The best money ($/time) you can make is during the job offer negotiations. For example, a few emails, several text messages or 10-15 minutes on a phone call can net you 10K, 20K, 50K or more! 💰💰💰The extra money can come in the form of an added base compensation (annual salary), a signup bonus, equity grants, equity options, anniversary bonus, relocation bonus, extra vacation days, ability to work from home (saved time and commute money), WFH equipment and so on. You can do the math yourself. Mine gave me the rate of $60,000/hourly for a $10K increase after 10 minutes of “work”. ⏳
You did all the hard work with interviews and they like you enough to make an offer. The potential employer (hiring manager and the interviewers) invested hours in you already. Negotiate a little bit. Of course don’t push it too hard, but 1-2 counters is usually fine and considered a norm. So don’t be afraid to counter. In my 20 years, I had just one offer rescinded but the same company later offered a new position at a higher comp in a HCOL. 🌁
Usually a 10% increase in the base compensation is expected and built-in to the first (low) offer, so companies low ball candidates expecting a counter from them. 🔄
It helps to know the job market, average compensation/salary in niche and the industry. Go to levels.fyi and teamblind.com to find out a benchmark. If you know the market, you can shoot higher than that to anchor them at a high comp.
Be creative! 👨🎨 If they can’t go up on base, ask for a sign up bonus. If they can’t come up on a sign up bonus, ask for more base or to get rid of a pesky 1-year vesting cliff (you’ll get equity sooner). Also, don’t just say “I want X more”, but instead provide a reason: “I’m happy to accept but it would be better to have X more of Y because…”. In other words, come up with a good reason (could be B.S. but plausible) such as: “I am relocating”, “I am leaving money on the table at my current job” (equity, perf bonus), or “I need a new tree house for my kids.”
And yes, you can put some pressure on them with competing offers. 🏃♂️To do this, line up your “onsites” from different companies close to each other, preferably on the same week. And I know some job seekers who would use Photoshop or macOS Preview to produce any competing job offer they need to beef up their bargaining power. Keep in mind that while some companies love to outcompete and would happily match (Google) a competing job offer, other companies can be turned off by it (they don’t like competing offers). In this case, use another arguments like the one where you are leaving a large bonus on the table if you leave your current employee now.
Lastly, your base and equity negotiation is compound meaning that what you get in the beginning will influence all the raises, bonuses and promotions for many years to come. So don’t leave good money on the table. If you have multiple jobs, you won’t have fear of loosing this new offer. Negotiate to get the maximum out of the job.