Josh Doody is a salary negotiation coach and author who helps software developers receive more job offers and negotiate higher salaries.
In addition to helping clients one-on-one, Josh wrote the book Fearless Salary Negotiation, which includes his best strategies and tactics for getting paid what you’re worth. The principles in this book can be used by anyone, not just software developers!
Our conversation covers how Josh got inspired to pursue the art of negotiation, how to stand out during the interview and hiring process, some of his top salary negotiation strategies, and how to get promoted at your current company.
This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos.
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In today's episode I talk with Josh Doody, a salary negotiation coach. We talk about how you can position yourself as a standout candidate when you apply for a job, how to negotiate a better job offer and how to negotiate a promotion or raise. Josh Doody is a salary negotiation coach who helps software developers receive more job offers and negotiate higher salaries. He also wrote the book fearless salary negotiation, which includes his best strategies and tactics for getting paid what you're worth.
Laurence Bradford 1:47
Hey, Josh, thanks so much for coming on the show.
Josh Doody 1:49
Hello, Laurence. Thanks for having me on.
Laurence Bradford 1:51
I'm really excited to talk to you about negotiation and other job hunting tactics. But really quick, is there anything that you would like to add to the introduction before we jump into the interview?
Josh Doody 2:01
No, I think I think you totally nailed it. That describes me perfectly. So I think you got you hit the nail in the head with that one.
Laurence Bradford 2:07
Okay, awesome. So let's go back in time. When you were in college, did you know that you wanted to one day help people negotiate their salary?
Josh Doody 2:16
No, I had no idea. In college, I studied engineering, computer and electrical engineering, and really just started out on what would look to most people like a really typical career path. I kind of found my way into helping people negotiate salaries and that sort of thing as I made some unorthodox career decisions. And because I think because I made those unorthodox career decisions, like changing from being an electrical engineer to being a project manager at a tiny software company, and later kind of just quitting a job, just because they didn't want to work there anymore. People thought maybe I would have some insight into their unique career situations. And so they would just ask me questions about job offers and When to change careers and how to negotiate salaries. And so I sort of, you know, backed my way into it and just kind of realized, I've been answering a lot of these questions. I wonder if I have more to say or if I can help more people than just people who happen to know me and happen to know my story and will come up and ask questions. So the answer to your question is no, I had no idea in college that I would be doing this now. But the way that I got here, kind of makes sense. In hindsight, I guess.
Laurence Bradford 3:23
Yeah. So it sounds like you began helping out maybe friends and family with career related questions, and you sort of just fell into it.
Josh Doody 3:31
That's exactly right. Yeah, I wish there was a more kind of intentional strategy that I had, or you know, I had planned it out. But the truth is exactly what you just said is I just sort of fell into it and really liked it. And so I thought I would do more of it.
Laurence Bradford 3:42
So were you always naturally good at negotiation?
Josh Doody 3:46
Boy, that's a good question. I my intuitive answer is no. So I'll say no. And in fact, you know, early in my career, I didn't negotiate my salary. So my first full time salary, I just took what they offered. I did some internships before that. I just did with They offered. I took a pay cut to go to my second job took another pay cut later on. So early in my career, I was not negotiating my salary. And it took me you know, a few job changes before I realized it was even possible before I kind of started figuring out how do I how do I do this? So no, I wouldn't say that I was naturally good at negotiating. I had to learn how to do it.
Laurence Bradford 4:21
So how did you start to learn then Were there any resources that you turn to? Was there anything that inspired you to start negotiating your salary for new positions you moved into?
Josh Doody 4:33
Yes. So that's an excellent question. And I will there's at least one link that I will give you for the for the show notes. I don't know if you've heard of Patrick McKenzie, also known as patio 11, on Twitter and Hacker News and some other places, but I stumbled into one of his articles pretty early on. I think I had negotiated a salary before I read that article, but I negotiate it in a very sort of ad hoc, you know, haphazard way. Almost just Kind of, you know, almost like poking around in the dark, hoping to find some more money. But later, as I look back on it, and again started to kind of answer questions that other people had, I did some research and found that Patrick had this really great article on on how to negotiate salary, and it was really geared towards software developers and technical types. And I learned a ton from that. And also realized by reading that, you know, maybe there's something more here than just asking for more money, maybe there's a process that could be followed or created some steps that I could take to kind of intentionally find ways to maximize job offers and that sort of thing. So I sort of stumbled into it. I realized I hadn't been negotiating and I probably should. I met more and more hiring managers and understood from them that negotiation was a thing that was available. I tried it I did okay at it. Then I read Patrick's article and that really got me off to the races in terms of starting to study this topic and help other people negotiate their salaries as well.
