John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
The answer is a qualified maybe. On the way to being successful, though, there are some things you shouldn’t try.
Don’t offer comparables you get from Glassdoor. Why? Glassdoor salary data is self-reported. Self-reported data is, by definition, unreliable. (Valid comp studies won’t allow it.) On top of that, Job Titles are fluid in BV & Lit Support. A Manager in your shop could be a Supervisor in another. An Analyst title can show up at any number of levels in the org chart.
Don’t offer comparables you get from co-workers who have interviewed and/or moved on. Unique facts and circumstances will drive an offer higher. You have no way of knowing the variables that were in play, or whether they would even apply to you.
Don’t trot out a cost-of-living calculator you found online. Those numbers are an average of an average of an average. You’ll see that problem in housing costs because they’re such a large percentage of your budget. If you look around in your city, you can spot areas where you could live for less than you pay now and feel comfortable. Naturally, there are others where you’d pay more and be very happy. The same range exists in every city. It just gets lost in a number that’s an average of an average of an average.
Focus, instead, on how your work will increase the size of the pie so your slice is larger, too.
There is math behind every offer. Ask questions until you understand it. Within those metrics are the pressure points for increased pay. Can you bill more hours than the target? At a higher rate, perhaps? Will you generate new revenue beyond the target? How can you increase the size of the pie?
Your counter needs to be a “walk away” number. There is one, you know. Start with it and save yourself time and trouble. Couple it with something that is a genuine “give.” Maybe a faster start date. Maybe just “I’d say yes right now to that number!” If you’re not giving something, you’re not negotiating. You’re merely taking.
In the end, you may walk away. If you’re not prepared to do that, accept the offer as presented.