Secrets Behind Offer Negotiations

https://blossomcareer.libsyn.com/secrets-behind-offer-negotiations

Does the idea of offer negotiations make you uncomfortable? You’re not alone. We all want better salaries, more vacation time, sign-in bonuses, etc. However, in order to get what we want, we first need to ask for it. And that’s not always easy.

Katherine Bouglai:

Hello everybody. And welcome to another episode of Conversations With Blossom Career. Today, we’re going to talk about a very much anticipated topic. A topic everyone has been waiting for, which is a salary negotiations. And I wanted to emphasize, this is salary negotiations when you’re looking for a new job, not with your current boss. In fact, I don’t think there is such a thing. We call it, asking for a raise. I’ve tried it once a long time ago, and didn’t have very great results with that.

So we’re talking about salary negotiations after your job interview, after you get an offer and how to ask for what you want and the secrets behind that. I am very excited to present our guest for today’s episode, Ezra Singer, the CEO and founder of Ezra Singer And Associates, a compensation strategy consulting firm, specializing in designing plans that optimize attraction, motivation, and retention, and in assisting executive negotiate pay when changing jobs.

The first time I’ve heard of Ezra, he was actually speaking in the Career Thought Leaders Conference that I attended. And I was very impressed by this presentation. I learned a lot of new things and I was in that space where I thought I knew a lot about salary negotiations, I felt very confident about it. And I’ve discovered that there is always more to learn. So welcome Ezra. Good to see.

Ezra Singer:

Well, thank you. Good to be here.

Katherine Bouglai:

Great. Ezra, first question I have for you, what are some of the biggest myths around salary negotiations that everyone should know about?

Ezra Singer:

Great question. And let me, even before I answer that, start by talking about acknowledging how difficult salary negotiations are. For everyone, it’s hard stuff. You’re putting yourself on the line. You may have that fear in your head and are you worth it? And sometimes you say, I’m not even going to bother. Then you hear the myths. And so let me talk about five myths about salary negotiations and how to deal with them.

The first myth is when you get an offer, there’s no room to negotiate. And I say that’s generally a myth. You have to look at the situation itself, you have to look about how marketable are you, how much the company seems to want you? But generally there’s room to negotiate as a matter of course. What I’ve seen also is it may dependent in terms of how experienced you are. When people are coming right out of school, they may have less room to negotiate, the more senior you are, the more experienced you are, the more employable you are, the more room you’ll have. So myth one, to bust that myth will be the myth busters today, is this no room to negotiate and that’s not true.

Ezra Singer:

Secondly, and this is a critical one, is the myth that you’ll be perceived as pushy or your boss won’t like you if you attempt to negotiate. And that’s a myth, and I find women often, sometimes people of color also have a hard time with this one. For the sociological reasons we’re aware of many women were brought up to be nice and want to be liked. And therefore they’re afraid they’ll come across is, if it’s a man may be assertive. If it’s a woman, she’s afraid to come across as too pushy or bossy, and she’s afraid that she’ll be perceived in a negative way. And that is a myth.

I want to give an example. There are a few examples. One is I had a client who came to me and she had a good offer. But she wanted to know if we could negotiate even higher amount. And we go through a process in my practice and we talk about what are the odds the company will pull the offer if you negotiate? And it was minor. So I said, how do you think the company will react if we ask for this? And she said, she paused and said, I’m afraid they’re going to think I’m needy. I’m afraid they’re going to think I’m needy.

Ezra Singer:

Now I say this tongue in cheek, no man has ever uttered that sentence. And the more we talked about it and her role, she realized that the job she was going into was one that was going to involve some negotiations for the company. And it would be okay if she negotiated and she got her head around it and she was able to get a significant sign on bonus, where they wouldn’t move on other parts.

I have relatives I helped out who is in a lower level position and they made her an offer and she decided we work together. And she asked for a higher amount and they said, no. She took the job anyway. And her first day on the job, her boss said, nice try, I give you credit for trying. So she wasn’t hurt, she wasn’t perceived as pushy. So second myth busting is that you’ll be perceived in a negative light or you’ll be perceived as pushy. And that’s not the case. At this stage often companies expect you to come back.