Laurence Bradford 5:58
Okay, definitely heard of Patrick McKee. I just clicked over to his Twitter while you're chatting. I've definitely been on his Twitter. I think I even follow him already, perhaps. But yeah, we'll definitely link to that article in the show notes page. That sounds really interesting. So you maybe didn't negotiate before you read this article, but you came across this article, it really opened your eyes to a bunch of new things related negotiation and asking for more. What did you do next? Like Did you just break away from your full time job right away to start to train people in this? Or was this like a slow progression moving to where you are today?
Josh Doody 6:31
It was a really slow progression. So even before I negotiated, I had been kind of just answering, you know, ad hoc career questions from friends and family, as I mentioned, and then, like I said, I kind of poorly negotiated a salary and that changed jobs and that Job Change so this was 2014. So a few years ago is when I really dug in before I made that change, because I saw it coming pretty far away that I was going to I was going to change jobs and probably go to this other company. So I started doing a lot of research and reading Patrick's article and kind of went down that rabbit hole, and began to really learn how to make this work. Once I started that job, I was so interested in the topic that I kept reading about it, I kept helping other people to negotiate. And I began to write what eventually became fearless salary negotiation. But it started as a much broader I call it a career management guide. So almost like a textbook and how to develop your career, how to pursue the right opportunities, even you know, things like how to write effective emails to your colleagues and to clients and that sort of thing. It's a really broad book that, frankly, I think would have been extremely boring had I gone through and published it.
Josh Doody 7:42
But a good friend of mine, talked to me and said, you know, the good stuff that you're writing about here is the salary negotiation stuff. There's not a lot out there on it. It's super valuable. So you know, it's easy to draw a straight line from, you know, read this book, and you make more money. That's a really easy sort of pitch. And so I kept digging deeper and deeper and I wrote that Over the course of most of the year 2015, it took me almost a year to write it and publish it. Once I published it, I kind of had a choice to make about whether I wanted to really publish the book, right? Try and get ranked on Amazon as high as I could get enough buzz around it to actually start building a business around the book, or just kind of launch it as a side project, I decided that I wanted to see if I could turn the book into a business. So I quit my job, September of 2015 and published it December 2015. And then began to build a business around first just selling copies of the book and then adding more and more coaching. And then earlier this year, I kind of flipped that equation so that most of my time is spent with coaching clients, most of my energy is spent on coaching, and I still sell a lot of copies of my book and love to sell my book and courses but spend most of my time working with people. So that happened very organically over you know, almost, you know, a three year period now from the beginning of 2015 until, you know, 2017.
Laurence Bradford 9:01
Yeah, well, what an exciting ride you've been on. And I really do want to talk about negotiation. But first, I kind of want to go a little bit earlier in the candidate pipeline. And this is something we were chatting about before we hopped on the interview. And you mentioned you have some really good advice for positioning, or better known as how to make yourself stand out as a candidate during the interview process. So can we start there? And could you share some of your advice to listeners on how someone could do that?
Josh Doody 9:29
Absolutely. This is one of my favorite topics kind of in general, but certainly lately, I found that it's something that really resonates with people and I think the light bulb goes on. When I work with clients, I think they get salary negotiation, but when I work with them on positioning in particular, it's when I have the most lightbulb moments with my clients when I can see that they get it, they understand something differently than they understood it before. So use the word positioning, I use that word as well. I'm working on finding maybe a better way to describe it, but I think you described it Really well, which is how do you stand out, you know, if if if a company is hiring a software developer or designer or a marketing person, and they have a pile of resumes, your task is to say, Well, I'm the person in that pile, I'm the resume on that pile that you want to hire. And so it's really important to stand out as the candidate for the job as opposed to just another candidate for the job that has a resume that looks like a bunch of other resumes. So the easiest way that I can summarize my thoughts on this, and what I teach folks, is that your job when you're interviewing is to tell a story about how the company or the team will be better if you're a part of it, if they bring you on board.
