Article #15 From the "What If ..." Library on Salary Negotiation

What If ...

I'm Comparing New Pay to Old
The complexity and structure of current compensation packages have made simple apples to apples comparisons of current pay vs. that new offer a thing of the past. One of the reasons for this is the higher you go on the ladder in the corporate world nowadays, the harder it is to put a hard number on what you’re making now.
That can make negotiations on that new offer even trickier. But there are ways that with a little work and a little help, you can put the odds more in your favor and protect against actually losing ground by accepting that new position:
  1. First things first, know what you’re making now: review my article entitled xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, it tells you how to put a dollar value on your current pay elements and, as important, any rules of thumb your new employer might use to assess more complex areas of you current pay pack like stock options. Remember, how can you expect to be sure you’re not losing ground unless you know where you’re at today.
  2. Hire a financial expert to help you negotiate through the maze of complicated stock options, stock grants, short and long-term incentive plans vesting schedules and the like. Not only can they cut to the chase by placing a value on your current package and doing side by side comparisons on current offers, they are up on the latest trends and tax legislation and accounting rules changes regarding executive compensation that may prove invaluable when moving off a sticking point in negotiations. This person can work side by side with your attorney ensuring that the package you sign is the best you can get.
  3. Read my article on Internet resources that can tell you where your current position stacks up with others in your industry:
  4. Compare any like elements between your current pay pack and the offer. Deciding on an offer that includes more intangibles and elements that don’t stack up so neatly with where you are at now is more subjective and requires that you trust your gut.
    In the end, the final decision has to be based on how you feel about the new organization as a whole and your place in it. However, you can only arrive at this point with the power and confidence that comes from knowing you have secured the best compensation package for you.