Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

PhDs Should Negotiate Their Salary To Get Paid What They Are Worth And Be Respected By Industry Professionals

Join Isaiah And Don Asher As They Discuss The Negotiation Plan You Should Follow When Transitioning Out Of Academia

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah interviews PhDs who have successfully used Don’s strategies for salary negotiation.
  • Next, Isaiah and Don discuss why it is so important for PhDs to negotiate their industry salary, no matter the industry or position.
  • Finally, Isaiah and Don go over some negotiation scripts you can use to show you are a professional deal maker.

From This Week’s Show…

Advice From Fellow PhDs

What would you say are some of the most helpful strategies you’ve learned from Don? If you could look back to the gaps you had in your knowledge in terms of negotiation in every aspect of business, every aspect of your job search, and then how has Don helped you close those gaps?

To me, it was never seeing yourself at a cap. Never think “I’m only worth 90” or “I’m only worth 70.” The sky’s the limit. You should see yourself as a resource that has no limit, you keep your value and you let them know. You have an open ended question to ask why you’re not able to make this much to have this many vacation days, never have a bottom line.

And I think your point is extremely important and something we’ll touch on today in terms of knowing that everything is negotiable and opening your eyes to how much you’re leaving on the table, whether it’s negotiating salary, but also stock options, retirement, relocation, signing, bonuses, all these different things that we’ve been led to believe don’t apply to us, but they absolutely do.

Why You Should Always Negotiate

I knew nothing when I was getting ready for my first industry job and looking back, I missed out on easily tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars because of simple gaps in my knowledge. 

I used to hear people telling me: “You can lose a million dollars from not negotiating,” but when I was getting a stipend of like $1500 a month, I was like, “what does that even mean to me?” But when you see it add up like this from your first job onwards, you realize that just a real small increase –  a few thousand dollars extra starting salary –  and doing it fairly consistently every third year can really add up. 

And it’s not just money that you lose by not negotiating. When you don’t negotiate, your employer assumes that they overestimated your skillset. So, they’ll offer you less challenging assignments. They’ll pick someone else for the big offer. 

There’s an opportunity cost that is invisible. The total irony of it is even if they don’t increase your salary, they respect you more and esteem your skills higher. And this is proven, it’s not my opinion.

When Is The Right Time to Start Negotiations

Employers may try to initiate a variety of salary tests prior to making an offer to you, but you shouldn’t negotiate at all prior to getting an actual offer. And the reason is because you don’t have any power yet. 

During the interview rounds, the employer has all the power. They can choose you out of the applicant tracking system. They have the power just to stop talking to you at any given moment. 

But when you get a formal offer, there’s a magic transfer of power. At that point and until the candidate says yes or no, they possess the power. Once the candidate says yes or no, accepts or declines the offer. The power goes right back to the boss. That’s why you only negotiate after you have an offer. 

A lot of the training is actually not about negotiations. It’s about managing the relationship successfully to get to that point when you get that offer. So, I hope that people see this as a big picture, not just as different techniques that you might read in a how to buy a car book. This is about how to negotiate relationships and bring that relationship to that offering point. And then also negotiate that big money.

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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