Article #19 From the "What If ..." Library on Salary Negotiation

What If ...

I Only Get 'Fair' Compensation 
Let’s forget for a moment Michael Douglas’s now famous speech in Wall Street on why Greed is Good and consider instead the long-term benefits of FAIR. Even though a majority of candidates say (and deep down they know) that monetary compensation ranks below job satisfaction, challenge, and work environment, there is nothing like money talk to set their heart racing and their stomach churning telling them that at a more primordial level, it’s still closer to the top.

Especially where the desired position has great long term career possibilities, you don’t want to be too pushy or off-putting in the interview; or if you are the successful candidate, start off the relationship on a sour note – with you feeling underpaid or them feeling you’re overpaid. If you feel you are being taken advantage of then where are the real long term opportunities here? On the other hand, if they feel you are overpaid, you might be considered expendable and wind up on the short list for lay offs or even replacement during an economic downturn.

Unrealistic compensation awards in the end lead to unrealistic expectations on the part of management, setting you up for early failure and possible termination. To under promise and over deliver, on the other hand, will allow you to knock down a successive string of impressive victories and may lead to a better position and even higher salaries in a company you love to work for.

Much better to follow the lead of successful professionals who place compensation behind:
the long range opportunities in your industry that this position will afford
the job’s content and level of responsibility, i.e. who you’re working with and reporting to
the organization itself, and how proud, or ashamed, you are to announce to the world that you work for them.
the amount of balance, time and meaning for the rest of your life that the position affords
other intangibles like how the organization’s values align with your own

Don’t be swayed by whoever has last bragging rights at the club or association dinners on the huge package they just accepted.  They may well wind up in a pair of golden handcuffs in a dead-end career. Know what’s best for you in the big picture and in the long run.
And if it’s money and only money you’re interested in, remember this sage advice from Psychologist Morrie Schectmann: For maximum earning potential with minimal tax liabilities, there’s nothing like Organized Crime!