Josh Doody 10:38
And so everything that I teach my clients and that I write about around this topic, and I can share a link to a really long article I've written on this. And detailed is about how you tell that story. How do you tell the story that you're going to improve the company and when you start thinking that way, what happens is, you realize that you were saying i a lot and so A question that scares a lot of people is why should we hire you? And that doesn't get asked a lot. It's kind of a lazy interview question. But people are really scared of it. I know this because I see it all the time on Quora, people ask me this question. They're afraid, you know, what do I say if they asked me why they should hire me. And when you understand positioning, you see that that's actually like a really great softball question. It's a great opportunity to tell them how you'll make them better if they bring you on the team. So most people would answer why should we hire you with a bunch of I statements, so I've studied software engineering, or I've worked with these technologies, or I had this experience, I've done these projects, I've worked on these teams, I've worked with these big companies, they're all i statements, which are all things that are verifiable if the person just happens to have a copy of your resume. Virtually everything that I just said would be on a resume. And what you want to say instead is well, you are trying to accomplish some goal as a company you're trying to grow or you're trying to transition your technology stack from this one to that one, or you're trying to build a better product or you're trying to retain more customers or delay customers with better software, whatever they're trying to accomplish.
Josh Doody 12:03
And I can help you accomplish that by using some skill that I have, or some experience that I have, you know, using that new stack that you want to go to I've built technology on that stack, and I can help you with that. Or I've got experience delighting customers is, you know, I built a support team, or whatever those things are. And so when you start telling them, I know what your, your either your goals or your problems, your challenges are right now. And here's how I'm going to help you reach those goals or resolve those challenges. Now, you're standing out as the candidate for the position now you're telling the person who's interviewing you how you're going to help solve their problems, which is ultimately why they're hiring someone, they're not hiring someone to get a software developer, they're hiring someone because they need experience in this technology, because they can't keep up with the release schedule that they're on right now or whatever that reason is. So that's the kind of really high level view of how you tell a story about how the company will be better if they bring you on the team in particular, as opposed to any other person who has a resume that might look like yours.
Laurence Bradford 12:58
Got it. I love that and You are saying you had this really great quote, when you first get answering it was something about telling the story of how you will make the team or the company better with you on board. That's like the like the end goal of what you're trying to do here.
Josh Doody 13:13
That's it. That's the headline right there. And you said it perfectly.
Laurence Bradford 13:16
Okay, cool. That makes a ton of sense in is this telling this story and proving this point and showing this to the company you're interviewing at? I feel like this is something that could happen before you get in the door and into an actual like face to face interview or even on a phone screen. Are there any ways that a person can make themselves stand out? And I'm sure there's a time not to get into a ton of detail, but a way that they can make themselves stand out and like an email they write, maybe requesting an interview or reaching out to a hiring manager on a cover letter on a resume? Sorry, I'm gonna throw another question with this because I just thought of it but what are your thoughts on cover letters, by the way, because I feel like I always will opt to not write one or two if it's not required, because I Feel like writing a strong cover letter is. So it takes a lot of time and hiring managers can look over it often to questions how to tell a story earlier on before you even get a phone call or get an in person interview. And real quick, do cover letters matter anymore?
Josh Doody 14:14
I'll take the easy one first, do covers letter cover letters matter anymore. So I'm not dogmatic about this. But I think kind of No, especially with, I find that the best job opportunities that will come to you will come through your network. And so a referral from somebody that you know, who trusts you and knows your work is far more powerful than any, you know, cover letter that you would write up even if it's a good cover letter. So I don't think that they're necessarily maybe a waste of time. But I think that they are just less valuable now because of the way that we are put into contact with potential employers. So I occasionally will, you know, maybe take a look at one of my clients cover letters or I have an article on my site about how to write a good cover letter, how to write a good resume, but I think Like those are really just sort of, they're there as topics to talk about, because sometimes they're useful. But in general, I agree with you that there are better ways to kind of put that best foot forward. And the cover letter is sort of antiquated. Now, it's not totally obsolete, I don't think but it's certainly not as useful as it was even like 10 years ago.
Laurence Bradford 15:18
Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. And then the the other part of the question, so I kind of threw at you, there was just some high level ways to make yourself stand out and tell that story before you even get the opportunity to interview.
