Negotiating Your Next Tech Job

Payment dayYou’ve been interviewing and putting your best foot forward for the past few weeks. You’re feeling good and you’ve finally received an offer letter, however negotiations now need to commence. It’s perfectly normal for you to go back and forth a bit with your employer while trying to find a common ground but we wanted to give you a few tips to getting your hands on the best possible package.

Breathe. While it’s true that you have the most negotiating leverage after you’ve received your job offer, don’t bring it up until you’ve gotten the remaining compensation package details. For example, what if you’re offered 10 vacation days but you make a fuss over demanding 7. Before you know it, your employer happily amends your contract and you come out on the losing end. Months later you sadly watch everyone else enjoy those 3 additional beach days while files are stacked to the ceiling around your desk. Dramatic? I know. Did you get the weight of the message? Yes. Just breathe.  Really take time to consider everything that is being offered before jumping into your demands.

Research Research Research. Look to sites such as or to see what similar positions are paying. One of the most, if not the most important thing, is to be well informed from the beginning. Employers can try to low-ball you, to offset this, ask for a reasonable salary a bit higher than what you would really like. By doing this, you will have some room to comfortably negotiate down, or you can be pleasantly surprised and receive an even higher salary than you expected! Being properly informed is a win-win.

Make your end goal clear. Let your new employer know exactly what your requirements are from the start but make it clear that if needs are met, you will happily take the position. No company or boss wants to feel squeezed, bring only reasonable and fair demands to the tables, and be comfortable with the idea of compromise. Ultimately, this needs to be beneficial for both parties or it will never work. Even generous million dollar companies don’t want to feel like they’ve been taken to the bank so to speak. A counter offer is one thing but the entire negotiation process needs to be relatively quick or an employer can end up feeling drained, resentful, and leave them second guessing about their choice in you. Don’t ever give them a reason to second-guess you.

It’s important that you feel like you are compensated appropriately for what you bring to the table, but stay realistic. Just because you see the perks that Google hands to employees does not mean that you should then go and demand those things from the startup company that just hired you. Walk the tightrope between what you deserve and what they can provide. Work from that mindset, use these tips, sprinkle in a little luck and good fortune, and start negotiating!