Salary Negotiation for Software Developers

Josh Doody
InstructorJosh Doody

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Published 3 years ago
Updated 2 years ago

Negotiating job offers can be scary: What do you say? What if they retract their offer? What if you seem greedy?

With a proven process to follow, negotiating your offer doesn't have to be scary. I'll walk you through a straightforward salary negotiation process so you know what to say to get the best possible version of your new compensation package.

[If you're looking for more, check out Josh's conversation with Joel on the egghead podcast] (https://egghead.io/podcasts/negotiating-your-salary-and-advancing-your-career-with-josh-doody).

Mick: [0:00] Josh, you can take over the screen.

Josh Doody: [0:02] Great. Thanks a lot for that talk, Mick. Will, thanks for giving me some time here.

[0:08] I'm going to change gears a little bit. Let me go ahead and I'll share my screen. Give me just a second, here.

[0:16] OK. Here we go.

[0:17] All right, so today I'm going to talk...I love to pair talks the way that we're doing here because I feel like Mick's talk was, for me it was a lot of new information. A lot of really high-level concepts that I'm going to spend probably the next day or so digesting, and breaking down, and understanding them better. Doing some research.

[0:38] What I'm going to talk about I think is much more low-level. It's more on the tactical end of the scale where I'm going to talk about specific things that you could do in a very specific situation. Really, my goal is to try to give you information that you can use in a survey format that will help you to have some tools that are available to you next time you get a job offer.

[1:02] I'm going to walk you through salary negotiation for software developers. It's a high-level overview of some things that you should keep in mind, some tactics that you can use to negotiate those offers to get the best version of that offer possible when you negotiate.

[1:16] Before I start, I'll say, I noticed in the chat that there are people from all over the world here, which is awesome. I know that some of you will be wondering, "Does this apply to me in my country or my city, my part of the world?"

[1:28] The answer is I have most of my experiences in North America, a lot of Europe, and some Asian countries where I've actually coached people through negotiations. These tactics worked there, especially for companies that are US- or European-based.

[1:47] These specific tactics may or may not work in your exact country or city if you're not in one of those areas. I would just encourage you to see if these tactics seem like they would align with the work environments that you're familiar with.

[1:59] If they aren't, then maybe zoom out a level and look at the general philosophy that I'm putting forward here, which is essentially that if somebody makes you a job offer for a certain compensation package, that it's wise to look for opportunities to negotiate that and see if there's a better version of that package that's available.

[2:17] With that, I'll tell you a little bit about myself to get started. I'm Josh Doody, as Will said. You can find me on Twitter @joshdoody. I'm pretty active on there. I mostly respond to people on there, and so I don't tweet a lot of [inaudible] out, but I do respond, and I like to interact on Twitter. I use it more as almost like a public chat room in some ways and a place to do research.

[2:41] I am an engineer by training. I studied computer and electrical engineering at the University of Florida, got dual degrees in engineering. I began my career as an electrical engineer, and then pivoted over to work as a project manager and business analyst for a very small software startup.

[2:59] That software startup happened to be in the HR/talent development/software space, and so I learned a lot about how companies pay people. I consulted with companies on how they compensate people, how they use tools to compensate people.

[3:14] Later, I became a hiring manager, so I actually negotiated job offers from the hiring manager side. I have a lot of experience with salary negotiation, with compensation negotiations, with understanding how companies pay people.

[3:24] I've slowly turned that into my business now, which is where I am a salary negotiation coach for experienced software developers who are going to big tech companies, usually, so typically Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and companies like that.

[3:38] What I'm going to share with you today is my high-level strategy for things that you can do to negotiate your salary next time you get an offer. Again, I'm hoping to give you enough that even if you don't specifically remember everything I say today that you'll have some general concepts that you can apply next time you have a chance.

[3:54] The first thing to know is that negotiations start early, and usually earlier than you might think. Most of the time, you think of a negotiation for salary as beginning when you get that offer. You get an offer and now you have to respond to the offer, and now you're negotiating.

[4:07] The truth is this can often start before you even start interviewing, at the very beginning of the process, where you're talking to a new company as a potential candidate.

[4:16] The question that you might recognize from what's on the screen now is what are your salary expectations? Or sometimes they'll ask you for your current salary. "What do you want if you come work here? We're just trying to get a ballpark of what you want."

[4:29] This is actually the beginning of your negotiation, and this moment can be a big moment in your salary negotiation. Let's take a look at this kind of situation. You'll notice I'm going to spend a few minutes here, because this is so important.

[4:41] This is the place where the biggest mistake that I see made is made, and that is early in the process, when people divulge numbers and they shouldn't.

[4:50] Let's talk through this. The recruiter that you're talking to might say, "Where are you right now in terms of salary? What are you looking for if you make this move?" The answer is, you really don't know.

[5:00] Even if you had maybe a number in mind that you'd like to make, the truth is that they're kind of asking you to guess, "What is it that we might pay you? What do you think we might pay someone with your skill set to do the job that we're hiring for at our company?"

[5:12] The answer is you probably just don't know, and you certainly don't know as much as they do. You don't have access to the kind of information they do.

