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Anastasia had a year left on her contract with a San Francisco-based tech company when her manager asked if she would consider a salaried job. Three years earlier, after having her f irst child, she became a contractor because she wanted part-time work and a f lexible schedule. But she was ready for more and told her boss she would be interested, depending on the offer.
Her job description wouldn’t change – she would just change to full-time. She felt she was in a good negotiating position because she had already proven herself and was well liked by her group and the leadership team. But she still anticipated a low offer.
“I knew that my salary would go down because I would be getting other benefits like vacation and healthcare,” she says. But the salary that Karen, the company’s chief operating off icer, provided was much lower than expected, and Anastasia was disappointed. Karen explained that her last full-time position involved managing a team, and this was more of an individual contributor role. Anastasia asked for time to think about it.
She then sought the advice of the company’s chief information officer, Ted. “I hadn’t worked with him directly, but he had a reputation for being a good, upstanding guy. He was a st ra i ght shooter, and I knew he respected me,” she says.
He told her that f irst she needed to take the emotion out of it and focus on what the company needs. He advised her to stay away from “I” statements so she wouldn’t come off as demanding. He also gave her the inside scoop that they really wanted her for the position, and Karen would likely work with her if she had reasonable requests.
Anastasia took this information to heart and came up with a number that she felt she could l i ve with. It was $10 000 more than the initial offer. She proposed this number to Karen and explained t hat while t he j ob didn’t include managing others, she was adding more value now than she had before.
There were also parts of the offer that
didn’t matter to her. For example, she was already receiving healthcare benef its through her husband. She made it clear to Karen that these were not perks. Karen agreed to take these under consideration and get back to her.
Within two days, Anastasia’s boss told her that her counter-offer was accepted.
While the f inal number was lower than what she’d initially wanted, it was a number she felt comfortable with. “I was willing to make some compromises for job security. I knew they could terminate my contract at any time,” she says.