#GetPaid: Negotiating Your Salary as a Radical Weirdo

Heyooo, welcome to Day 24 of 30 of my 30 Day Blogging Challenge. (Good GAWD, this has been a lot of work.)

Okay, so, y’all know I’m a Business Gay™. Basically, this means that while I think Late Stage Capitalism is a steaming pile of horse manure, I also know that money buys shit like medications and renter’s insurance, so it’s in my radical queer friends best interest to get paid. So, here’s a blog post on negotiating your salary when you’re squeamish about money existing in the first place.

If you need help with your resume, career coaching or salary negotiation, let’s set up a phone chat.

Real quick tho

So, here are a few things to keep in mind before we get started:

  • Making money doesn’t make you a bad person. Money just is.
  • Making more money means you can donate more money to causes you care about and put money away for a rainy day.
  • “It is what it is.” While we do the longterm work of making the world a more equitable place, refusing to engage with how it is now hurts you, and benefits those in power (/those paying you).
I have mixed feels about money too

1. Do Your Research

The first step to any negotiation is to know your numbers. Get on The Google, and type in “[job name] salary [city].” A lot of times, industry publications (or random bloggers) will have compiled research on the salary statistics.

Check websites like Glassdoor, and also look for similar positions listed on job sites that include salary.

Oftentimes, you’ll find that you’ve lowballed yourself. But knowledge is power y’all!

The first step to any negotiation is to know your numbers.

2. Factor in Stock Options, Hiring Bonuses and Healthcare Costs

Healthcare is such a variable cost, and sometimes it may be better to go with a lower salary for better health coverage. When negotiating, ask the hiring manager/HR rep to send over the insurance options for the position.

When it comes to stock options, that’s a whooooole other story, where you’ll probably want to a hire a Professional Financial Advisor for a few hours. Also, keep in mind that you won’t get a check for the total bonus amount. Generally, taxes take anywhere from 30–50% of a bonus paycheck.

Get yours.

Oh, ALSO. If you’re moving cities — you must research cost of living. I like the NerdWallet calculator for this. It looks at comparing costs between your current locale and the city you’re moving to.

3. The Actual Negotiation

Okay, so in a few niche industries (like NGOs), the org won’t negotiate your salary. Their first offer is their final offer.

But, for most companies/orgs/entities, they will always lowball you on the initial offer.

Negotiate like a mediocre white man.

For instance, if a company expects to pay a candidate $50K a year, they’ll offer somewhere in the $45K neighborhood. The biggest mistake I see candidates make is saying, “Oh, well I can totally live on that. I’m just gonna take it.” And their future employer is stoked, because they just got a deal.

You are not a flash-sale, you are no one’s “deal.” Always counter offer, and try to do this over email as opposed to the phone. We’re socialized to be agreeable/positive, and sticking up for you/your salary is much harder when you’re on a phone call.

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Disclaimer: This is from my experience. I’m not a lawyer or a licensed accountant. Please make business decisions with licensed professionals.