Congratulations, you got an offer letter from a prestigious company! If you’re like I used to be, you think a job is a clever subterfuge where you get to browse Instagram and ESPN for 70% of the day, spending the remaining 30% showing up to meetings or writing emails while some chump pays you a reasonable amount of money. Wrong, and this time you’re the chump! You could be doing all that and earn a totally unreasonable amount of money!

Here are a few great negotiating strategies I’ve learned over the years to get an unspeakably high salary in exchange for the same basic agreement you’ll usually show up somewhere.

  • “How about more money?” Always start here. Then “How about even more money?” Continue in an infinite loop until this strategy is exhausted and only then move on.
  • “How about more equity?” This makes you sound committed for the long haul! Note: If they offer you this, do some math (j/k, find some other jerk to do it) and convert it to money. You want more money. Equity is for chumps who have to stick around when they could be earning more money elsewhere.
  • “Great! For that amount, which two days a week should I show up? Or alternatively you can pay me 2.5x that amount and I’ll show up on all five days.” Don’t panic when using this seemingly crazy strategy — you are only going to show up max four days anyway.
  • “Is that just the value of the included health membership? What’s the base salary?” Jokes aside, there better be a fat health membership included.
  • “At my old job I had one personal assistant, so I’m going to need at least two to make this a compelling offer.” They’ll never know that it was in fact YOU that was employed as a glorified personal assistant. (Words from the wise: don’t specify the desired race or gender of the personal assistant until you’ve closed)
  • “Can I get a relocation bonus?” Fair enough. Who the heck knows where you live anyway? Be honest though and use this to relocate something, e.g. your family to a resort for a vacation.
  • “I remember a guy we used to pay too little. He was pretty grumpy. How do you guys feel about a constant barrage of obscene expletives and casual racism?” Bonus: now that you’ve primed them, you can let loose with this no matter what the outcome of the negotiation.
  • “I can’t leave until three months from now, because I’m getting a fat bonus. What’s your bonus situation?” No matter what they say after this, scrunch up your face like you just smelled something terrible. Lean slightly closer to them. Sniff. It’s them. They smell bad.

In all seriousness… never accept a first offer. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job and you think you have no leverage. No more money? No more equity? Well how about a delayed three month start date? ‘Coz you’re going to Hawai’i, baby! Our study showed that 90% of people leave at least 5% on the table*.

*Not a real study, but it sounds plausible, right? That’s why we didn’t waste anyone’s time with a study. Because it is roughly true. Consider this a tip!

Credits: Two amazingly handsome and also anonymous friends