Josh Doody 15:31
So it's challenging, I think you can and it depends, again, on sort of how you found the opportunity, if it's through your network, a lot of that storytelling will be somebody explicitly saying, you know, you should talk to Laurence, because he's really good at this thing that you're looking to do right now at your company. And so in a way, that's, you know, other people are positioning you as the person that they should hire, which is super valuable. It's, you know, people I think, tend to trust, you know, if they know someone who can tell them who the right person is, they trust that a little bit more than if some person says they're the right person. resumes and cover letters are a pretty decent way to do this. You can do the research for it. So I didn't talk about the research process. But there's some basic research that you do, where you learn what those challenges and what those goals are for the company. And so when you know those things, you can use them effectively. For example, in your cover letter, the first paragraph might mention that you help companies do XYZ and XYZ just happens to be exactly what one of the goals is of the company that you're applying to, or the team that you're applying to.
Josh Doody 16:31
You can use your LinkedIn profile to do something similar where you describe, you know, clearly in your there's like sort of a paragraph that you can write about yourself or your job history where you might describe the kind of problems that you solve the kinds of companies that will benefit from your experience and how you'll help those companies. But most of the real heavy lifting for positioning will come once you're on the phone with somebody and maybe even as early as what you mentioned, which was the screening interview. And so you know, you're talking to that person. an HR recruiter whose job is to figure out, is it worth a hiring manager's time to talk to this person or not? Or they're better candidates? And so you want to make sure that they think yes, it is worth putting Josh, in touch with this hiring manager, Josh seems to have the skills that we need here. And that's because I would tell them, yeah, it's great to talk to you today. I'm so glad that you're considering for this opportunity. I know that your company is trying to accomplish this thing. I have experience helping other teams accomplish something similar, or I have a passion for accomplishing that sort of thing, or solving this problem that you're trying to solve right now. And so anytime that you're interacting with the company directly, like a screening call, or your first interview, or indirectly, what's on your LinkedIn profile, what's in your resume, what's on your cover letter, those are ways that you can communicate the types of problems that you help solve or the types of things that you'd like to help companies accomplish.
Laurence Bradford 17:49
Wonderful and yeah, as you said, I feel like the the best place to do this is going to be during the actual interviews because also it's when you're going to be hearing more from the team and you'll have the chance to ask questions. And you could literally ask, what's your biggest problem right now? What's your biggest struggle right now. And then you could find ways to try to solve that problem, because as you said, it's really all about problem solving, just showing how you're going to solve the problems that the company is facing, or the team the best compared to other candidates.
Josh Doody 18:19
You couldn't have said that any better. I mean, you nailed it, which is you start with some amount of information, you go to the screening interview, or the first interview, and you just take that information. And so this is stuff that you might have googled, right like or read in a press release, or read in their 10 k of their public or whatever. So you have some basic information. But then as you talk to them, I love By the way, the question that you suggested is a hypothetical. It's my favorite question that people should ask, which is, what's your biggest challenge right now? Because if the interviewer tells you what their biggest challenge is, now, you have basically like, really powerful secret information that you didn't have before, which is exactly what their biggest problem is. And of course, if you can tell them or the next interviewer that you talk to, I know that you're struggling with this thing right now. Here's how I can help you All def challenge, they're gonna say, Wow, okay, Josh already has ideas on how to resolve this challenge. Maybe we should haven't talked to somebody else. Or maybe we should really consider him here, as opposed to just, you know, I'm telling them about my background and how many years I've been writing and Ruby on Rails or whatever it is. So your your description, there's perfect, you take the baseline information, you get to the interviews, and then as you go through the interviews, you ask questions and learn more about the company, and ways that you could improve it. And then you can fold that new information into future interviews as you go. So you should dial in your positioning as you progress through the interview process. Your positioning should get tighter and tighter and tighter as you learn more about the company.
Laurence Bradford 19:37
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Laurence Bradford 21:54
Yes, that is a really good yeah I love that how you said folding the information that is to future interviews and making the positioning tighter and tighter, that Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And I'm also just thinking, having all these connections in my mind right now, because at the company, I work for full time teachable in most of our interview processes, or maybe even all, at least on the technical teams, which I'm more familiar with. The final like personnel usually speak to, if things are going well is either like the CTO or maybe the VP of product or something. And then that's when obviously having the tightest positioning would be the most important because you're kind of meeting with like the top dog at that point.
Josh Doody 22:36
Right, you're also meeting with the person who has the most skin in the game in terms of whatever challenge or goal that you've identified, they probably have the most to gain or lose by accomplishing or not accomplishing that thing. And so it's valuable to tell them how you will help them. Their job may literally be on the line for solving. You know, if it's a CTO, maybe there's a technical problem, a scaling problem that they're really struggling with, and if you tell them I can help You solve the scaling problem that you're struggling with their thinking, that person just told me they can help me continue to be employed for another year. Right? Which is really powerful.
