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September 2010
Negotiating the Best Possible Compensation
by Susan Reynolds

Despite the difficult economy, I’ve worked with a number of people who have recently negotiated excellent compensation packages for new positions.  What have been the keys to their career success strategies?

First of all, let’s hone in a key word:  strategy.  These successes were no accidents.  They transpired after significant, thoughtful planning.  They then executed their strategy with discipline and diligence.  Every single person suffered a certain number of frustrations and disappointments along the way.  They did not, however, deviate from the execution of their strategy.  While they made adjustments, to their resumes, to their networking scripts, to their interviewing modes, they did not careen wildly around the business world.  They stuck to a disciplined plan.

So they were then able to entertain a series of leads which varied from extremely exciting to some which would have been lateral career moves.  Each opportunity had strengths and “warts”.  Each had trade offs to weigh, especially as it relates to long term career growth, money, and life balance.

These professionals made sure that they had received offers in writing.  They conversed with their prospective companies to gather perspectives and opinions of the culture of the various organizations.  They researched external information, even talking to prior employees.  They made sure they were informed of the ranges of competitive salaries.

Each then was able to enter into negotiations with their prospects, not with threats, but with thoughtful, professional discussion.  While only time and tides will tell if each has indeed accepted what we hope will turn out to be excellent career positions, they are certainly being welcomed into new positions as top notch new talent.  Yes the economy is difficult, but not impossible.  It all comes down to strategy!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Job Search Grief

Cover Letter Strategies: What Can You Accomplish?

Negotiating Compensation in this Adverse Economy

Job Search Follow-Up: Pest or Persistent?


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