The Ruby Rogues

The Ruby Rogues podcast is a panel discussion about topics relating to programming, careers, community, and Ruby. We release a conversation with notable programmers and Rubyists each week to help programmers advance in their careers and skills.

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274

274 RR Fearless Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody


Rails Remote Conference

1:25 Introducing Josh Doody

2:50 – Making salary negotiations when you’re your own boss

4:22 – Asking an employer to “give where it hurts”

6:20- Minimum Acceptable Salary / B.A.T. N. A.

10:45 – Leaving a new job for a better offer

13:47 – Job happiness versus job salary

15:55 – Contracting

18:55 – Renegotiating and peace of mind

21:00 – Researching the company

28:00 – Answering salary-based interview questions

33:20- Negotiating for a job you really want

35:00 – Common fears to negotiating

42:10 – Countering an offer (in writing)

48:55 – Negotiating with benefits and vacation

51:50 – Scripting a conversation

55:05 – Bantering with an employer

1:03:00 – Salaries higher than market value

1:06:00 – Negotiating with no work experience

Picks:

Negotiating Your Salary: How To Make $1000 a Minute by Jack Chapman (Dave)

Jack Chapman’s salary negotiation video series: (Dave)

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4   Part 5

Hunter x Hunter (Dave)

Negotiate with Chad (Jessica)

Pokemon Go (Jessica)

Wood Badge (Charles)

Boy Scouts of America (Charles)

Tifie Scout Camp (Charles)

Penn & Teller: Fool Us Madhi Gilbert (Josh)

Seveneves by Neal Stephens (Josh)

Mystery Show podcast, “Case #3 Belt Buckle” (Josh)

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Charles:        Hey everybody and welcome to episode 274 of the Review Rogues podcast. This week on our panel, we have David Brady, Jessica Kerr. I’m Charles Max Wood from devchat.tv. Quick shout out about Rails Remote Conf. You can submit talks or you can just sign up for a ticket. We also have a special guest this week and that is Josh Doody.

Josh:             Hi everybody, thanks for having me on.

Charles:        You want to give us a quick introduction to who you are?

Josh:             Absolutely. I began my career as a computer and electrical engineer and did that for a while. And then, moved over to consulting for software companies on implementations. And then more recently, I quit my day job and I’m focused 100% on my book and courses and coaching and consulting around fearless salary negotiation. Helping software developers and engineers get paid what they’re worth.

Charles:        The salary negotiations when you go out on your own are brutal.

Josh:             They don’t have to be though.

Charles:        I was trying to make it funny but it didn’t work.

David:          Speaking of making it funny, Josh, I love your last name and our podcast listeners expect a certain type of humor from me and that’s all I’m going to say. I’m not going to make the joke. I’m not going to do it. My last name is Brady and I grew up during the era of the Brady bunch. I’m just not going to make the joke and therefore implicitly I’ve already done so, see what I did there? Welcome to the show, Josh.

Josh:             Thanks. It’s really good to be here. I appreciate you not making the joke.

David:          Yeah.

Josh:             I wonder how many people know what joke you didn’t make.

David:          Anybody who’s ever heard me on the show before knows the joke.

Jessica:         Speaking of salary negotiations.

David:             Yes? What?

Josh:          Thank you Jessica.

Jessica:         I think Chuck was remarking that they’re really brutal when you’re your own boss.

Charles:        Yeah, well that’s a different kind of thing because then it’s how much do I pay myself? How much do I retain in the business for other things? How much do I invest in the business? How much do I pay the people that are working with me?

Jessica:         Invest in the business. That’s an interesting piece because some people consider their job an investment in their own learning, their own future career potential or at a startup it’s often about hoping for a windfall of stock options.

Charles:        I read a little more than half of Josh’s book. I quit reading about how to leave a job on the best possible terms because I was much more interested in getting the highest salary possible. Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff in here that I haven’t really considered doing before. I’ve done some salary negotiation but usually it was the point of, “Well, here’s what we’re willing to offer you.” And then it’s, “Okay, well I’d like a little more than that.” And then they come back and they say, “Well, here’s a number in the middle.” And I go, “Okay.”

Josh:             Right, the simple version of the salary negotiation where you do negotiate but maybe not super hard.

Charles:        Yeah. It was more of a well it’s expected that I negotiate at least one time. Go through one round.

David:          I won’t tire on with somebody unless I’ve negotiated the salary with them. Even if they don’t give me… When I hired on my meds, I went through the interview process and Allan Gilbert who’s the VP of Engineering took me to dinner and said, “Here’s the offer.” I looked through the offer and I had already discussed with my wife what I expected in terms of my minimum and what I maximum thought I could get away with asking for and still make him happy and that sort of thing.

It was right down the center line of what it was and I was about to say, “Yes, I accept. I’m ready to go,” and then I remembered I need to negotiate a little bit and so I started talking about the health benefits. We had some back and forth about that. It was a very friendly, open discussion and that was what I needed to know is if I try to negotiate with you, are you going to have a friendly open discussion or are you going to just go completely rabid and like scream at me for being ungrateful because you will reveal a lot about what kind of a place this is to work. Once we had that discussion, “Okay, I’m ready to accept.”

There’s I guess two separate points there. One is I knew what I wanted before I went in so I was able to accept right there on the spot. The other one being that you have to negotiate because you have to know, asking your employer for more money, there’s no way that I can think of to get closer to the jugular vein in terms of asking an employer to give where it hurts and they will very quickly show you their true colors.

Josh:             I really like what you said about going in with a plan. I call it your minimum acceptable salary but I use it a little bit differently. The idea when you go in, the first thing that you need to know is what is your criterion for sort of minimum success in the negotiation because otherwise anything that they say could be a surprise to you or it could seem like a big number or a low number. But if you haven’t done a real research and sort of some soul searching about what’s the minimum that I’ll accept to do this job. I want to make sure that I win either way. Either I win because I managed to get the minimum salary and benefits package from the company that I desired to do the job and I’m happy to be there or I win because I was able to confidently walk away because they didn’t meet my minimum. Either way you could create a situation early on of the process where you can win regardless of the outcome.

David:          I like that term minimum acceptable salary. I’ve used just the vanilla negotiating term which is BATNA which is, it stands for Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement.” Once you know what your BATNA is, in other words once you know what it’s worth to you to walk away, then if they push below that level you have no problem saying no because you have a better yes waiting for you out the door. You don’t end up getting pushed up against the wall thinking, “Oh, I have to take this even though they’re offering me 20k less than I wanted and there are no vacation days, it’s all PTO, there’s only five vacation days per year. I have to take it because if I don’t take it I won’t be able to feed my family.”

Instead, you go in and say, “I want this much. I absolutely need this much in cash but I’d like this much in cash and I’d like these benefits and everything can be fluid in there. You can give me less cash. Some more benefit or less benefits some more cash. That’s great, that all works fine. But if you’re below my minimum cash or if you are crapping on the cash and screwing me on the benefits, I have no problem saying, “You know what I’ll take door number two please.”

Jessica:         In the case of whether to accept the job, your BATNA is either the job you still have, some other offer you have or expect, or worst case you keep looking and so the offer that you expect to be able to get if you keep looking.