Ezra Singer:

The third myth is that you have to disclose your current salary. You have to disclose your current salary. And that is not the case. And generally, I suggest you avoid doing it. In many States now there are laws that say a company can not ask you what your current salary is. And the reason for that is because women historically have been paid less than men.

You may have a same job that’s open, the job let’s say is targeted to pay between $100,000 and $130,000. And Joe and Mary both apply for the job. The company says, well, whoever I hire, I’ll give them a 10% raise. And Joe says, he’s making 110 now, if they hire him, he’ll get to 121. Mary’s making 90 now, they hire her, they’ll get her to a hundred, maybe. This would perpetuate the disparity between men and women. So the third myth again is you don’t have to disclose it, you shouldn’t disclose your current salary.

Ezra Singer:

Fourth is that the myth is that salary is the only thing you can negotiate. All you should focus on is salary. And that’s not the case. Depending on where you are in the organization, there may be an opportunity to negotiate bonuses. Maybe they’re gonna offer you a 7% bonus or a 10% bonus. And you may say, well, can we make it a 15% or a 12%? Sometimes you can negotiate a sign on.

I had a client who… Again, I advise my clients not to say what they’re looking for. But he had said he was hoping to get around 110, 120. And so of course the company offered him 110 and he was relocating in the Midwest. It was relatively junior position. And we talked and the strategy was go back to the company and say, I thought about it, can we make it 120, because that’s what I told you I want it. And in addition, I’m going to be relocating, can you give me money for relocation?

Ezra Singer:

And worked. Keep in mind if they’re offering you a job, as stressed as you may be about negotiating your compensation, they’ve made a decision that they want you, they’ve made a decision that you’re going to be valuable to them. And therefore there’s a good chance there’ll be some flexibility. And there’s one client who was able to get a good relo package that he never even thought of asking for.

So myth four is that salary is the only thing you can negotiate. And let’s bust that myth and say, there may be other things. Sometimes you can negotiate more vacation. If your old job gave you four weeks vacation, and this new job says two, and there’s no movement in other areas, you could say, well, can you give me the same amount of vacations?

And I’ve seen sometimes companies will say or hiring managers will say, look, we have a policy, we can’t really do it, but just take the time and it’ll be an agreement between the two of us. That could be a problem when that boss leave but again, think about other things that may be important to you. Maybe it’s tuition reimbursement. But if they’re not going to get movement on salary, working from home. I mean, the past year and a half, everyone’s worked from home, but maybe that’s something that you can negotiate. So it’s so individual, but think about what’s important to you.

Ezra Singer:

And last myth is that if you get a great offer, you shouldn’t negotiate. You were hoping for this job to pay you 210, go with the high end here. And looking for 210 and they come in and offer you 220. The myth is, well, you got more than you were looking for, you shouldn’t negotiate. And I would say, that’s a myth too. That if you think you could possibly get more, why not ask and be very polite, very respectful. Say, I really appreciate this offer. This is a really good offer, I’m excited about it. I was hoping if we could get to 235.

In your mind doing analysis, if you ask for anything, what are the odds they will rescind the offer? And keep in mind, they’ve made a decision to hire you. And two, what are the odds that it’s going to harm your relationship with them whether they say yes or no? If neither is the case, and always ask politely, use terms like what I’m hoping for, not what I’m demanding, you’ve got a good shot at improving the offer.

Ezra Singer:

So to summarize the five myths that we’re trying to bust, the five myth busters are one, that there’s no room to negotiate when you have an offer and that’s a myth. Two, that if you negotiate you’ll be perceived as pushy or the company won’t like you. And actually the reverse might be case, that they’ll respect you for asking for more. Three, that you have to disclose your current salary. We talked about that many states that they can’t ask you that, and there’s really no benefit to you to do doing that.

Myth four is that salary is the only thing to negotiate. We talked about there may be other things that were important to you. The size of the bonus, vacation, tuition, things like that. And fifth is that the myth is, if you’ve got a good offer, just leave it, don’t ask for more. And the answer is good for you, you got a good offer. But you may be able to negotiate and make it even a better offer. So those were the five myths we busted.

