Promotion Negotiations: The Basics

The negotiations stage of a promotion is usually about packages, but it can also include aspects of the job. If you haven't negotiated before, or don't know the fundamentals of negotiation, this is not something you want to try to guess your way through. Negotiation is a form of bargaining. Like bargaining, the process starts with an offer. The negotiation starts when you want more than what's being offered.

Important: This isn't an easy process, and you really can blow a job offer if you get it wrong.

Starting point for negotiations

The terms of the job offer are the basic material you have to work with. These are the terms you must respond to with an offer of your own, if you don't accept them.

The usual offer contains a salary and a package:

  • Salary: This is usually a figure, or a salary bracket.
  • Health care: This is an actual insurance policy, with terms.
  • Day care: This is either in house, or a commercial service.
  • Stock options: It's common for employers to offer equity deals with listed companies and some private companies. These offers can be extremely valuable. Make sure you understand the real value of the offer.
  • Amenities and facilities: Some of the top employers in the world, including Google, offer use of company facilities which are both financially and professionally often very expensive.
  • Bonuses, incentives, and deals: These can be great opportunities, but they can also require intensive negotiations.

The most vital consideration in any form of negotiation is to make certain you don't make unworkable, or unreasonable offers. Anything you propose has to be realistic. You can totally destroy a negotiation with anything over the top or even seemingly excessive.

Let's go through the offer:

Salary: The market rate is the real bottom line. This is your starting point, but the salary bracket also tells you where the upper limit is. Don't go over that limit. If the rest of the package is good, that's enough to work with.

Health care: This is a real plus, so work on a good figure and real requirements, not on a status deal or anything fancy.

Day care: Worth its weight in gold, invaluable, you can accept their terms unless there's an actual problem with the service. If the package gives you what you need, stick to the necessities.

Stock options: This is a number crunching exercise. The numbers are either good or they're not. Make sure your numbers are right before making a counter proposal. If you don't understand the options deal, get professional help. Equity in private businesses is also potentially very valuable. Do your research, find out what that equity is worth before you even consider negotiation.

Amenities and facilities: Use of corporate facilities can be priceless to a professional. This is a very positive offer, so don't mess around with it unless you have good reason.

Bonuses, incentives, and deals: In some jobs, these are literally gold. They're performance based, and if you know how to work with them, do the numbers. If you don't, make sure you get a full, thorough briefing from someone who does.