David:          There’s a moment when, I guess I’m the special guest on the show, I’ll let you talk in a minute Josh. I should be a better interviewer, shouldn’t I? I have an answer for Jessica but I think I will instead yield the floor to our special guest today. Josh, what’s your alternative if they’re not going to meet your minimum acceptable salary? What are your alternatives? How do you convince yourself to say no and walk away?

Josh:             I think Jessica really summed up the options there and I also think kind of taking one step back. It’s important to really spend time with that minimum acceptable salary and fold in all the information you have available. You just mentioned, “What if I just have to have this job to put food on the table for my family or to make rent or whatever other pressing thing might be there.” That I think is a legitimate reason to lower your minimum acceptable salary, right?

It’s kind of a combination of what are my alternatives if I walk away but also what do I require right now to do this job. While my job is to help engineers get paid the most that they can get paid or get paid with they’re worth, I think it’s also important to make educated decisions about things like your BATNA when you’re willing to walk away. I think the alternatives that are listed are perfect in terms of your one alternative might be just not accepting the job, you might have a job that you like already or maybe you don’t have a job right now but you’re looking for the right opportunity, or maybe it’s another job, you’ve got two or three offers. All of those different things will color not only your minimum that you go in with but also just the way that you approach the negotiation in general, how aggressive you are and things like that. Jessica, I think you summarized the kind of normal cases for a BATNA pretty well.

Charles:        I want to push back on this a little bit though because in your book you basically said that your minimum acceptable salary is something that would make you want to stay and not look around again. If they’re offering me a lower salary than what I think I can get, then I might take the job even though they haven’t reached the minimum acceptable salary and that’s mainly because like David, said I got to feed my family and I got to put food on the table somehow. That doesn’t mean I’m going to quit looking.

You may accept the job but you may also not stay there very long. I’ve heard a few people say that that’s somewhat unethical though if you take a job and then you get a better job offer a month later and you go to that other job because they’ve been training you for a month, you haven’t actually contributed value yet. I’m curious where you wind up on that scale because it is an edge case but it’s not an easy one to answer either.

Josh:             I totally agree in terms of your minimum. I think the case that you described is one where it sounds like your minimum is actually less than what you wrote down on paper. If you’re willing to accept the job for less than your minimum, then I think you’ve actually just said, “Well, my minimum might actually be less and I’m going to continue looking.”

I do think it’s a serious consideration how soon after you’ve taken a job you would leave. I was in situation like this about 10 years ago. I interviewed for a job and they said, “We’re not going to extend an offer.” I said, “Great.” I took another job offer that I had in hand and I think less than a month later that original company came back and said, “Hey, do you want to come on board?” I had really wanted that original job but I made a personal decision for myself that my reputation was more important than taking that job and I stuck with the job that turned out to be a really great opportunity.

I wouldn’t recommend kind of in general for career management purposes which is sort of a meta concept about salary negotiation. I wouldn’t recommend taking a job and then leaving that job after a month to go elsewhere for reasons I don’t know if I would call it unethical reason but sort of a reason of your own reputation management in that.

Industries are small. They’re much smaller than you think they are. Everybody knows everybody. I don’t think you want a reputation as somebody who would induce a company to make the kind of investment required to extend a job offer and bring you on for on boarding and buy you a laptop and all this things that companies do to start of the process and then leave because that’s something that other companies would eventually hear about through the grapevine and probably would account for when they’re talking to you knowing even if he negotiates against us he could leave in a month and we’re going to blow $10,000 on boarding him.

I see this more of a kind of a reputation or career management meta concept where you just want to be very careful with signals you’re sending about your loyalty and how dependable an employee you are when you accept the job.

David:          I wanted to put another option on the table to what Jessica had said and this eggs nicely into it. We’ve been talking about you know what are your alternatives? Why would you say no especially when you’ve got to feed your family, right, when the rent is coming due and you’ve got to make a payment on your food or your housing?

One of the things that I consider is am I going to be unhappy at this job, at this pay range. There’s a saying that “Above a certain minimum amount salary is a very poor motivator, but below that minimum necessary amount salary is the only motivator.” I have found that if I’m too close to that line, I will become miserable at that job and I will be very frustrated and I will feel like if the negotiations went poorly I’m going to already have kind of an antagonistic relationship with the employer.

It’s actually healthier to turn down money that I need now rather than take a job that I’m not going to like and I don’t feel I can ethically walk out of two weeks later or six weeks later if I get a better offer somewhere else. That’s something else to consider when you go in is when you’re looking at that job offer especially if it’s too low, don’t accept it while you’re in the room. Say, “I need to think about this.”

One of the things to weigh is if I go to work for this people, I’m going to stay for a year no matter, what or six months, or whatever your personal minimum tenure is and I’m not going to be able to leave. Is this negotiation acceptable? Am I going to have a good time with this company? The intangible, am I going to make friends? Am I going to be getting industry experience in a niche of the industry that I care about, that I’m interested, that will be fun or is it just another job that I don’t care about and I’m going to want to leave? If you know you you’re going to want to leave and you’re going to be miserable with that salary, factor that into your decision.

Jessica:         You’re not going to be very good at the job either and you’re not going to learn well. What about if you’re contracting?

Charles:        Contracting?

Jessica:         Yes. Oppose to a full time position.

Charles:        That’s a different discussion.

Jessica:         Most programmer jobs around here start as contract positions.

Charles:        Got you. I have a whole show of this so check out the freelancer show. We talk about this a lot.

Jessica:         No, I don’t mean independent like actual freelance contract. I mean you’re working for a, they call themselves recruiting firms but they’re contracting firms.

Charles:        So it’s kind of a contract to hire deal?

Jessica:         Often or contract to potentially maybe someday higher.

David:          Right.

Jessica:         I don’t feel nearly as bad leaving a job as when I’m still a contractor after a few months.

Charles:        Yeah. The understanding there is different because contract is at least understood to be less permanent or at least more flexible in that way.

Jessica:         It’s supposed to be less of an investment.

David:          Right. They’re supposed to invest less in you if you’re a contractor because you are disposable.

Jessica:         Oh right. They legally can’t provide training.

David:          Right.

Josh:             I think a contractor arrangement, it is different but you want to negotiate right so you get your best rate. I think you made a really good point if you know I don’t feel as beholden to a company if I’m a contractor because the understanding is that I’m a free agent and that I’m here temporarily. I mentioned the cost of on boarding earlier. Contractor positions are generally designed to sort of minimize that cost of on boarding and more generally to minimize that cost of employing that help at the company. They have so much less overhead when they bring in a contractor so it’s much easier to plug somebody in and then take them out. I don’t think that kind of career management thing that we talked about with full time positions would necessarily apply so much to the contractor position that is sort of understood to be temporary.

Jessica:         Which maybe that’s a negotiation option. Maybe well at this salary range I’d be willing to work as a contractor but I don’t want to be full time.

