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When you negotiate your comp, do you give them your counter right there on the spot or do you take it back and make it look like you thought through it? I have a number in my head but...

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Don’t use a round number. Pick something odd so it looks like you used multiple factors to come up with your worth. It may sound silly but that’s how the mind works in negotiations.

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You think it through. Counters are impulsive more than anything else. Think about it. Else you will always regret you countered too soon - especially if they accept immediately 😊

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Want to make sure I maximize everything I’ve got. This convo is likely happening in 30min

True. They already know my target comp (which is about 20% higher than their budget). Let’s see what they come up with!

I've been taught to thank them for the offer and ask for some time to think about it. Then wait 24 hours before countering. Makes you seem more measured, but in practice it's also useful for you think through the details of the counter.

Update. No number given but offer was verbally extended. The recruiter checked my target comp again and cautioned me that that’s way out of band and that they would likely come in sizably lower but they would do their best. I said I don’t want to deter us from having a further discussion so let’s discuss once there’s a concrete number. I nicely but firmly reiterated that I’ve talked to a few tech companies and this is an achievable target. Maybe I shouldn’t have done this but I also told her that no matter how I spin it, I’m taking a sizable pay cut even with my target level, so please do the best they can.

Also be aware that if you are now already 20% below your target, in 1-2 years you might be still at the same position (because you already came on the high end, raises are lower). It took me 2.5 years to get to my intital target. Not saying that money should be the crucial factor, but if it bothers you now already you should be aware that this most likely will be a long term situation. So my advice: either find peace with it if you accept or look for something else that fits your current priorities better

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