The Guts To Ask

According to Professor Maggie Neale of Stanford University's GSB,

"Negotiation at the front of the job acceptance process is one of the most important things you can do to not only improve your financial position, but the overall impression of your performance with the company over time".

The research on potential benefits/consequences overwhelmingly supports the act of asking for more compensation whenever you are ready to accept a job offer.  The key is to be strategic about your ask, and to understand human behavior and people’s natural tendencies.  You see, people are predictable, and if you understand their tendencies and weakness, you can leverage that understanding to improve your career over time. 


You Are In the Drivers Seat

Rest assured that by the time the company has invested all the effort of recruitment, interviews, background checks, and budget allocations in order to offer you a job, they do not want to start all over again looking for another candidate.  You are in, what I like to call, the “driver’s seat”.  When you get the offer, this is the time to ask for just a bit more, but a balance here is important, and you can’t ask for more without cause.  What I mean is, be certain you ask for a specific amount of additional compensation beyond the offer and have a good reason to justify it.  Some examples of good reasons are additional education, experience, certifications, outside study, or community involvement that could benefit the company in some way.  But not only do you need a solid reason to convince the hiring manager for more compensation, but you need to give the hiring manger a good reason to convince her company that you were worth the extra compensation.  An additional amount of 7-8% is reasonable and will make a big difference in your compensation over time.  Furthermore, having the “guts” to ask validates the belief of the employer that “they hired the right person”.     


The Compounding Effect 

The true power of this ask comes into effect over time. Over time you will be paid more and people will forget why you are paid more.  They will revert back to the thought that “if you are the highest paid person in your category of employee then you must be the best”.  This irrational line of thinking benefits no one except you.  You see, if structured raises and bonuses are given out each year (structured being a bonus of 10% of salary and raise of 8% of salary), then you will be among the highest compensated in bonuses and increases in pay - furthering the irrational assumption that you “must be worth more because you are paid more”.  And when the time comes to move on to another opportunity, the employer competing for your talent will want to either match or increase your current salary to convince you to move on to the new opportunity.

These fallacies only serve to benefit you as a person willing to take a chance before accepting a job offer and a person who understands the cogitative thought processes of the average person.


Prepare and take action

If you are reading this, you are proving to yourself and to others that you are not the "average" person. You are making a choice to spend 10 minutes investing in yourself as opposed to doing something else. You have chosen a path of learning and development that will lead to greater success.  People do not succeed because they were in the “right place at the right time”; they succeed because they were in the right place at the right time AND PREPARED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.  Great people do not rely on timing or luck, they rely on preparation and strategy.  Be one of these great people.   

- Mark