David:          I’ve also straight up told a client, “I will work for you but just so you know this rate is absolutely at the very minimum of what I would normally accept. If I have other clients competing for my time that may become a factor so I will come work for you and I will make sure that we get this project to this stage but I want you to know that in 90 days I’m probably going to renegotiate the contract with you.” They know that I’m expecting, I’m not only a disposable but I’ve already put an expiration date on myself.

Josh:             Yeah there was one thing that I thought was a really good point that Dave mentioned which is sort of one of the benefits of salary negotiation for companies and for employees is the idea that—I know I can’t speak for everyone but I can say for sure that I’ve had a sensation where you get a job offer, it seems like a decent offer. Maybe it meet your minimum and you start the job.

Then, a month or two months later you have this thought that, “Am I being paid what I could be paid? Did I get the best deal that I could have?” I think that kind of creeping out can really affect your performance. We mentioned if I know that I’m not really paid what I’m worth on the market but then there’s this sort of middle ground where you realize later that you might not be paid what other people in the market are making. Maybe somebody said something off handedly in a Slack channel or at the water cooler if you’re in a physical office. You start wondering are these people that I’m working with getting paid more than I am? I think that’s a good reason to negotiate in general because it allows you to sort of see as we’ve eluded to in this conversation. “What’s the most of this company is comfortable paying me for the services I’ll provide.” But also you’ll know, “Ok, well now that I’m in the job I negotiated I think I did a good job of negotiating.”

I can be pretty confident that I’m paid fairly and I’m paid what I’m worth here and I did the best that I could for myself so that’s something I can take off the table as I adopt the company and start contributing there. I think that’s good for your mental stability and sanity when you get into a new job to get rid of kind of all those uncomfortable feelings that you have with dealing with change and all that stuff. Just sort of something that came to mind that I thought I would – at us. There’s a reason that negotiation can benefit employers too which is their employees are not sitting around wondering if they maybe didn’t get the best thing they could have from the employer in that arrangement.

Charles:        I want to jump back because I know people are going to see salary negotiation on the title of this episode and they’re going to think, “Oh, they’re going to tell me how to negotiate a higher salary.” We’ve kind of nibbled around the edges and we’ve got deep in a couple of areas but it seems like most people when they think about salary negotiation they’re thinking, “Okay, I send them my resume. I get the interview and then what do I do? What tactics are there?”

I wanted to talk really quickly about some of the things you mentioned in your book about salary negotiation. I think the first thing and this is something that I’ve put in my How to Get a Job book is that it really starts with doing research on the company that you want to work for. By having that information, you’ve empowered yourself at least in some ways to start figuring out how much you want to be there and what the job there looks like and generally how much they pay. Even before you write your resume possibly or as you write your resume so that it looks more like the employee that that company would want to hire, that’s where you’re first starting so to speak your salary negotiation where it’s, “I’m going to be as much as I can the best option for them so that when I go to negotiate I’m coming at it from a position of strength where I’m saying I’m the kind of person that can make this kind of difference in your company.”

And then from there you talk about resume and interview and things like that and you go through the whole process as it plays into salary. Do you want to talk for a second anyway about this process of salary negotiation and how it goes well beyond just the offer letter?

Josh:             Yeah, absolutely. I love the way that you summarized the preparation that I recommend for interviews because I think it’s extremely important to go into an interview. My philosophy that I write about in the book and I talk about elsewhere is that your job in the interview is to get a job offer and to make sure it’s the best offer possible. The way that I think you do that is by telling a story about how the company that you’re interviewing with will be better if you’re a part of the team. It’s sort of an empathic approach to interviewing where you’re not thinking so much about me and I and what are my skills but you’re thinking about what is this company about. What are they doing? What are their goals? What is their mission statement? What are their pain points? Who are their employees? Who are their customers? And all this things about the company and that’s all the research that you just mentioned that you should do before hand so that when you show up to the interview you’re thinking about the company and how you can contribute to improving the company. That will set you off I think on a much better path to the interview process and into getting a better job offer because you will be constantly demonstrating how the company will be improved if you’re a part of it as opposed to talking about your prowess with coding or your background or your resume and all this things that are kind of you focused.

If you’re company focused, that will impress the person that’s hiring you much more. I’ve got personal experience with this as a hiring manager. People really stand out when they come in and they actually know what my company is, what we’re doing and all that good stuff as opposed to the people that come into an interview and they don’t know anything about the company. Sometimes, it’s not clear they know the name of the company they’re interviewing for. They certainly don’t know what job they’re interviewing for. It’s just a really bad sign that shows a lack of engagement and real interest. You want to start off with that research that you mentioned Chuck, I think that’s the best way to start preparing for interview and to stand out.

Charles:        Are there specific things that people need to do in order to get the information they need? I know that sometimes that information is a little bit hard to come by.

Josh:             I think there’s a certain kind of a layers of complexity that you can go through. I think even just doing the first layer which is googling the company, spending 10 minutes on their company site looking for a mission statement. How big are they? What’s their goal? Just that top layer of kind of broadly available public information is a really great place to start.

And then of course if you can do a little more research into their industry or if you happen to know people who work at the company and you can try and understand, “What’s happening in your quarterly meeting? What are the things that the company is most interested in right now in pursuing?” Those things are good too but even just literally 10 or 15 minutes in Google and on their company website just learning about the company and what they’re doing. Look at job openings that will usually tell you a story about kind of what they’re doing if they have a ton of sales position open, that tells you that they’re trying to top line revenue. If they have a ton of developer positions open maybe they’re in more of an R and D phase. That kind of thing is what you’re looking for.

Jessica:         If they’re publicly traded company, can you get a hold of their quarterly statement?

Josh:             Absolutely. I don’t know …

Jessica:         You’re not going to read the whole thing. I’m sorry.

David:          Memorize it.

Jessica:         No, no, no.

Josh:             Yeah, memorize the quarterly statement.

Jessica:         The money isn’t as significant as usually at the beginning. There are some paragraphs about strategy.

David:          Yes. that’s a great point Jessica. I think the quarterly statements or the annual if they’re public. What are they up to? They usually have like you said the first page or two has you know, “Here’s what we’re up to. Here are the problems that we’re facing right now. We’re facing…” Apple likes to talk about ForEx headwinds. But they’re also talking about supply chain constraints and services having issues with them because of their dependencies on different companies. That can be really useful information that you can get about what’s top of mind for the company right now.

Jessica:         There are also sites where you can get employer reviews from prior employees.

David:          GlassDoor I know is one.

Jessica:         That’s the one.

Josh:             I think GlassDoor is interesting. I think it’s worth reading kind of a review from former employee but those reviews are they’re sort of a selection biased there.

Jessica:         Oh yeah. Totally, it’s a data point.

Josh:             You receive a data point.

Jessica:         It’s not like Amazon reviews.

Josh:             I agree. I think it’s kind of worth kind of, “What are people saying about this company, but also just sort of realized that you’re looking at a pretty skewed subset of the people who’ve actually worked for the company when you read your reviews.

Charles:        One company I worked for. It’s the worst company I ever worked for and one of the other employee have written up a review for them on GlassDoor and they actually got it taken down and he had put it back up a couple of times so there’s also that going on, right? Where these companies are saying, “Hey, somebody is defaming us on GlassDoor.” There’s also that.