Laurence Bradford 23:08
Yes. And this is, you know, the way we set things up where I work, I'm not sure if all companies do this. And I'm sure others do though, because it does kind of make sense as a as a from both perspectives and especially at least ours because we don't want to send our CTO in unless we know it's a really great fit, right. And I'm not to take up too much of his time. But in any case, I don't want to, I feel like we could talk so much about positioning. I love this topic. I think it's really interesting, but I definitely want to talk about negotiation as well. And I don't want to leave that out. So let's let's dive into that. And there's two kinds of negotiation right there's while the kind where you're negotiating a new job offer, and then there's the other kind where you're negotiating a title change or a salary raise. Let's start with the negotiating of a new job offer. What are some basic tips you have when doing this?
Josh Doody 23:58
You just The two types of negotiation perfectly. And the first tip, you know, I'm changing jobs and I have a job offer. The first kind of headline tip is that you should negotiate job offers when you get them. And the main reason that I encourage people to negotiate is sort of a tautology, but it's because there might be room to negotiate. You can't know if there's room to negotiate unless you try. And so if you just accept a job offer, you might have gotten their best and final offer, usually you didn't. And if you'd negotiated, you may have been able to negotiate more. And most companies if there isn't room to negotiate, or they they aren't willing to budge their response to a candidate that they really want to bring on board who they see as valuable will be. We appreciate you considering our offer. We made our best and final, we can't budge on that. But we would love for you to accept the offer that we made, and then you know that you did the best that you could. So the number one tip is you should negotiate it's important to negotiate. If you value your work, you want to make sure that you get the best value that you can in terms of paycheck and make sure That you and the company both agree what the value is that you're going to bring to their team.
Josh Doody 25:05
Once you've decided to negotiate the tips that I'll give a really just sort of a really high level overview of what that process should look like, because there's some discreet things that you should do when you negotiate. So the first one is, as soon as you get that offer, you should ask for some time to just think about the offer. And it sounds kind of, you know, simple when I say it out loud, but some people in the moment will feel like they have to respond to an offer right away. And that, of course, can cost them quite a bit of money because they haven't had time to strategize and figure out exactly what the next steps are. And so somebody makes an offer, just ask for some time to consider thanks for the offer. I really appreciate it. If you don't mind. I'd like to take a couple of days to think about this and talk it over with my family and get back to you. And pretty much every single recruiter will say great, I'll talk to you on Wednesday or whatever they say. So ask for time to think about it that gives you time to regroup. Consider the offer in more detail. Maybe read over the benefits package, figure out how strong it is what's in there. Look at things like vacation time, if there's a signing bonuses involved. Do some research market value research to see how the offer stacks up against what you find online on Glassdoor or Pacer or other other places like that. Then once you've had time to think about it, you want to figure out how much should I counteroffer? How should I respond to this job offer. And so I typically recommend people counter between 10 and 20% of the offer amount. And that's not a totally arbitrary number. It's based on a lot of experience that I had consulting with companies about how they pay people and what their salary structures look like. And I'm also assuming that up until this point, you haven't talked about salary, you haven't disclosed your current salary or expected salary, which means that if you use your positioning, well, you've got a strong job offer that reflects the value that they think that you will bring to the company and more importantly, that they're making you an offer that's designed to convince you to join the team.
Josh Doody 26:50
So that's as opposed to you know, what's the minimum that we can offer this person to take the job? They're thinking, this person is the perfect fit for us. We want them to take this job. What do we need to offer them to get ticketed job. And so when your counter offering 10 or 20%. Above that what you're doing is trying to see if there's room to negotiate, how much more would they be willing to pay, because you're already in the ballpark of, hopefully where the top is. So you ask for time to think about it, you decided that you're going to counter 10 to 20% 10 is usually closer to you know, maybe reach out to them, you don't get the sense, they really want to hire you 20 years, you can sense that they really, really want you in particular to do this job, they want to bring you on board, so you have a little bit more leverage you account a little bit higher, I recommend sending that counteroffer in an email. And I'll share a link to a page that describes in detail kind of how to build that email and what should be in that email. I like countering in an email because it gives you a chance to also include sort of your case. So to summarize your positioning that you've been working on through your interviews, to say here's why I'm the ideal candidate.