Katherine Bouglai:

Thank you Ezra. These are great myths. And I’m glad we brought them all up because there is so much misconception out there about the negotiations. And I’ve heard all of them. The last one actually was the last one I had to learn, because I used to believe that, well, if you met your requirements or if they even gave you more than what you were hoping for, that you can stop there. But what I’ve learned actually from your presentation, that’s not the case. That sometimes the company’s willing to pay you more if they really like you, and you would never know that.

So if you want 150K and they offer you 160K, there might be room for more. And I actually learned this also the hard way with my husband, when I met him, he didn’t know how to negotiate. He would always accept the first offer they gave him and he didn’t know he could. But after working with him a little bit, he’s now making pretty much, almost double than what he was making when we met. And we didn’t meet that long ago.

Ezra Singer:

He’s lucky to have you in many ways then.

Katherine Bouglai:

Thank you. So the next question Ezra, what is the job seekers best approach to answer the question about their salary requirements? So let’s say they are having a conversation with recruiter, usually it’s with a recruiter and they ask them, what were you hoping to get or how much do you want? What is the best answer?

Ezra Singer:

And that’s such a common question. And the ideal way to answer that is you do not give a number. Now, this can be difficult. When recruiters says, what are you looking to make? And keep in mind that, and I’ve been involved in many searches from the hiring side, and in my client base now, the recruiter has a range. Let me emphasize that. Every recruiter I’ve ever been involved with, and again, I worked for major companies where we use recruiters, internal recruiters, outside recruiters, I have clients now. Every recruiter is told or comes up with a company says, we’re willing to pay, I’ll make this up, between 150 and 200 for this job, between 75 and 110 in this job, they always have a range.

If you give them a number, let’s say the lower than what it should be, they’re willing to pay between 75 and 110, and you tell them you’re looking to make 80. You’ve kept yourself. There’s no benefit to you, whereas you want to say to them, look, given the value and the experience I’m bringing to this job, I’m hoping to get paid at or near the top of the range.

Now they may say, well, what does that mean to you? What are you looking for? And again, to the degree you can avoid it, say to them, well, tell me what the range is? Now if a recruiter won’t tell you what the range is, then that’s kind of strange on their part, particularly you’re a candidate they’re interested in. One mistake I could added to this as a myth is that recruiters are there to help you get as much money as you can. That’s a myth.

Ezra Singer:

You think, well, the recruiters getting a percentage so therefore it’s in his or her best interest for you to get the highest compensation. That is a myth. The recruiter is transactional. They want to get the deal done as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next deal. And also they’re hired by the company, not by you. And if the company learns that they’re trying to get you more money, what are the odds the recruiter is going to be hired by that company again? The company wants the recruiter to bring the candidate in at a good price, not the highest price possible.

So again, recruiter says, what are you looking to make? Your answer is, well, I want to get paid at or at the top of the range. Well, they say, what does that look like to you? And say, tell me what the range is, I’ll let you know. Because it makes sense to get a feel for that before you go through the process. I certainly understand that, but to agree possible, let them come up with a range first before you.

Ezra Singer:

If on the other hand you find, well, you don’t want to lose the opportunity and the recruiter is playing really hard ball and they won’t give you a range. Hopefully you’ve done your research in advance. And there are all these sources, salary.com, glassdoor.com, all of these. You can think of what the amount, you want to talk to your friends in these kinds of positions.

And I would say to them, the number you’re looking for is a bit, I think of three numbers. There’s the walkaway number, which is the bottom. If it’s this number, you’ll never take it. Next number higher up is your ideal number. And then next is your best case number, even 20% higher. And then there are different schools of thought, but to say to them, I’m hoping to get the 20% or 10% higher than my ideal number, figuring they’ll come back a little bit lower and get you to your ideal number. So two takeaways. One is ideally just tell them, you want to be at the top or at or at the top of the range. And if they push harder and harder, give them a number that’s 10 or 20% higher than your ideal number.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you Ezra. This is great. And I have a very similar approach with my clients about having three different numbers.

Ezra Singer:

And we also didn’t rehearse this together.

Katherine Bouglai:

I know we are on the same page, aren’t we? I also love it. Absolutely. Thank you for saying that myth about recruiter being on your side. I actually have a story to tell about that.

Ezra Singer:

Please.