Josh:             I think a good thing to do that will get you probably more reliable results that’s very similar is search LinkedIn and see if you know anybody who’s a first level connection at the company or somebody who knows somebody. You’ll get a lot better information if you can talk to somebody who currently works there and see if you can get an introduction and say, “Hey, I’ve seen that you’ve been working at – for a year. What do you think? What’s it like working there? How stressful is it? How fun is it? What do you like about it? What don’t you like?” that current person who’s actually working there right now will I think give you a pretty good information that you could use to maybe balance against GlassDoor company review and stuff like that.

Jessica:         Yeah and totally they’re going to give you information with a slight biased toward this is a good place because they need to believe that because they work there.

Charles:        If you’ve done your research, you’ve got your resume and they call you in for an interview then what?

Josh:             Then, you want to kind of leverage all that information and research that you did to stand out in the interview. basically what that means sort of that high level is most of the questions that I get asked specifically about the interview process are, “How do I answer the question about x? How do I answer the question why should I hire you? How do I answer the question why do you want to work here? How do I answer the question why would you be a good fit on our team?”

The answer that I give is always take the information about the company and what they’re trying to do. Find specific goals or pain points that they have that you think you can address or help address and then marry your skills set and experience with those goals or pain points to tell the company again how they’ll be better if you’re a part of it. Throughout the interview process, that’s what you’re thinking is what’s this company trying to do and how can I help them do that and how do I articulate that to the person that’s interviewing me.

You also want to take it as an opportunity to kind of learn more about the company. You can ask a lot of really good question like, “What’s the greatest challenge that your team is facing right now?” It’s a great question because it shows that you’re interested but also they’re going to explicitly tell you a challenge that they’re facing which means in that interview or future interview you can talk about how you can help address that challenge specifically with your skill set and experience. That’s the whole kind of interview process in a nutshell, just continue banging the drum about how the company will be better if you’re a part of their team.

Charles:        And then of course they’re going to ask you how much do you want to make, how much do you want us to pay you here?

Josh:             Usually I call that the dreaded salary question. It actually comes up pretty early on in the interview process. It’s pretty sneaky that’s why I call it the dreaded salary question because it usually will kind of sneak up on you when you’re in compliance and interview mode just trying to impress them and they’ll ask you what your current salary is and what’s your desire salary is.

My advice, the more that I write about this and the more that I think about this and – people about it the more confident I feel about it is don’t disclose your current or desired salary. There’s almost no or maybe even just no upside for the employee. It can only hurt you. Just don’t disclose it. You can say something like you’re not comfortable sharing that information. If they really push, you can say for a current salary, I feel like HR decisions at my current company are a private matter and I’d rather not disclose that to another company who could be a competitor.

When they ask you about your desired salary, just tell them I don’t know. I think this is a literally true statement that you don’t know what the company would value your skill set at. They’re the company, you’re just a person who’s trying to get a role at the company. Tell them I’d rather not disclose my current salary and I don’t know what my desired salary is but I look forward to seeing what you guys think.

Dave: I like turning that one around on them with—they’ll say what salary range do you need. I will use this exact phrase—“Compensation is a great, big ball of wax.” That’s my opening statement that lets them know I’m open to negotiation of soft dollars against hard depending on how much time or whatever hardware conference budget. I’m willing to trade that for salary dollars.” But then I will push back with if they say I need to know what your minimum salary is, I’ll just say, “I’m not willing to disclose that right now. The question you need to know is you know what this position is worth.”

If I’m interviewing for an entry level position, I’m not going to get a quarter million dollars a year. I know that and they know that. Basically, if I’m looking for an advanced engineer salary and they’re interviewing for an entry level position, I have found that if I can get all the way through the interview process and they love me, they will go back to the VP of Engineering and say, “Scratch the entry level engineer, let’s hire Dave Brady. It’s going to cost more but it’s going to be a better value down the road.” They will change the position that they have opened as a result.

If I disclose I’m looking for X dollars and it’s an advanced engineer salary, and right now they’ve just got a piece of paper from their VP that says find me an entry level engineer, they’re just going to disqualify you and throw you out of the interview. I use the compensation as a big ball of wax.

My counter question is what is this position worth to you. You turn that around on them and then just sit there and put the pressure on them to waffle because now it’s in their worst interest to answer that question because if they give a number that’s too low, it’s just as bad as if you’d given a number that’s too high.

Charles: I have to say though that I have interviewed at companies who really, really wanted the job. I really didn’t want to argue with them, I didn’t want to tell them no, I didn’t want to tell them that I didn’t want to tell them something. Sometimes, it’s so hard to stick to your guns and hang in there and not tell them well, I’m not going to tell you that.

Dave: It’s tricky because if you really, really want the job then you know you’re going to get married to the job. If you get screwed over, it’s going to take you a lot longer to realize you’re getting screwed over and you’re going to be a lot more bitter when you do leave. If I really want the job, I get really excited instead of nervous. When it comes to the salary, or to any point in the negotiation, I just kick myself and say okay, I have to negotiate, I have to turn this into a play exercise, I have to make this fun. I have to take my life or death need out of the equation or they’ll stick their fangs right in my neck. If I can turn it into play, then it becomes very, very easy. “What’s your minimum?” I just shrug and say, “You know what, I’ve worked for way less than what you’re probably going to offer me and I’ve made employers happy for way more than you’re going to offer me. We can negotiate. It’s negotiable.”

Charles: I just want to warn people, it’s one thing to say this when we’re sitting here talking about it on a podcast and it’s a completely different thing when you’ve got some emotion tied up in it.

Josh: Yeah, to kind of follow up on that, I just published last week an article called Ten Reasons You Should Not Negotiate Your Salary. Spoiler alert, it’s a tongue and cheek, I end up debunking all ten reasons.

The reason I wrote that piece is these are the common reasons that people don’t negotiate, they’re afraid they’re going to get the job offer pulled or they’re afraid they’re going to ruin the opportunity. A lot of what I write about in the book and the reason I wrote the book the way I did—if you read it by the way, you can see it’s very clearly written by an engineer. It’s follow these steps. I’m trying to give you a process to follow to take you out of the emotional feelings that you might feel about the job opportunity or how stressful negotiating is. You can say, “The next step in the process is this.” I will do that step.

When I coach people one on one, probably more than half of the value that I add in coaching is just talking people off the ledge when they’re going to buckle and not do what’s in their best interest. I’ll work for someone, “Okay, here’s what I think your counter offer should look like and here’s your plan for the negotiation.” I’ll talk them into it and then they’ll put together an email and they’ll send their counter offer. Immediately, they’ll email me and say I haven’t heard back.

They start freaking out and I say, “Listen, you just have to trust me. In about 36 hours to 48 hours you’re going to get an email back with a response from them, it’s going to be fine.” The worst response you’ll get is we’re not budging, and the best response you’ll get is great, thanks for countering this, that’s what we’re going to do.”

A lot of it you just have to kind of take a deep breath and say this is part of the process, the recruiter or the hiring manager of the company that you’re talking to, they do this all the time. People negotiate all the time. Your sense is this is my only shot but the reality is they’re not going to pull the offer, they’re not going to go nuclear, they’re just going to consider your counter offer and maybe accept it or maybe they’ll work with you a little bit, or maybe they’ll say, “I appreciate the counter but our offer stands.” Then, you’re right back where you started.

