better title.

But even if your manager does say no, that’s okay because you can still say, “Okay, I understand. Can you help me understand why I’m not ready for a promotion so that I know what to work on?”

It’s not about the time you put in, but the value you add to your company.

That “increase in value” may be that you’re managing more people, taking on bigger projects, creating collateral that others are using to be more efficient at their jobs, doing things outside your current job description, or any number of other things that you weren’t doing before.

he’s already doing the job, so let’s make it official and promote him!”

I asked, “How do you find the people that you promote to be your VPs and SVPs?”

His answer was, “I look for people that are already working in and exploring areas outside their own, and I promote them.” In other words, he was looking for people already doing the jobs he needed to fill.

They’re looking for people who have already demonstrated that they can do the job.

When you go to your manager to ask for a promotion using the method in this book, you will say something like, “I looked into it, and I think I’ve been doing the Senior Business Analyst job for the past few months. What else can I do to make things official with a promotion to Senior Business Analyst?”

You want the person reading this to think, “It looks like he’s already doing this. Why haven’t we already promoted him?”

The email acts as a record of your request, and it is forwardable— this is the key component. After you ask for your promotion, your manager will almost certainly have to run your request up the chain of command. At every stop along that chain, someone will need to be convinced that you’ve earned your promotion, approve it, and pass it on to the next link in the chain for approval. Your email makes your case clearly and succinctly and will make your manager’s job easier, which increases the likelihood of your promotion being approved.

Sometimes you won’t get what you asked for, and your manager won’t be able to offer a plan to achieve your goals. That’s disappointing, but it’s also an informative outcome:

It might happen if the company is struggling financially and simply can’t afford to give raises at the time of your promotion. It might happen because you specifically asked for a promotion, but did not specifically ask for a raise (this would be pretty unusual, but it’s possible).

Your primary justification for requesting a raise is that your value to the company has changed since your current salary was set, and that is good reason to reevaluate and adjust your salary to reflect your increased value to the company.

But while time in your job doesn’t explicitly justify giving you a raise, it could implicitly help you make the case for a higher salary because you may have acquired new skills, taken on new responsibilities, or otherwise found new ways to add value to the company since you were hired. Those are compelling reasons to pay you more money.