Katherine Bouglai:

Because I used to be a recruiter. I didn’t last there very long and there is a reason why. It just wasn’t for me. And I’m not trying to make it look bad. Recruiter is an excellent position and it’s a great career and they can be on your side. But I actually went through a training with this company where I had to do the 360 recruiting and it was all commission-based. I found this really great candidate for the role. They had an opening and I was working with her and she was really underpaid at Amazon.

So I asked her what she was getting paid. And she told me, because I always ask. I ask with an intention to help people make more when they’re underpaid, because this is part of my values. She told me. And of course the position that was offering, they were willing to offer a lot more, not only what she was making, but also a lot more than what she was asking for.

She actually said, if I get 85K, I’ll be happy. And I just couldn’t help it. I put my coach’s hat on and I said, okay, I want you to ask for at least 105 or 110, because that’s what the job is willing to pay. And then when I told my manager about this, his first reaction was, I wish he didn’t tell her that because she would be happy with 90K.

Katherine Bouglai:

It was just the way he said it was so against my personal values. I said, well, yeah, but she deserves more. And he said, of course she does but as a recruiter, we get to, let’s say 25% of the deal, which the difference for you would be between 25K versus 27K or a 25K versus nothing. So you’d rather get any deal. I’d rather get you a 25K than try to get a couple of thousand more. And then the end of the day you’ll lose the whole deal. So that was just such a, when I heard that, that’s when I realized I can’t do this work anymore. That’s when I became a coach. Yeah.

Ezra Singer:

And that’s why you’re doing what you’re doing and doing it so well, it’s a values issue. The other analogy I think of is with real estate brokers and there are articles about that. How you would think real estate brokers would want to get you the highest price for your house when they’re selling it. And the reality is they just want to turn it over as quickly as they can to get to the next one.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. So that’s a good thing to watch out for. And thank you for bringing it up. Another question that comes up a lot is what if they don’t have an option to deflect the question? What if the only option they have is on the job application and Amazon does it a lot, by the way, they will have you fill out the application and they ask for a salary, desired salary, and they won’t let you to go on unless you put a number. So you can’t put negotiable, you can’t put depends, you can just skip the question, you have to put an actual number. What do you do?

Ezra Singer:

So I’m seeing more and more of that. And there are two ways to deal with it. One, and this works with some companies, maybe Katherine, you can let us know if your works with Amazon. You just put down one, one, one, one, one, one, one, just to get you through the automated part. And then they’ll see your resume and see if they like you and then they’ll call you. Or the other way is go 10% or 20% higher than your ideal number.

Katherine Bouglai:

Great. I think you already answer my next question with the do I always negotiate even if I like the offer and I love your approach to that.

Ezra Singer:

I learned early in life in terms of it doesn’t hurt to ask. So the two questions I asked my client and we think it through is one, in your mind, I said this, what are the odds they’ll pull the offer if you ask. So again, we’re doing a higher, you’re making 200, you’re hoping for 210, they’ve offered you 220. That means they really want you.

So then you have the conversation in your head or with Katherine, in terms of, well, if I asked for 230 or 235, and if you’re at 75, whatever. If you’re 100 and they offer you 110, you’re thinking, well, I’m hoping for 125, what are the odds they’ll pull the offer if you ask for that? And most, almost, every client, when we come up with a number to ask for, he says, they’re not going to pull the offer over that.

Ezra Singer:

Then two, what are the odds that it’s going to harm the relationship whether they say yes or no? And if you don’t think it’s going to harm the relationship and you don’t think they’re going to pull the offer, what’s the harm in asking? And often you’ll be surprised that you end up with. Again for a big enough company, another $5,000 or $10,000 may not mean anything. And for you, it can really impact your lifestyle.

And keep in mind, companies when they’re making offers look at two things. They look at external equity and internal equity. External equity is the market. They have their market surveys. We have salary.com, Glassdoor, you have that. But companies also do these surveys that they share the data with other companies. So they’ll know that a director of IT in Seattle generally makes this range, and there’s always a range.