I totally agree with that that a lot of it is the stress of what happens if I negotiate, what if I lose this great opportunity. That just doesn’t happen.

Charles: I think again you mentioned the stress and that emotion, our minds, at least mine—I’ll claim this. Sometimes, it kind of goes to the absolute worst case scenario and it’s well, I’m never going to work in this town again because I asked for an extra $5,000 on my salary and then my kids were starved and my wife will have to go out and wash clothes with a plunger in a bucket. Life is going to be so hard. The reality is the worst case scenario is you’re going to hold firm.

Dave: That’s right. Full disclosure, I have folded so many times as I’ve stood firm. Everything I know about negotiating, I’ve kind of learned by following down the ladder and hitting my face on every rung as I went. The notion of play has really helped me. Basically just get out of your gut and get up into your head and be emotionless and just play with it. It’s kind of like let’s see, can I negotiate you into budging on this? You go in with some stupid, silly thing of I don’t care whether I get the job or not or maybe I care a lot about getting the job but I’m not going to take the job unless I can get them to budge just one inch on anything. That kind of thing.

I had gone in with this notion of play, I’m going to play a game negotiating with these people. When they got to the salary question, what do you need to make, I said, “Compensations are a great big ball of wax. You guys know what the position is worth, it will work.” The interviewer grinned and then he came back and he hit me again, “But we really need to know.” I said, “I’m not going to tell you.” He grinned again and that’s when I realized he’s playing. He’s enjoying trying to make me sweat. He’s enjoying trying to make me panic about this interview, he’s enjoying making me try to trick myself into feeling like I’m being held over a barrel which was great because I realized I’m the one who holds myself over a barrel, I’m the one who lets that emotion happen.

He came back and said, “I really need to know this number.” I said, “I am not going to give you one.” He circled back again and he said, “I need to give a number to HR.” I looked him straight in the eye and said, “No, you don’t.” He said, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Then you’re not going to.” That was it. It got pretty intense but we were both grinning, it’s like we both knew that we were playing. You know when you got a baseball bat and you each put the next hand up on the bat trying to get to the end, we both knew that we were escalating our negotiation just for the sake of negotiation.

There wasn’t any tension in the room other than the tension that I started to place on myself. When I realized that he was grinning, I took all the tension off myself and we had a great interview. It was awesome. I held firm on the salary thing and I got the job anyway even though he didn’t write down a number for HR.

Josh: It’s uncanny after all that, he didn’t really need a number to give HR.

Dave: Or if he did, if he really did need a number for HR, that’s a negotiation tactic. It’s let me talk to my manager. “I need to have this information for HR.” If you really need to have it, just write a number down. If you like me as a candidate, make up a number that HR will accept. If you don’t like me as a candidate, write down a number that HR is going to flunk me. I know you’re doing it so you can stop wasting my time.

Josh: Yeah, just write down $1 million. If you need a number, the number is $1 million or $1, whatever.

Charles: Back to the—I just want to walk through some of these other things that you mentioned in the book because I thought they were really interesting. That negotiation comes up, they do the interview, they come back with, “Well, we’re still working on your offer. Can we get that number?” I think you’ve illustrated that really well. What happens when after all that they finally come back to you with a number? They come back and they say, “We’d like to hire you for $60,000 or $100,000.” You’re sitting there going okay, I need to counter this because Josh said I have to send them a counter offer. “What number do I give them? Do I double it? I really want the job so $101,000.”

Josh: Just to counter.

That’s a great question. Your answer is correct which is you should counter offer every time that you get an offer. How much to counter, this is where my method is a little different than some other methods. The reason my answer is going to be what it is is that you have to remember that if you’ve followed my process until this point, you have not disclose your current or desired salary which means you’ve taken away the anchor that the company could use to sort of tie you down to the numbers that you gave which means that their offer should reflect approximately the value that they put on the role and you’re still set for helping satisfy that role.

In other words, to say that a little less opaquely, they made you an offer that’s in the ballpark of what they’re willing to pay you as opposed to an offer that reflects some marginal improvement over what you’re currently making or something like that to get you to just come on board. When you counter, you’re countering knowing we’re already in the range of what they’re comfortable with so let’s see how high that range goes. That’s the strategy.

When you counter, you’re going to counter between 10% and 20% above the offer. That range is not arbitrary, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what’s the right range here for a general case counter offer. We didn’t talk about this part of my background but I’ve done consulting with companies on how to manage compensation structures and how to represent them in software and all those good stuff. This is based on professional experience over a number of years plus being a hiring manager.

You’ll counter 10% to 20%. The 10% means basically that you would like to get the job and you don’t have any reason to believe that they desperately need you to do the job. The 20% end of the range is you can take the job or leave it and you’re pretty sure that they need you pretty badly. This sounds like it might be hard to discern but usually if you’ve asked the right questions, you’ve gone through the interview process, you have a sense of this.

You obviously know how badly you need the job but you’ll know if they’ve said something like, “We just had somebody leave last month and we have to fill his role tomorrow or we’re sunk,” they probably need you to fill the role pretty badly. If they’re just taking the interviews with you as a courtesy to the brother in law of the CEO or something like that, then maybe they don’t need you so badly. You counter 10% to 20% and that’s kind of where you start.

I recommend delivering that counter in an email. The reason is it allows you to restate your case to go along with the counter. If you just say a number to somebody on the phone, they’ll have to repeat that number to somebody else and then they’ll have to manufacture their own reasons that they think you’re countering on your behalf.

Whereas if you put it in an email which usually you’ll get an informal job offer in an email so all you have to do is hit reply to the email with your counter and include sort of a summary of your case that we talked about all through the interview process, why the company will be better if you’re a part of it. “Here’s the experience that I have that’s directly relevant to what you’re hiring for, here’s why I’m the piece that fits exactly in the empty space you have in your puzzle right now, and because of those reasons I feel more comfortable at…” and you list your counter offer. “Let me know what you think.”

To summarize that, counter offer 10% to 20%. If possible, deliver in an email and writing along with the summary of your case so that now they’ve got your counter offer and they’ve got a written summary of your case in your own words. If they need to go to a finance or to somebody else for approval, they don’t have to manufacture a case for you. They can just either use your case verbatim, copy and paste it, or they can summarize what you said about yourself.

Charles: Sounds like sales. Here’s what you’re going to get.

Josh: Yeah, I think that’s right. It didn’t occur to me until quite a bit after writing the book that a lot of what I do with my methods are sort of sales strategies because I don’t have any background in sales, whatsoever. I think that you’re right. “Let me tell you about the value that you’re getting here, let me tell you why this is such a good value and why you should buy it,” and what they’re buying is your specific contributions to their company.

Dave: I love the putting it in writing. There was an article that I read a decade ago and I never—it’s in the other direction but I’ve never applied it to salary negotiation. Putting it in writing is absolutely genius because we’ve all probably had the experience of going to a conference and learning some great new technology and we come back to the workplace and we say, “We got to use technology X, it’s so great.” People are like, “What’s so great about it?” You try to remember what was in the conference and you stammer and stumble through it. They’re like, “Well, but what about this?” You don’t know because you haven’t thought it through.