Josh Doody 27:50
Here's why you should bring me on board. By the way I would be more comfortable with this salary, you deliver that counteroffer, then you're maybe 90% of the way there. So the last tip that I have Is that once you counteroffer, you should not sort of relax and take your foot off the gas, because they will respond to your counteroffer. And when they do, there could be an opportunity to improve the offer even more on the margins. And so they'll say, well, you asked for $1,000, the best we can do is 75,000. And that leaves a window open for you to say, you know, thanks for working with me. I was hoping to get at, can you do 75,000 and a $5,000, signing bonus, or can you do 75,000 and some more stock options or whatever is important to you. So you want to prioritize those things. So make sure that you go into that last conversation where they respond to your counteroffer prepared so that you know what your priorities are and what you'd like to ask for if they do not meet your counteroffer. And then you will have gone through the whole negotiation process made a nice response with a good counteroffer number plan for your final negotiation, and you should come out the other side knowing that you maximize the offer that they made to you.
Laurence Bradford 28:55
Okay, I love that. That's super clear and concise. That all makes sense. And I was going to ask you If you should do it in email or over phone, I've always feel like email is better just because yeah, you can be more clear with your thoughts and summarize everything can be more concise. It's also I think, easier to not check it out, you press the send button. But one thing I want to ask because you said if Okay, so, okay, you send this counteroffer via email, if they say no, then ask me for signing bonus or some other increased stock options or other benefit. Okay, backtrack a little What if you send me a counteroffer? They say yes. Do you? Is there still a window to ask for more? No, don't ask for more again after that. So say you ask for, you know, offered 75. You ask for 80. They say yes. Can you ask again or ask for a signing bonus or stock options at that point or is basically like anything you want to ask has to be that initial point?
Josh Doody 29:51
That's a good question. So I'll tell you it doesn't happen that way. Very often, it would be pretty unusual, but it has happened and actually I was writing earlier today. I was writing a story of Somebody that I coached? Well, I didn't really coach him. And that was kind of the problem. But a friend of mine who he counteroffer, but he didn't counteroffer enough. And they just said, Sure, which immediately feels kind of like a win. But then you say, Well, wait a minute, if they said Yes, right away, maybe I left some money on the table. So I think that it's important to try and make sure that you counteroffer so that you're pushing them up to the top end of their range. And that you counteroffer an amount, where if they do say, yes, that you're going to be okay with that. And so this is sort of, you know, the the double edged sword of negotiating the way that I like to negotiate, which is I like to pick one dimension and negotiate on that dimension. Because the more dimensions that you bring in, then the more the company can choose where they provide value to you and the offer instead of you driving that conversation. So I recommend focusing on for example, base salary and the counter encountering enough that if they say yes, that you'll say, Good, I'm happy with that. If they if they go high enough. In other words, you're naming a number that's big enough that if they didn't say yes, you feel good, you don't feel like oh, but I also wanted a signing bonus.
Josh Doody 31:00
We're also one of more stock options. There are ways that you can sort of hedge there. This is very similar to sometimes people will get kind of caught up in the interview process. And they'll disclose, for example, their salary expectation. So companies like to ask, you know, what do you want to make if we hire you, and I've got tons and tons of stuff that I've written said about this, but I'd recommend that you don't share that information, because they might just give it to you when they could have given you more. But you can sometimes back out of that by by saying, Oh, well, I counteroffer at 80,000 and you accepted that but then you sent me the benefits package and I looked it over. And I realized there are some things here that I are not as robust as I thought they were I thought there was more vacation time or I thought there was an HSA and there's not or I thought that there was a 401k match and there's not so because of that. I also like to ask for this other thing, because the benefits were underwhelming. So there is a way to do that. But it can be tricky because typically the counteroffer in the email is kind of seen as you know, if they accept your counteroffer, that's going to be the end of that negotiation. And so you want to be careful that you're countering in a place where you feel comfortable. They accepted.
Laurence Bradford 32:05
Yeah, that definitely makes a ton of sense. And thanks for elaborating there. We're even starting to run low on time. This went by super quick, but I don't want to not talk about the other important part of negotiation, which is asking for a title trigger change in arrays. So obviously, this is quite different from negotiating initial job offer this is when you've been at a company for X amount of time you have been working there, they know what you're capable of. So could you share some general advice for that?
