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How to do salary negotiation in Europe as a software engineer?

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya year ago

In many European countries, total compensation tends to be more focused on salary rather than including stock options or sign-on bonuses, as may be common elsewhere. Total compensation is the salary, and in most salary negotiation tips they focus on how to bump up your equity in the company. Does someone have any advice on how to go about to get the most out of the salary negotiation in Europe?

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    First my non-answer: you should still ask for equity! It's less common in Europe (IMO the understanding of equity in Europe is a lot lower), but there's no harm in asking. Unless you know the company doesn't do that, just asking for RSUs or stock options can be really powerful.

    To answer your question, my question is: what levers can you pull for the negotiation? In most offers, there are 3 or 4 negotiable parts:

    • Salary
    • Signing Bonus
    • Annual Bonus
    • Equity

    The reason most negotiations work is that the company and employee value the above components at different amounts, e.g. more equity vs less salary. If you no longer have equity as a component of negotiation, your life is harder.

    The extreme scenario is if you literally only have salary to negotiate on. Then it really is a zero-sum game: you want a higher salary, but the company wants a lower salary 😨

    So the question is, how can you introduce more variables to find a win-win? Some ideas you can offer for a higher salary:

    • Sooner start date
    • Fewer vacation days
    • Promise of a review/salary adjustment after a few months.

    Some great resources to check out: