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From The Archive

39. How to decide how much you want.
It's important to know how much money you're worth when considering a particular job. But, it's also important to know how much you want. This is a very personal decision.

Few things are more painful than accepting an offer only to realize that you were wrong about what you really wanted. I have a simple method to help a job candidate understand what he wants with regard to pay.

Consider the specific job at hand and ask yourself three questions, so that you'll have three ascending figures to work with:

  1. What is the least amount of money I would accept to take this job?
  2. What kind of an offer would put a smile on my face and make me happy to take the job?
  3. How much money would make me jump up and down with glee, and make me want to start work tomorrow? (Caution: this last figure must be reasonable.)

Don't take the job unless you can negotiate the offer to somewhere between (2) and (3). If an offer isn't going to at least make you happy, it's not worth accepting. If it doesn't come close to making you jump with glee, the job probably won't, either.


For more about jobs and money, see That's why they call it compensation. For a reminder about what really matters, see You'll be dead soon.

For the Fearless Job Hunting approach to this topic, see Fearless Job Hunting, Book 9: Be The Master of Job Offers, which includes these sections:

  • The company rescinded the offer!
  • Non-Compete: Did I really agree to that?
  • Am I unwise to accept their first offer?
  • Can I use salary surveys to goose up the offer?
  • The bird-in-the-hand rule of job offers
  • Juggling job offers
  • Give us the pay stub
  • Vacation Time: What's good for the goose
  • How do I decide between two offers?
  • How to decline an offer
  • Does a counter-offer include pay-back?
  • Am I stuck with this non-compete agreement?
  • How do I ensure the job offer matches the job?
  • How to avoid a "bait and switch" job offer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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