Jessica: You just remember how excited you were.

Dave: Yes. Somebody described that in sales, the reason you have to talk to the decision maker is that there’s a big difference between selling someone so well that they’re willing to buy and the much harder selling someone to well that they are capable of selling the thing that you have sold them. If you provide your justification in writing, when they turn around and have to provide a reason to their boss, they can just pass your sales letter on and let you try to sell to them directly even though you don’t know you’re selling to them directly, he’s just passing on what you wrote.

The great part about that is that if you provide this verbally, then when the interviewer tries to talk to their boss, you have to have sold them so well that they can sell you up the org chart. That’s the brilliant part of this. By putting this in writing, you’ve effectively written a sales letter about yourself.

Josh: That’s exactly right. That’s why you do it, that’s a great summary.

Charles: One other thing, and David has point this out, that when he negotiates he also negotiates things like vacation days and benefits and whatever because that’s all part of the package. We’ve been talking about salary but if they give you an offer to where the salary number doesn’t match but it’s got pretty awesome benefits, do you have to push as hard to make sure that salary number matches your minimum salary or do you just say okay, the stock options are good so I guess I’ll just go with it.

Josh: This is where we get into my other twist that I put on my own method. My personal preference, and I think it should be yours, this is not just you, Chuck, but everybody. You should get the base salary to be as robust as you can. Even in the face of really good benefits, you should negotiate your base salary. The reason is you can’t make your mortgage payment with RSUs and other benefits. A sign on bonus is sort of cash on hand but that’s a one time thing, that’s not going to happen for you again next year.

Charles: What are RSUs?

Josh: Restricted Stock Units. They’re a nice little bargaining chip that people will give you and say here are your stock options. Stock options sound great and they’ll tell you, “Right now, these stock options are valued at $15,000. They’ll vest over four years.” The bottom line is you have no idea what the value of those are. You do know what the value of base salary is which is exactly the number that it’s written on paper as.

Chuck, I recommend maximizing your base salary first and your minimum acceptable salary should be a base salary number. Once you’ve maximized your base salary, my rule of thumb is when you’re negotiating if they do not say yes to the last base salary that you suggested, then you still have room to negotiate including benefits. If you counter at $60,000 and they say well, how about $55,000 and they’re not going up from $55,000. Then, you can say, “Okay, I countered at $60,000, you guys came up to $55,000, thank you for that. I wanted to get $60,000 so if you can do $55,000 and how about add another paid vacation week because I like to go away in the summer with my family, then I’m on board. $55,000 plus one more week of vacation on what you gave me in the package and I’m on board.”

It’s a sort of a secondary consideration. Once you’ve maximized base salary and you’ve exceeded your minimum acceptable base salary, then I recommend starting to push those levers in terms of other benefits that are important to you. You should just prioritize them in terms of what’s most important. Most of the time, it’s vacation days because that’s pretty close to additional base salary. There’s an actual annual value on that. It could be assigning bonus or relocation bonus or the option to work from home two days a week so you don’t have to commute or reimbursement for your co-working space if you’re a remote worker and that sort of thing.

Charles: I really liked in the book your technique of scripting that out where you basically said okay, they offered me $50,000. I countered with $55,000. Then, you have the increments between $51,000, $52,000, $53,000, $54,000, maybe a $500 break in there instead of a $1,000 break between them. But then, you basically said okay, at each level it’s $56,000, if they say yes then I accept the job. If they say $55,000 then maybe I still accept the job. If it’s $54,000, then I ask well, I’d be happier at $54,500. If that doesn’t work, then I’d like more vacation or I’d like better benefits.

By having that all figured out before hand, you can just look at it and say okay, what number did they give back and what is my counter going to be to that? I really liked just being able to evaluate that before I’m under that emotional stress again of trying to make a decision based on what do I really want. I already know what I want because I wrote it down.

Josh: Yeah, that’s exactly right. That’s why I recommend the script. I developed that for myself so a lot of the technique that I developed was for myself and then kind of leveraging what I did for myself to help other people and then I was able to formalize it.

There’s a specific story that I have about that script that made me another $1500 which was I had a giant whiteboard in my office. I was negotiating with a company, this was a few years ago. I had written a script just like you described on the whiteboard, I did that for the exact reason you mentioned which was I know that this is going to be a stressful conversation. Usually, I call this the final discussion. You can counter offer through email but eventually what’s going to happen is the recruiter is going to say, “Okay, thanks for your counter. Do you have some time to talk tomorrow for about 15 minutes?” That’s leading into the final discussion where they’re going to call you and they’re going to respond to your counter in real time.

Now, you don’t have the luxury of pondering what you’re going to do for your next move, crafting these carefully worded emails. They’re going to come back to you and say, “You countered at $60,000, we can’t do that but we can do $55,000.” Then, what are you going to do? It’s really easy to get flustered in that situation. I did in my negotiation, they came back with a number.

My inclination when they said that the number they came back with was to try and get more vacation days. I actually started to say, “Okay, is there any way that we could look at vacation?” I stopped right in the middle of vacation. I noticed my white board and the white board did not say I should say vacation days, the white board said I should counter with another number. I said, “Actually, if you can come up to $58,000, then I’m on board.” The recruiter paused for half a second and said, “Okay, let me go bring that to finance. I’ll get back to you.” Right, then it was over. That call was there minutes.

I literally would’ve caused myself base salary because I got flustered even though I had already thought about it very carefully. The fact that I had it written down to read from and just read from a script saved me that money in the heat of the moment and the negotiation.

Dave: That’s awesome. I need to get better at interviewing. Rather than try to make a point here, I’m actually going to ask our guest this one.

How many times do you banger back and forth before you start to decide… Each time you volley, it’s not a frictionless transaction. There’s a certain point at which they’ve countered you fifteen times and you start going, “Do I really want to work… I want $50,000.75 and they’re offering $50,000.25.” One of you is going to get sick of the negotiation and start questioning either do I really want to work here or they’re going to question do they really want to hire this guy or this woman. You can volley that back and forth.

Do you think that’s a fact? And if so, how do you measure it and how do you script it?

Josh: That’s a good question. I would say on average the number of times you go back and forth is only two or three. I think one thing that’s important to remember is once they made an offer and you made a counter offer, it’s easy to think we’re talking about an infinite universe of possibilities here so how do we find the right one? The reality is their offer and then your counter offer has narrowed the scope of your negotiation significantly.

Let’s give a really wide range where you counter 20%. They offer $50,000, you counter at $60,000 which is a full 20%. They’re still only essentially nine increments of a thousand dollars between their offer and your counter offer. You found a narrow set of possible numbers that you’re going to wind up at from all of the numbers to somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. You countered at $60,000, they’re going to come back with some number. On your script, either you’ll respond with one more number.

