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The #1 Rule Of Negotiation - How To Avoid Giving A Number

  • Negotiation is a dance: Know your role within it and have a script.
  • There's an asymmetry here:
    • Recruiters are talking to candidates and negotiating every day. They come in very prepared and have a script.
    • You will change jobs every 2-3 year - It's a rare event for you to have this conversation. To level the playing field, you should have a script too.
  • If they ask for a number or range, say "I'm more concerned with understanding if this opportunity is right for me." This is polite while positioning yourself in a mutual respect scenario.
  • If they refuse to move forward within a number, you can try:
    • "What are typical compensation bands for this role?"
    • "I'm a strong performer in my current role and expect to be promoted soon, so I'm not sure what's fair."
  • If they require a number, put a placeholder and say you'll get back to it later
  • Asking for a number is generally a predatory way for companies to take advantage of candidates and lowball them.
    • This is why in California, it is illegal for employers to ask your prior compensation information

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