Career Calling

March 30, 2012

Negotiating with a Salary Range

I often learn from my clients, and one of my teachers has given me a new way to think about how to present a potential employer with a salary range.  My client, we’ll call her Mary, did not really want this job.  When the employer pressed her for a salary requirement, she responded with this range, “Something between $60,000 and $95,000,” which is a huge range.  I normally recommend a $10,000 range. 

What was Mary thinking?  First, she didn’t want to price herself out of the market.  Second, she wanted the employer to know that she thinks she could be worth nearly $100,000.  These numbers are not made up.  Mary is attending a leading MBA program where new grads commonly earn $100K on graduating.  She also did research and learned that the employer commonly hires employees from major consulting companies, which means they must pay decent salaries.  She gave a range that kept her in the game and is know negotiating after receiving an offer.  She probably won’t take the job, but if she does, it will be on her terms.

Do I recommend a $30,000 salary range.  In most cases, I do not.  In this case, it worked because Mary thought through her strategy and options.  That’s the first step in good career management.

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