Let’s say they come back with $55,000 on your $60,000 counter, you say, “Well, $55,000 is nice but if you can come up to $58,000 I’m on board.” Then, they say okay, you’re done. Or, they say, “Sorry, the best we can do is $56,000.” Per my rule of thumb earlier, if they don’t say yes to your last one, now they said $56,000 and you say, “Well, I wanted to get up to $58,000 on my last ask. If you can do $56,000 and another week of vacation then I’m on board.”

That might happen one or two more times. If they say, “We can’t budge on vacation, it’s just not negotiable. We’re not able to move it in our company. It’s written in stone.” You can say, “Okay, I’m going to have to move across the country, can you do $56,000 and a $5,000 relocation.” Then, you’re pretty much done.

It does seem like it can go on forever in your nickel and dime but usually I break it into thousand dollar increments unless I go above $100,000 and then we’re talking about $2,000 increments. It will be one or two volleys on salary and then another one or two volleys on benefits and then it’s over. This will usually happen, it’s often a live conversation on the phone which is why you have the script. It will take literally three minutes, four minutes, until they say either yes or they say okay, I need to go run that by finance which is a soft yes.

Dave: That’s a good point. But if you’re live and negotiating, that kind of counts as one volley even if you go back and forth three or four times. In terms of annoyance and frustration. I’ve had a client turn me down just because where they started at was so low and I told them upfront you’re probably so low that this may become a frustrating discussion for us. They were like no, let’s keep talking. They really wanted to keep me talking and they really wanted their very low anchor to stay valid. I kept pushing and I kept finding alternatives for them that didn’t work out.

After about three or four times, maybe probably five times, this was over two months. I didn’t hear anything from them for three weeks and then just out of the blue they said, “You know what, we don’t think you’re going to be happy working here.” That was the end of the discussion. I felt really bad, I thought man, did I really blow it? Did I over negotiate? I kind of looked at their last offer and it was so low that there was just no way I was going to be comfortable working for them at that value.

It’s related to banter we talked about earlier, there’s some value that if you win the negotiation, the value is so low that you will kick yourself for winning. You’d be like oh, I can’t believe I took this job at this salary. I was kind of doing that and fortunately their numbers were all below that minimum threshold so I used that to tide myself over.

When I ran into somebody from that company about two years later as I was poaching him to come work for us, I told him that story and he said yeah, you would not have been happy here. Then, he told me about the working environment which was exactly like the negotiating environment. Basically, all of the employees were continually being nickeled and dimed to death by the employer. It was very revealing.

I’m not sure where I was going with that story other than the one time I’ve overdone the negotiation. It was telling to me. It was actually a valid tell, it felt really bad at the time. It was a valid tell tale that I would not have been happy in that environment.

Josh: I think you did a great thing there, you kind of looped back on the minimum acceptable salary that we talked about earlier which is sort of my solution to that protractive problem that you mentioned. By using the minimum acceptable salary, the way that I recommend people to deal with that is if their offer is just so low that you can’t counter 10% to 20% and get above your minimum acceptable salary, then your next response is, “Thank you for the offer, I really appreciate it but I can’t accept this job for less than $52,000.” That enables you to use that minimum acceptable salary to just draw that line in the negotiation.

If they’re way out of bounds, then the minimum acceptable is the way that you pull the ripcord and just say I can’t accept the job for less than my minimum, they either say okay come on board or they hem and haw and then you end up walking away. That’s a great illustration of exactly the kind of case where the minimum acceptable salary will come into play.

Dave: That’s a good summary on that, thank you. We talked about researching the companies. I think this ties back into it as well that negotiation always involves telling a story. The employer is telling a story that were a great place to work but we are economical and wise in our resource spending. You are countering with a story of I am highly valuable and I’m worth the investment. You would not be squandering your resources, you would be investing with me.

The other place where I’ve had negotiations go on too long, and this one I terminated the interview, was a place that made it very clear that their internal monologue, their story was we’re looking for idiot people that we have to train so that we get to treat you like idiot people. You know some things and we don’t care, we don’t value any of the things that you bring to the table. It finally dawned on me that he just said exactly what he needed to hear, “We don’t value…..you.” I’m like okay, yup, I’ve got enough information. Thank you for the offer, but no thank you.

Jessica: Josh, I have a question. We’ve been talking about maximizing salary but are there disadvantages to doing that? Specifically if I make more at a particular company than I can get on the general market, maybe I went to work in the finance industry and I’m just not going to be able to make the same salary at any place with lower pressure, it makes it really hard to switch. It can trap you in a job where you got a particularly good salary. It’s so hard for us to take a salary cut.

Dave: Golden handcuffs.

Josh: I do think that could be an issue. How to address it though I think is the challenge. I think if you’re going to do that job, you might as well get paid the most you can to do it. One way to escape that, and I think this opens up a bigger discussion of almost personal finance and what you’re doing with your money.

A really good way to escape the situation you just described is to be very frugal or diligent with your personal finances such that yes I’m working a job right now that I don’t love, it pays really well, it pays more than I can get on the market, so what I’m going to do is save as much of that money as I can to give myself other options in the future that don’t necessarily include working this job.

I’m speaking from personal experience here, I love to be clear. I loved my last job and the time I worked with, I had a wonderful team at a wonderful company. The job just wasn’t satisfying for me but it had the benefit of being a good paying job. What I did was I saved about 70% of my take home pay for a year and a half and then I had the option to do what I did which was to leave my day job and focus on my book and coaching and all that good stuff.

I think this may be easier said than done. In that situation, my advice to a person in that situation is if you don’t like that job but you feel like it’s paying a lot better than you can get elsewhere, save as much of your income as you possibly can to give yourself more options in the future that don’t necessarily involve requiring a steady paycheck to survive.

Jessica: That’s useful. Personally, I prefer if you’re going to pay me more than market, give me a bonus instead of higher salary which kind of has the same effect on me.

Josh: Right, and that’s again kind of back to what’s my personal preference, do I prefer that base salary, do I want to get a bonus? I think that moves around person to person. I’m always laser focused on base salary but I think asking for it in terms of a bonus might be better and could make it easier for you to say yeah, this isn’t for me anymore. I’ll just go substitute that base salary somewhere else.

Dave: What about the people who are new and don’t have a lot of experience or something to offer when they do the counter offer, they’re kind of looking for somebody to take a chance on them so to speak or at least that feels that way. What do they do during seller negotiations?

John: They still counter. It’s a little counter intuitive for the reasons that you mentioned but you still counter offer. The reason is that even if this is your first job out of college, you’re negotiating your first job out of college, yes you’re probably going to get less money than somebody with more experience. However, the offer that was made to you is in the ballpark of what the company is willing to pay a person for their first job out of college with your skill set and experience.

Your job during the interview is to convince them that you’ve paid attention, you’ve done your research which will make you better than the median person applying for that job because you actually care, you’ve done your research, you know what the company’s up to and how you can help it. You impressed them throughout the interview and then you counter offer essentially is a feeler to see what are they willing to pay this new hire position.

I helped someone about a year ago, he was going to work in a lower rung of the healthcare industry in terms of experience. His salary was going to be $40,000 and he negotiated up to $44,000. Not a huge jump but the bottom line is there’s still a range, they’re not offering you the absolute maximum they’re willing to pay. There’s probably room to move above that. The way you find out how much room there is above that is to counter offer.