Ezra Singer:

So they’ve got that. And then they also have what I call internal equity. Internal equity is if the vice president or the director, if the director has five reports were managers, and they’re all making $90,000 a year, they’ll say, they can’t bring you in at 120 because it’ll disturb their internal equity. They can’t pay you more than other direct reports. And again they have the fact you don’t have, it where there’s an imbalance of information. But sometimes they’ll say that and then maybe one way around it and say, well, okay, I really want to join you. Always be enthusiastic. Always, always be enthusiastic and say, maybe we could break the log jam if you give me a sign-on.

And that’s usually a different budget line, it doesn’t show up in the annual pay. Say, if you can give me a $10,000 sign on, that’ll make up the gap for a year or two, and then by then I’ll be so good, you’ll be giving me promotions and raises anyway. So again, be enthusiastic, but recognize that those different parts, hurdles that may be there and trying to think through ways around them.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah, absolutely. So I think at this point I have another question that’s kind of an impromptu just came up to me.

Ezra Singer:

That’s fine.

Katherine Bouglai:

Because I believe attitude is everything. How you approach negotiation also matters. So it’s not just about asking, it’s about also how you ask.

Ezra Singer:

That is a great question. I encourage people to be enthusiastic, very enthusiastic. If you’re talking to a recruiter, an internal recruiter, external recruiter, they’re going to be reporting back to the hiring manager. Companies want to hire people who want to join them. And therefore you want to be very enthusiastic at every stage. You got the offer in, you’re hoping for 120, you may come in at 110. I really am excited about this offer, you say. This is the company that I really want to work for. This is true because I have other companies reaching out to me, but you’re the one that I most want.

That said, I was hoping, not demanding, I was hoping to get 120 or whatever. However you want, 125. And I know given my experience and keep stressing the value, the value I’m going to bring, it will be a good investment on the company’s part. Always, always be enthusiastic.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. I agree. And I wanted to bring it up because I’ve actually talked to a lot of clients who are used to getting underpaid and they are very frustrated and they are expecting that negotiation is going to be a battle. So they bring that frustration into negotiation. So let’s talk about what not to do.

Ezra Singer:

So other no-no is to say things like, well, I have a family to feed. Companies aren’t really concerned about that. They want to know, can you do the job? You want to stress the value of your brain, you want to stress your value because they’re making a purchasing decision with you. If you’re thinking of buying a car, if you’re think whatever, I’m sure Katherine with your clients is the value you’re going to bring to them. You bring tremendous value.

So the company want… You want to share with the company and explain to them, you’re going to bring great value. And this is what you’re hoping to get. No-nos are one, demanding, unless you’re willing to walk away from the job. And maybe you don’t care about the job that much, but unless you’re willing to walk away, don’t threaten, I must have this or else, I demand this.

Katherine Bouglai:

Don’t be a jerk.

Ezra Singer:

Well said, well said, don’t be a jerk. Another is don’t go back too often. I mean, people… You get an offer. Ideally, the sequence is I see it is one, you don’t give them a number. You find out the range. They’ll tell you the range. They then come back to you with an offer. We negotiate and you come back to them with the counter. They then come back to you say, here’s what we can do. And generally you stop there. You may want to go one more round, but generally you just go one round with them only.

Don’t be a pain in the neck. You don’t want to keep going back because then they’re going to think you’re really high maintenance going in and you’re going to start on a bad foot. When I’ve hired people, if they go back and forth too often, at one point you would say, we just don’t need that kind of person joining us. But one round is fine. Be real cautious if you go more than one round.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. Well said. I actually had a friend from visual effects industry who used to do that. And I called that behavior, there is characters that I came up with and some of them are borrowed, some of them I’ve learned from another source. But I call it being a player. Don’t be a player.

Ezra Singer:

Yes. We’ll said. Other thing is a variation. The first one I mentioned is if you don’t have other offers, don’t say if you don’t give me this I’m going elsewhere. Now it’s okay to say, I’ve got other companies talking to me, but you are the one that I want it. Because it makes you more appealing. They want to hire you, they know other people want to hire you. It makes it more appealing, but always, never give ultimatums unless you’re willing to live with that ultimatum.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. And don’t play one off or against each other.

Ezra Singer:

Absolutely.

Katherine Bouglai:

I guess the other, yeah.