[5:19] My recommendation here, and I'm pretty dogmatic about this, maybe more than anything else in my business and what I tell people, is that you should not share numbers in this situation. You should avoid sharing numbers here.

[5:29] Let's talk through how you might do that. You might answer this in two parts. The question that I pose is a two part question. Sometimes now, and especially in the US, there are places where they're not allowed to ask you for your current salary, and so they might not ask this, but if they did, then here's the answer that you might give.

[5:46] You might say, "I'm not really comfortable sharing that information. I prefer to focus on the value I can add to this company and not what I'm paid at my current job." You're sidestepping part one of the question.

[5:55] The second part you might answer with, "I want this move to be a big step forward in terms of both compensation and responsibility." So you're signaling a couple of things to them. One, "I don't want to talk about numbers yet." Two, "I want to be valuable to your team. I want to add a lot of value." Three, "I want to be compensated appropriately for that value."

[6:11] What you've done is turn an opportunity to miss the mark, to cost yourself quite a bit of money, and you've sidestepped it so that you still have an opportunity to impress them in the interviews. You haven't divulged any numbers yet. You still have an open, a blank slate that you can use to negotiate your offer when you finally get it.

[6:28] The big takeaway from this first little part here is that the negotiation may start earlier than you expect, and that you should not divulge numbers when you're asked about this sort of thing. You just have to let it go. Try to get by using something like what I mentioned there and move forward.

[6:42] Then, hopefully, you'll actually get a job offer.

[6:45] Now we're going to talk about how to negotiate that job offer. Again, as I said in the beginning, is probably what most people associate with a salary negotiation. It's when you get that offer, and now you're going to respond to the offer. What do you say, and how much do you ask for, and that sort of thing.

[6:57] We're going to walk through some basic principles and a simple example that I think will illustrate these principles pretty well and give you an idea of what you can do next time you get a job offer.

[7:08] The first thing that I want to say here is that you should negotiate. I get a lot of questions from people who read my book or my website about whether or not they should negotiate. The answer that I give is almost always yes. By almost always, I mean 99.99 percent of the time you should negotiate.

[7:24] The reason that you should negotiate is actually pretty simple. That is there might be room to negotiate, but you can't really know that without negotiating. If you just accept the offer, there might have been room to negotiate, and you would never know.

[7:36] If you negotiate, and they say yes, here's some more compensation of some kind, then you negotiated successfully. If you negotiate and they say no, there's no more compensation available, that's not really the result you want but now you know that there was not room to negotiate.

[7:50] The only way that you can really know is there room to negotiate, how much room is there to negotiate, is to actually negotiate. You don't want to begin your job and then look back and think, "Man, I left some money on the table. I could have done better than that."

[8:01] You can avoid that heartache later on if you negotiate now and figure out what's your value to this firm right now, before you actually begin working there, which is your best, highest leverage opportunity to maximize your compensation before you start working there.

[8:15] Now that you've decided to negotiate, what do you do? The first thing that I think you should do is you should figure out what I call your minimum acceptable salary, or sometimes I call it your walk-away number.

[8:27] Before you ever see the offer, the first thing that I think you should do is think about, "What is the minimum that they need to offer me? That they need to compensate me to convince me to take this job?"

[8:37] I think this is important because what it does is, once you have this number in mind, and this could be just a base salary number, or in some cases, it could be a total comp number. A lot of tech companies offer equity and sign-on bonuses. Then you might want to look at total comp.

[8:50] Either way, figure out what your number is based on something that means something to you, and then write that number down. The reason that you want this number is that it will give you a win either way.

[9:00] Either they will make you an offer and you will negotiate that offer, and it will meet or exceed the minimum that you need to take that job and be comfortable doing that job, or they'll make an offer, you'll try to negotiate it.

[9:09] They won't be able to get up to your minimum, and you can walk away from the opportunity knowing that it isn't a good fit for you, knowing that they could not afford to hire you at the level that you needed to be compensated to do this job and to be comfortable doing this job.

[9:22] You've won either way. Either you've avoided taking a job where they can't pay you appropriately, or you've gotten a job where you're making at least the minimum, and hopefully more, that you need to do that job.

[9:33] Let's talk a little bit about how you could do this. Your minimum acceptable salary, some reference points that you could use, for example, to figure out what this number is. What is that number for you?

[9:41] You might want to start with some salary reference points. This could be things like Paysa.com, or Information UC on Teamblind or Levels.FYI, or Glassdoor.com. There's a lot of websites where you can go get salary information to get you a baseline of what people are making doing this job in the field that you're looking at, hopefully in the geography that you're looking at.

[10:02] That's your number one baseline.

[10:04] You also want to account for pending raises and bonuses that you might have at your current job. A lot of times, if you're moving from one company to another, you might be leaving some an unvested stock rent behind, or maybe you have a performance bonus that's going to be paid out in three months if you stick around.

[10:20] You want to make sure you compensate for those things and make sure that you're comfortable leaving those things on the table in exchange for whatever you're going to be compensated at your new role.