Josh Doody 32:34
Absolutely. And I can give you the the real quick overview, both of those processes, I consider them separate processes. So asking for a title change, I call that a promotion, asking for a salary increase. I call that a raise. I kind of agonized over this when I was writing fearless salary negotiation, I did not know if it was better to consider them a single thing or two separate things. I decided that they're two separate things that whose processes look very similar and so I can describe Have a single process that will be very similar for either one. And so the first thing you want to do is understand that, as you mentioned, these are different negotiations, when you're starting with a company, that's a negotiation where you're not already part of the team, it's in their best interest to hire you, they want to make sure that they bring you on board, you're both trying to maximize value. Whereas when you're already at the company, it's a little bit different, because you're working there, they already know what your salary is, they know what their budget is. And I think everybody kind of knows that you're less likely to leave a company purely based on salary or job title. And so you just sort of have less leverage there. And so that's more of a collaboration where what you want to do is demonstrate the value that you're already adding in your role. In the case of a promotion, that value is in terms of, you know, what are the responsibilities that you've taken on, that are above and beyond the current job that you have?
Josh Doody 33:50
The easiest way to figure that out is to look at the next job up and your career path. If you're on kind of a straight career path and say, Well, the next job up my career path has, you know, these three primary things you Included in it, that are those responsibilities that are I'm not currently responsible for those things. So once you've identified what those things are, for example, maybe managing a bigger portfolio or mentoring junior developers or whatever those things are, then you want to look for opportunities to actually get experience with those things. And your goal is to be able to go to your manager eventually and say, I would like to get promoted to this position. If there's an opening, that would be great. I know that the responsibilities of the position include these things. Here is where I've already done those things. And here's some recognition that I've gotten for doing those things. Can we talk about what the timeline looks like for me getting promoted to that new job title? The raise process is extremely similar except insert and turn, instead of responsibilities, you're talking about value that you bring to the company. So instead of, you know, maybe tasks that you do, or things like that you're talking about, you know, what are the dollars and cents value that I'm adding, in particular, what's the unanticipated value that I'm adding that wasn't anticipated when we last set my salary, so you have to be careful here. You're not asking to be compensated more for things that were expected when your current salary was set. But instead that you're doing more, you're adding more value you've taken on more responsibility, you're saving the company money, you've reduced cycle time, you're driving more revenue directly or indirectly, whatever those things are. So you want to make sure you set your goal, do some market research, figure out what fair market value is for your skill set and experience as it currently stands. identify the specific things you've done to add value, try to quantify those if possible, it's very powerful.
Josh Doody 35:28
If you can say, this project that I worked on last year, unexpectedly saved us $100,000 in this calendar year. And so I think that I'm a valuable asset to the company, I would like to talk about getting a raise to this other, you know, higher salary, so it helps to be able to quantify that. And then again, you want to talk to your manager. So you want to you know, set a meeting with your manager, speak to them face to face, if possible, or on Skype, and then follow up with an email just like you did when you were negotiating your salary, your current job when you started. And again, you want to outline You know, this is what I'm Asking for, these are the things I've accomplished that demonstrate that I'm ready for the thing that I'm asking for here are some recognition or accolades that I've gotten from colleagues or other managers or clients demonstrating that I'm doing that good work. And then, you know, what kind of timeline Can we talk about for making this happen? And can you give me a sense of how feasible it is? So that's it in a nutshell is first you add the value, then you ask to be recognized for the value that you're adding either with an improved job title or an improved salary.
Laurence Bradford 36:26
Okay, that's helpful, interesting, but two things if like, I could probably ask you questions forever about this, because it's so fascinating, but can't these two things be together? So I think you broke it down promotion is more so the title change and then the raise is like the increase in salary, but couldn't you get a promotion, title change and then a raise at the same time?
Josh Doody 36:47
Absolutely. And a lot of times they do travel together as sort of a pair, one for just sort of, you know, historical, that's how we've always done it kind of reasons and another because a lot of times The job title itself is specifically paired with a salary range that can be paid for people in that job title. And so you'll find that when you get a promotion, you'll sometimes get a raise. And the reason is the company has got a salary structure that dictates that the new job title that you have must be paid at least some salary. And alternatively, sometimes you'll demonstrate value and you'll say I should get a raise, and they'll say we agree you should get a raise. Unfortunately, that moves you out of the pay band for the job title that you're currently in. So you're also going to get promoted. And so a lot of times they do come as a pair because in general, as the more senior the title than the the higher the the pay grade, so sometimes they do come together. And you can ask for both at the same time using essentially the same process that we talked about before.
