Economics/Class Relations

Negotiating your dream job

September 30, 2023 • 5 min read
with Diamond Naga Siu
Hello! Major news yesterday: California Senator Dianne Feinstein died at age 90. Our politics team broke down what happens next.

 

As for today’s edition, we’re focusing on work — namely, negotiation. Did you know that everything about your work situation is negotiable, by the way? That’s our big story.

What’s on deck
But first, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

 

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The big story
Negotiate anything anytime

 

Salary negotiation mistakes are pretty common.

 

Nearly half of workers admit to making a salary negotiation mistake, according to data from talent and consulting firm Robert Half. One of the top-cited regrets was placing too much emphasis on pay versus the entire compensation package.

 

“Think about what really has monetary value to you,” Scott Dobroski, a vice president at Indeed, told me. “Believe it or not, if you’re going in the office — or maybe you’re a salesperson — this could be dry cleaning or laundry services.”

 

He added that “compensation” is the key term since it’s more all-encompassing.

 

Beyond base salary, bonuses, and stock options, anything important to you is on the table in negotiations: gym memberships, professional development funds, ergonomic chairs, and even healthcare benefits.

 

Looking at what benefits competitors offer their employees is another way to prepare for a negotiation. Doing as much research as possible makes your position stronger, while data presents your argument as fact instead of fiction.

 

“Knowledge is negotiation,” Jenna Alexander, the co-creator and leader of Randstad’s global Talent Centre of Excellence team, told me.

 

She added: “Whenever it comes to negotiating your future, you’re at risk of potentially being emotional about it — it’s a natural state of mind. But if you’ve got your facts behind you, you’ve got a steel rod for a backbone.”

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Negotiations aren’t just for when you join a company.

 

If you’re performing well in your role, that offers you “career currency” to leverage in negotiations, Dobroski said.

 

“It’s pointing back to the skills, experiences and the wins — the contributions you’ve made at your current company to show why your value has actually increased — and therefore that’s why you’re asking for more compensation,” Dobroski told me.

 

Dobroski also urged caution over a controversial negotiating tactic: Leveraging a job offer against your current gig if you’re not serious about taking the new role.

 

“We do not recommend using it as just a ploy to get more money with your current employer,” Dobroski told me. “What could happen unintentionally is it backfires if you don’t have any intentions of joining the other company.”

 

It’s also important to communicate what you want every step of the way.

 

“If you want to be in the office four days a week, then say that in your first interview, say it in your second interview and your third so that there’s no surprises when it comes to you getting that offer,” Alexander of Randstad told me.

 

This communication can be for anything, including things that might be keeping you at your current role. If you’re set to receive a bonus in three months, for example, you could communicate that and then ask for a signing bonus of an equal or greater value.

 

“You are not trying to play a negotiating game for the sake of it,” Alexander said.

 

For more of our careers coverage:

 
3 things in
Travel
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1. Photos show what traveling was like 100 years ago. In the 1920s, airports looked more like garages. And instead of having plane windows, you’d just have an open hole. Plus, people dressed up a lot more to go in the air.

 

2. Believe it or not, you can’t pack these 11 items as a carry-on. Snow globes and British Christmas crackers surprisingly won’t make it through airport security. Foam swords also don’t make the cut, but lightsabers are allowed.

 

3. Six exciting EVs that are coming out soon. A new batch of EVs is scheduled to hit the roads before 2024 begins, including a three-row Kia SUV, a high-end BMW sedan, and a Chevrolet for less than $30,000.

 
3 things in
Careers
Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images
1. The best time to quit for a higher-paying job could be right after getting promoted. The higher role makes people more attractive to other employers. And new data found that 29% of workers quit within a month of their first promotion.

 

2. Hey, CEOs: Stop dating your employees and trying to cover it up. McDonalds, CNN, BP, and other major companies have all faced the same, dated C-suite issue. Workplace relationships can be problematic, especially since a power imbalance can blur the lines of consent.

 

3. Entering the workforce after high school instead of going to college. This 20-year-old started an apprenticeship right after graduating. He’s debt-free, already earning money, and has a guaranteed job lined up.

 
3 things in
Life
Christian Hartmann/Reuters
1. Every full moon has a different name. Here’s why. For millennia, the lunar calendar was how people tracked time. September is called the harvest moon, corn moon, and barley moon. While March is called the worm moon, sap moon, and crow moon.

 

2. The rise and fall of Champion. It used to be one of the hottest athletic brands, with NBA athletes like Michael Jordan and hip-hop legends like 50 Cent wearing it. But now Champion’s sales are falling behind, and its parent company might sell it. Here’s how it got to this place.

 

3. It’s time to rethink the wedding registry. Items like china and bedding can feel a bit outdated. Instead, couples could ask for things like helpful subscriptions, sports game tickets, and other modern registry requests.

 
 

In other news

 

 
Melissa Wells/Insider
For your bookmarks
Trader Joe’s birria
The Trader Joe’s birria is the best 10-minute Mexican dinner for fall. It’s surprisingly authentic and normally takes hours to make from scratch.
 
The Insider Today Saturday team

Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor, in New York City.  Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.

 

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