Charles: Got it. Alright, let’s do some picks.

Dave: We can’t talk about salary without me recommending Jack Chapman’s book, probably should’ve asked Josh what his opinion on it was. He wrote a book about 10 years ago called Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute. It’s kind of like the white board comment that Jack made that if you squander the negotiation time, you’re going to leave a lot of money on the table. But if you do the right things in the right order, you can take a lot more money off the table and make the employer happier at the same time that they’ve got you at the value that you feel comfortable with.

Jack has put up five tips to help him sell the book. If you just go to YouTube and just search for Salary Negotiations Tip Jack Chapman, you’ll come up with all five. I highly recommend it, the book is really, really good.

My favorite of the tips is called the flinch which is a specific negotiation technique for when they give you their number if you’re doing it in person, there’s a way to respond to that that sends a very strong body language that they have disappointed you. Even if you’re doing back flips inside because the number is $20,000 above what you were hoping for, you still use this response. It can strengthen your position.

The other pick that I have is just silliness, just pure unadulterated silliness. I love anime and there’s a fantastic one out there called Hunter X Hunter. There was a manga for a long time and then in 1999 there was a TV series. They rebooted the series in 2011. The first five series are on Netflix right now. They’re absolutely fantastic. It’s cartoons for adults, it’s gory, there’s a lot of violence, a lot of kung-fu and people getting sliced up and that sort of thing. It’s not for kids.

The main character is this 12 year old boy that is just pure enthusiasm. Everything makes him happy, everything makes him want to just succeed in life and go forward. They go out and catch monsters, great, big, scary—it’s basically like Pokemon only more violent. It’s a fantastic series. I just absolutely love it.

The series doesn’t really feel like Pokemon at all because 90% of what goes on is the schemings in between the human beings and how the hunters compete each other. Some of them are psychotic and not friendly at all, others are nice and supporting and wonderful. It’s a fantastic show. The best thing about it is the episodes are 17 minutes long. You can binge watch an entire season in six hours which is a lot of fun to do.

Jessica: I have two picks. One is about negotiation. I learned about negotiation and batons  and anchors and things like this a few years ago from a blog called negotiatewithchad.blogspot.com. I recommend it, read it back from the beginning, it’s a short blog post of learning about negotiation. It’s really good.

I just have to pick Pokemon Go because I love Pokemon Go. I’m having so much fun walking around and catching Pokemon and fighting with them. It’s just totally worth it, this game is way better. You can’t postpone to go to bed by playing it, you have to get out and move around. You can catch Pokemon with your kids or with other grown ups and it’s awesome, the end.

Charles: Yeah, I’ve been taking my kids out to hunt Pokemon as well. They get so excited. My ten year old, he just wouldn’t be quiet. We walked about five blocks and he chatted the whole time about all the Pokemon he wanted to catch, it was really fun. We’re doing it on my phone so they’re my Pokemon, but anyway.

Related to that, July has been insane because I’ve missed two or three weeks of time that I’ve spent doing all kinds of stuff. I was at Podcast Movement, my sister was in town two weeks ago. Last week, I went up to Wood Badge and Wood Badge is adult leader training for boy scouts. It’s put on by the Boy Scouts of America. Yes, you have to pay to go.

The price is $150 and the training is on par with what I’ve seen offered for $5,000 in business and leadership training. It’s actually a terrific deal. It’s just a very powerful experience. I’m super bullish on it. If you have any interest in boy scouts and you want to be an adult leader and you are thinking at all about going to Wood Badge, I highly, highly recommend it. I absolutely enjoyed it. I learned a lot of things. It’s helped me be more confident and be a better person. I can’t say enough good things about it so I’m going to pick Wood Badge.

Also, it was help up at Tifie Scout Camp which is up above Mt. Pleasant, Utah. There’s not a whole lot out there, it’s actually up on the side of the mountain. Lots of hiking, beautiful area. We saw four and five point bucks just walk through camp. People can’t hunt on the scout ranch. It was just beautiful, amazing. I’m also going to put a pick in for that for Tifie Scout Camp. Those are my picks.

Josh: I managed to narrow my picks down to three. I’ll go quickly here. Jessica did it better than I’m going to do here because mine has nothing to do with negotiation.

My first pick is a show, most people listening to this are probably familiar with Penn and Teller who are magicians that have a show in Las Vegas. They’re also TV celebrities, they’ve done a number of TV shows. Their most recent show is called Fool Us which they are in there, they’re Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino presentation room or their theater. They have other magicians come in and try to fool Penn and Teller. Penn and Teller try and figure out how they did it. If the person can trick Penn and Teller, then they win their trophy and they get to do one of Penn and Teller’s shows. It’s a really cool show, magic is always fun to watch.

The thing I want to pick from that show is there is a magician that was on the last episode called Madi Juber who doesn’t have any hands. His specialty is slight of hand magic. I recommend it just because the trick he does is phenomenal and the fact that he does it without hands is doubly phenomenal.

The feeling that I came away with it was one, to think outside of the box because I don’t know how I figured out how to do all these things that people do with hands, without hands. Two, just that I’m constantly discouraged when I’m doing things. I had no reason to be discouraged. If he can figure out how to do what he does with no hands, I can figure out how to do what I’m trying to do today with all of the faculties that I have available to me.

Number two is a book by Neil Stevenson called Seven Eves. It’s sci-fi, an excellent book, I recommend the audiobook. I listened to it a few months ago, it’s just a really fascinating book about a post-apocalyptic world. It’s very wonky in the same vein as The Martian was where they go into a lot of detail about what’s happening and why it’s happening, what the science is there.

The third thing is totally different than those first two. If you haven’t heard it, there’s a great podcast that aired last year called Mystery Show. My favorite episode of Mystery Show is called the Belt Buckle episode. It’s one of my favorite story telling podcast episodes ever. Maybe something new that your listeners haven’t heard, check out Mystery Show Podcast. The Belt Buckle episode is just a phenomenal use of the storytelling medium and podcasting.

Charles: If people are getting ready to look for a job or they’re kind of at that point where they are thinking oh, I need help with salary negotiation, where do they go to get your book and other material?

Josh: A good place to go first is just on Twitter, @JoshDoody. The book website is fearlesssalarynegotiation.com. You can find the book and learn about my coaching and courses and all that good stuff.

Something we didn’t talk about today but I know a lot of people who are listening are thinking, “Well, I’m not negotiating a salary anytime soon. I’m happy at my job, thanks very much, I might change job in a couple of years.” Something you might be able to do right now is pursue your next promotion if you’ve been waiting for a promotion but it’s not happening for you.

If you go to fearlesssalarynegotiation.com/promotion-course, there’s a free seven day email course that you can take on how to get your next promotion that will give you everything you need to get promoted at your day job right now instead of waiting. That’s something maybe your users can use right now instead of waiting.

Charles: Thanks for coming, Josh. We’ll wrap this up and we’ll catch everyone next week.

Josh: Thanks for having me, I really appreciate it, it was a lot of fun.

Jessica: Bye!

Dave: Bye.

 

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