Laurence Bradford 37:44
Okay, cool. That's what I was thinking the answer would be. The other thing I want to ask about. You mentioned then saying this follow up email right and similar to in an email negotiation with the initial offer, but of course, this is different. When you're already working at the company, do you ask your, your manager your who you're reporting to directly for how much you want, like in a conversation verbally or for that specific title change? Or is that something you also leave for the email? I like how it like I don't know, like how explicit ru I guess in your meeting versus email or email in this situation more of a follow up.
Josh Doody 38:24
You nailed it at the end there, the email is a follow up. So this is a little bit different than you know, the the process we talked through earlier with negotiating salary. So for example, I do think that you should name the thing that you're asking for very explicitly. So I would like to be a senior software developer, I would like to ask for a raise to $100,000. And the reason for that is, first of all, that your manager already knows all the information that you normally might try and conceal from a new company, right? So they already know what you're making your salary. They're the one who you know, directly or indirectly they sign your checks, so to speak. So they already know that stuff. And so what you want to do when you're asking your manager for a raise is understand that Animals are extremely busy people, they've got a lot going on. And one of the last things on their list often is, you know, how much does everybody on my team making and what are their titles and so it's, it's basically a labor saver for them to go to them and say, here's what I want. And so you're doing homework for them and reducing the amount of work they have to do, which is good because you want them on your team.
Josh Doody 39:19
So I definitely recommend you state an explicit job title that you're pursuing and or an explicit explicit salary, because that saves them a lot of effort from having to guess or just kind of float the idea of a raise to finance, which will just increase the time that it takes to do that. And it also opens the window for you to talk to them about that. So maybe you'll say I would like to raise to $100,000. And they'll say, Oh, you know, nobody on the team is making anywhere near that right now. I think that maybe we could look at a raise to about $90,000. How do you feel about that? And now you're having a conversation about budgets and finance and you know what's possible and you know, equity with other people on the team and all those good things. Those are productive parts. To the conversations about getting raises and promotions, so I do think it's better just to give them the information and let them respond to it and then follow up with that email later on.
Laurence Bradford 40:07
Okay, fantastic. Josh, thank you so much. You shared so much valuable information. I know you helped me a lot and gave me a lot to think about. I'm sure the same for listeners. Finally, where can people find you online?
Josh Doody 40:20
The easiest way to find me and interact with me is on Twitter. I'm at Josh Doody, j-o-s-h-d-o-o-d-y on Twitter. I am very active on Twitter every day and I respond very quickly to questions so if you have a question for me, shoot it over to me on Twitter. You can also find you know all things salary negotiation and positioning and all that good stuff at fearlesssalarynegotiation.com, that's my site, my book and my coaching and all that good stuff. And then I also set up a page specifically for learn to code with me listeners at fearless salary negotiation.com slash LTC Wm, where you can get email templates. To ask your boss for a raise. So a nice little packet of five templates that will help you to schedule that meeting, send the right format email and make the right request so that you've got everything you need as you plan to have that conversation next time. It's time.
Laurence Bradford 41:12
Well, awesome. That sounds really helpful. Thank you so much for putting that together. And we'll make sure to include the link to that resource in the show notes. Thank you again, Josh, for coming on.
Josh Doody 41:21
Sure. Thanks for having me, Laurence.
Laurence Bradford 41:28
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- When interviewing for a new job, it’s important that you stand out as THE candidate for the job–not just a “good enough” candidate.
- You shouldn’t be afraid of the question “Why should we hire you?” Make sure you answer without using too many “I” statements. Understand the company’s goals and tell them how you’ll solve their problems.
- Cover letters aren’t as important as they used to be. In fact, most good opportunities will come from your network, and references from other people are a lot more powerful than a cover letter.
- There are two types of negotiation: negotiating a job offer, and negotiating a title and/or raise at your current company. The strategies involved have similarities and differences.
- Negotiating a title change and raise can often go hand-in-hand. Usually, a promotion (title change) comes with a raise.
Links and mentions from the episode:
- Josh on Twitter @JoshDoody
- Fearless Salary Negotiation: A step-by-step guide to getting paid what you’re worth
- Free email templates to ask your boss for a raise
- Fearless Salary Negotiation
- Salary Negotiation: Make More Money, Be More Valued
- How to answer “Why should we hire you?” and other interview questions
- How to negotiate your starting salary with a compelling counter offer email
Thanks for listening!
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If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!
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