Ezra Singer:

Absolutely. Yeah. Going back in terms of how hard this is, I want to share a story that I actually shared with Katherine initially when I first spoke to the group, that my first corporate job. I was a lawyer, I was going into a corporation and I had a number in mind that I wanted to get. I just kind of knew the market, I felt they should pay me X. And the offer came in at X minus 10%. And I saw the offer. I knew that it should be X. And guess what I did, I accepted it. I didn’t know. This is a long time ago. I just took the lower amount. And I learned over the years and part of the pointers I’m giving now in the myths or lessons I’ve learned, and some of these lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I found out afterwards, they brought in someone else who negotiated and she got more than I did. And I just didn’t know you could do it.

Ezra Singer:

And I’m convinced if I had asked, again, it’s a long time ago, for the X as opposed to what they offered me, there would have been room. So again, I want to go back to emphasize recognizing how difficult this is, that it’s easy to give these tips. But you’ve got to put yourself out there. If you’ve got a friend or if you’re working with Katherine, would be a great person to work. You can do role play. You can do role play in terms of how to ask.

I had a client recently, who’s great. And we were doing role-play. I said, you want to do a role-play on how to ask this person? And she looks at me on Zoom and goes, Ezra, I hate doing this, but I’d hate it more if I didn’t. So again, that’s the mindset and we’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be worthwhile and not as scary or dangerous as you may think.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. I thank you for bringing it up. I did a role-play at the conference, at your presentation, and I’ve learned a lot from it and was very confident thinking I could get the salary and it turns out I was 10,000 short. So that was a good lesson. Even if you know what you’re doing, sometimes the important thing is to be confident, be positive and be respectful.

Ezra Singer:

Yes.

Katherine Bouglai:

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Ezra Singer:

And in your mind, you think through the worst thing that could happen is will they pull the offer? If you think it’s a risk, they’ll pull the offer and you really want this offer, you scale back. And if you’re really concerned they’ll pull the offer, you don’t ask, it’s such an individual situation. But if you go in, as Katherine said with the general concept that there’s room, and I think you said it perfectly in terms of be confident, I couldn’t say it better myself. Be confident, be respectful and be positive.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah. And if you are, they might pull an offer if you’re not respectful. It did happen.

Ezra Singer:

Yes.

Katherine Bouglai:

I’ve heard stories, but the guys were real jerks about it.

Ezra Singer:

Part of the research I do is I’ll speak to CEOs of companies or search firms. And there’s one I spoke with and I said, have you ever pulled in offer? And first he said, no, then he go, let me think about it. Yeah, I pulled it once, because it was clear that the guy was stringing us along and he was trying to play our offer against another offer. And we realized that he was not serious about it. But again, if you’re positive about it, you don’t play it too long, you don’t be a jerk, good things usually happen.

Katherine Bouglai:

Thank you Ezra. I think we are at about the time. Is there any last minute thoughts that you want to share with our listeners?

Ezra Singer:

I thought I would share some tips I have for maximizing compensation. So 10 tips I had put together. One is know your situation and your marketability. If you’re very junior and new to the job market, you may have a more difficult time negotiating, but always know your individual situation. Two, and we’ve touched on this, attitude is critical. Always be enthusiastic, always be enthusiastic.

Three, learn the market, get a sense of what companies pay for similar jobs. You can talk to friends, colleagues, you can look on salary.com, others, lies, but try to get a sense of the market. And we’ve covered a bunch of these in the talk, but these are summarizing for be confident. Katherine, you mentioned this, even if you don’t feel it. There’s a saying in another world, fake it till you make it. Be confident, people buy confidence.

Five, if possible, don’t tell the company what you’re willing to make. Then we talked about that and how to deal with that. Six, if you can, wait until they’re ready to give you an offer to discuss compensation. Can’t always do that. The longer you wait… If you hold off the big compensation discussion until you’ve met the hiring manager, once she meets you and she says, this is the person I want, that’s going to give you greater flexibility to negotiate. So the degree you can, you say we’re in the right range, whatever, but let me meet with the hiring manager. And if you can do that, again, it’s going to increase your marketability. Seven, when you’re negotiating, stress the value you’ll bring to the job. They’re hiring you for a purpose, keep stressing that.

