Tips From Top Negotiators to Get You WTF You Deserve

Chances are, you’ve always been a boss bitch who knows what she wants and how to get it. And if you’re not, you’d like to be.

While some people are easier to negotiate with then others, like your boyfriend who can be bribed with pizza and BJs, some people are tougher to negotiate with, like your boss.

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We got tips from Jack Simony, Chairman of The Negotiation Institute, and Tanna Bogursky so that the HBIC in you can go on and get yours.

1. Lean the F in and ask, there’s no harm

We know it’s really nerve-wracking to schedule a private meeting with your manager, or shift from a joking convo to a serious one, but what’s the worst that could happen?

The worst thing that could happen is that you get denied. Yep, that’s it. And if you never ask, you’re still going to be here feeling shitty, complaining, and low-key hating the situation. But you can’t hate the situation if you never even bother trying to change it.

“Essentially, if you don’t ask for it nobody will,” says Simony. “Whether it is for a higher salary, more vacation days, or a better assignment, negotiate for your yourself. You want something, then ask for it!”

2. Be realistic, but not too realistic

If you’ve ever haggled with the shopkeeper at the flea market before, you know that it’s better to aim as low as possible first. So naturally, you’d assume that when negotiating for a bigger salary, you’d want to go as high as possible, right? Well, not exactly.

“Have high expectations, but not so high that your request is out of the realm of possibilities,” says Simony.

If you ask for something completely out of the ballpark, you’re going to look like you didn’t do your research, or that you’re trying to take advantage of the situation. Definitely aim high so that there’s room to negotiate on whatever you’re asking for, but don’t get crazy.

If salary is your game, research LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and sites like the O-net to see what the average person in your position and location makes. If you notice that you’re getting paid way less than everybody else (according to the sites, anyways), then you have even more leverage when negotiating.

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3. Don’t expect a freebie

When you’re asking anyone for anything, they’re going to know what’s in it for them. In a perfect world, everyone would want to help you out of the goodness of your heart, but that’s not really how it works.

“Know what the job requires,” says Simony. “Asking for more also means more work, make sure you prepare for your new responsibilities.”

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But it’s not just for jobs. When you ask your professor for extra credit, you need to offer to do the work to earn it. When you ask a previous co-worker for some networking help, you want to at least offer buying them coffee or lunch. It’s a lot easier to make people want to be on your team if you aren’t asking for a freebie.

4. Don’t be a tyrant

“We all enter into negotiations trying to get exactly what we want,” says Simony. “However, it is important to remember that the other person or group has the same mindset.”

Hate to break it to you, but not everybody truly wants what’s best for you. Your asshole boss might want to give you as little money as possible so that he can put more money into his business. Your boyfriend might not want you to move to Singapore and teach English to “find yourself” because he’ll miss you too much.

Before you jump into a negotiation with someone, consider what they would like the outcome to be. If you approach the situation as if you’re on the same team rather than in an arguing manner, you’re way more likely to get what you want while not seeming like an asshole.

Try explaining to your boss that you feel like you’d be able to do better work if you had enough money to not worry about if you could make rent this week. Tell your boyfriend that you feel trapped and you’re worried it’s going to take a toll on your relationship if you don’t explore the world on your own. Don’t make shit up, but try to find a way that whoever your negotiating with wants to be on your side.

5. Remember that this isn’t your first time

If you’ve never negotiated your salary before, it seems super intimidating. Money is always an awkward topic, and most of us aren’t buddy-buddy with our bosses anyways. But when you think about it, you’ve been negotiating all your life.

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“As a kid you bargained with your parents to let you eat an extra piece of cake or stay up an hour later,” says Simony. “In college you negotiated with your roommates about living space rules.”

Sure, things may have seemed a lot more low-key in a weed-scented dorm room than in a 5th avenue boardroom, but the skills are the same. Besides, practice makes perfect.

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