No matter what, there are always opportunities to negotiate for a better offer. Even in organizations with lock-step salaries, you always have the means to arrive at a deal that suits your needs just a little better.
1. Be prepared: start with your classmates and information that you can glean through career services. Look at last years’ average salaries and bonuses offered through the career report. TransparentCareer, salary.com and vault.com are some other resources to check out, but be sure to test the information from those sites. Leverage your Advisory Board or other areas of your network to ask whether your assumptions about appropriate salary range are correct. Wondering where MBA offers differ? Email us!
2. Don’t say “yes” right away: know that your employer doesn’t expect you to take the first offer. Not only will doing so leave value on the table, it eliminates option value. While you may generate a few moments of goodwill, it is an unnecessary tradeoff!
3. Know your BATNA: the “Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement” is what you will do if you decide to walk away from the negotiation. Knowing your back-up plan, even if it is to throw yourself head-first into on-campus recruiting, will give you the confidence to negotiate for what you think you are worth.
4. Negotiate for more than money: while your salary offer may be set in stone, there’s so much more than salary to consider! If you can’t negotiate for money, you can negotiate for desirable assignments, the opportunity to work with specific executives, start dates, the chance to transfer to a different office or travel – there are many different factors to consider that will affect your workplace satisfaction. Don’t forget doing or updating ProValues to identify what you really value!