Ezra Singer:

Eight, don’t focus just on salary. We talked about other factors. One thing we haven’t talked about, I’m not sure this would apply to a large number of percentage of the audience, but it may be some, is stock. Stock is becoming more important. If your company gives stock, they may be more valuable to you in the long run than your actual salary. If you’re going with a company more and more people I talk to are going from large companies to companies owned by private equity firms. And sometimes they’ll give stock and you can make real money there.

Seven, this is hard, this is really only for the higher level people. Ideally, you want to negotiate severance when you go in. If you’re high up enough, there’s a good chance you’re going to get fired. It’s just unfortunately, but the way it is. And we’re talking now at a vice-president or executive vice president or CEO level. You know you can get fired eventually.

Someone describes as there are two kinds of executives, those who’ve been fired and those who are going to be fired. So you want to negotiate that. And lastly, this is reiterating what we touched upon, don’t go back and forth too many times. Don’t go back and forth too many times. You don’t want to be a jerk. You don’t want to string them along and you want to make sure when you go in, you’re going in with a good impression, they’re making a decision to hire you. You’re showing your value and you’re not coming in as a jerk.

Katherine Bouglai:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much Ezra. And I will add as a last minute after thought, it’s part of what I do, the six pillars to a thriving career and money is one of the pillars. So it is important to make what makes you happy. It’s all about what makes you happy. And are you happy with your salary? Because money and value sometimes, well, a lot of times they go hand in hand. And if people are not happy with how much they’re getting paid, they’re not going to put as much value. It’s such a natural human thing to do.

So if you’re getting underpaid, usually it will either affect your performance or your attitude, which is also related to performance. And you want to be the best at your work. You want to be excited coming to work, and you want to do the best job you can and you need to be compensated for that. It’s very important.

Ezra Singer:

I would add to that. I think of it as money can sometimes be an incentive, but often it can be a disincentive. And if you’re in feeling underpaid, exactly what Katherine said, it can impact even your home life. You go home, you’re working hard, you feel you’re not paid properly and it can have a very negative effect. The other thing though I would say, and I’m the compensation strategist is, don’t take a job just for the money. I advise my clients that your culture and fit is really important, and we want you to get as much money as possible. This is my career, but I also said the clients, they have an opportunity, but they say the boss is really a jerk and the people are miserable there.

And you don’t want a situation where Sunday night you go to sleep with a pit in your stomach and you wake up Monday morning, oh God, I got to go in because the money is great, but the money’s not going to overcome that. So your ideal situation is you’re getting paid well in an environment you’re happy with. And don’t go just for the dollars, but also don’t go to the underpaid. It’s possible to find that middle ground. And Katherine, I love your pillars.

Katherine Bouglai:

Thank you.

Ezra Singer:

I think they makes so much sense with money being one of them.

Katherine Bouglai:

Money is one of the pillars. It’s not all of them. Environment is one of the pillars too.

Ezra Singer:

Absolutely.

Katherine Bouglai:

So thank you for bringing it up. All right. So we’re going to wrap up right now. Ezra won’t you share with us if anybody’s interested in reaching out to you, how can people find you?

Ezra Singer:

So my website is ezrasinger.com. If you go through it, you’ll see the testimonials of the people I work with. I generally work primarily with senior people, in terms of people making over $200,000 or $250,000 a year in terms of my regular client base. But again, I’d be happy to answer any questions people have and I wish you all success. Again, you’re working with Katherine or listening to Katherine, she’s got the right approach, you’ve got a great opportunity. And hopefully these tools, the myth busters and the tips will help give you the confidence and the tools so as you’re negotiating and looking for an offer, you can improve the offer to a point where it’s going to make a difference. So good luck with that.

Katherine Bouglai:

Thank you. Absolutely. Thank you. Offer negotiations is all about confidence. And not only that confidence is important when you ask for what you want, also the act of asking for what you want actually raises your confidence naturally. So all in all, this is a very good exercise.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of Conversations With Blossom Career. For more information on career transitions, visit my website, blossomcareer.com to find lots of resources on career coaching, resumes, LinkedIn, and more. If you’re interested in exploring what your future career might look like, feel free to schedule a complimentary discovery call with me. I’ll see you next time.

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