[10:28] You want to account for the cost of living in the new place that you're going if you're moving. If you're in one part of the country moving to another part of the country, is it more or less expensive to live there? How's that going to impact your quality of life? Do you need to be compensated more or possibly even less if you move to a different cost of living area?

[10:44] You might want to consider other opportunities that you have. An interesting thing about the minimum acceptable salary concept is that you might have a different number for different companies based on the number of opportunities that are available, where they're located, what the opportunity looks like personally for you.

[10:59] You also want to account for risk. A lot of times, if you go to an early-stage startup, there's quite a bit of career risk there and compensation risk that you might be taking. You might want to be compensated for that.

[11:09] On the other side, it might be a more stable job. A big tech company where you know if I get a job at this company, I'm just going to work there indefinitely probably. They rarely lay people off in the part that I'm going to, so it's a low risk.

[11:20] The amount of risk that you're taking by going to the particular company you're looking at could impact how much money you would be comfortable making to go do that job for that company.

[11:28] The last thing is just your overall feel for the role. There are some jobs that you'll look at the job description, you talked to the hiring manager, maybe the director, some peers, and you'll think, "This is the job for me. I really want to work with this team at this company doing this project."

[11:41] You might actually accept a little bit less compensation to do that job because you're so excited about the actual opportunity itself. On the other hand, you might be a little bit more skeptical of the opportunity. It may not be as big a deal to you. It may not be as interesting to you.

[11:53] Maybe the hiring manager doesn't seem like a great fit for you, so you might want to be compensated a little bit more to compensate yourself that level of overall feel in the lack of things that they might not be able to offer you in terms of perks or fit and other things like that.

[12:09] Ultimately, you want to use those factors and anything else that comes to mind to figure out what your minimum acceptable salary is, write it down, and make sure that you keep it handy so that once you get the offer and you negotiate the offer, you can use that as a metric to figure out is this good enough for me?

[12:24] Once you get the offer, what do you do? My general rule of thumb is that you should counter-offer somewhere between 10 and 20 percent above the offer they made you. A really simple example would be if they offered you $50,000 base salary and you're going to counter, your counter should be somewhere between 55 and 60 thousand dollars, which is 10 to 20 percent above it.

[12:43] Generally, the way that I look at this is there are two kind of metrics, but the really big one is from your perspective, if you think about the way that they view you as a candidate for this role, that you're now going to negotiate, how badly do they need you to do this role?

[12:58] By need you, I mean specifically you but also people like you. How badly do the need an engineer in this particular role? This entry-level role, this mid-level role at this company at this time. Have you gotten the sense from the hiring manager and other people you talk to that they desperately want to hire specifically you to do specifically this job?

[13:15] If that's true, then you might be closer to 20 percent. They really want to fit you in, then you might be more valuable to them as a specific resource on their team. Whereas if you don't feel like they're particularly energized about bringing you on specifically to do this specific job, you might need to be a little bit more cautious.

[13:30] It might be that you can sense that they're ready to hire you, but they're not totally sold on the value that you're going to bring. They've said things like we're going to have to figure out how to leverage your skills the most. We're not sure how well you're going to do on this team. We're not sure exactly where we're going to slot you in yet, and things like that.

[13:45] That should make you a little bit more cautious, which means you might counter at the lower end, which is 10 percent. In general, think about counter-offering. Counter-offer 10 to 20 percent above the offer.

[13:54] Whenever you can, the last thing I'll say about counteroffers is I recommend countering in an email if you can.

[14:00] If you can move out of face-to-ace or phone call conversation with a recruiter and into email at least to deliver your counteroffer, I think that gives you an opportunity to not only deliver the counteroffer, but to deliver your case in your words along with the counteroffer in it in a well-crafted email.

[14:14] It helps you to avoid just a little bit longer that uncomfortable negotiation where you're talking to a recruiter, who's essentially a professional salary negotiator, real time trying to negotiate an offer. That can be very stressful. It's even stressful for me. It's stressful for my clients, even though I coach them extensively on how to handle this particular interaction.

[14:31] If you can keep it in email early on, that's better. Counter 10 to 20 percent. Closer to 20 if you feel like they really want to bring specifically you into this role. Closer to 10 if you need to be a little more conservative. Try to use an email to send that counteroffer if you can.

[14:45] Once you have sent your counteroffer, 10 to 20 percent above the offer they made, now you're going to define your negotiating window. Before we look at this, early on I said don't share any numbers. Wait for them to make you an offer.

[14:57] Now I'm saying they've made you an offer and you've counter-offered. You've gone from an infinite world of what they might actually offer you. You don't really know what that number is going to look like. You have a good idea probably if you've done some research, but you may not know specifically what they're going to offer you.

[15:10] You've gone from that to they've made you a specific offer and you've made a specific counteroffer. You've created what I call your negotiating window, your negotiation window. That could look something like this. They made an initial offer. I said $50,000 earlier, so we'll use that as an example here. Then you counter-offered up here at say $56,000, so 12 percent above their offer.

[15:29] Now your window has gone from everything is possible to a nice, small window of 50 to 56 thousand dollars. It's a $6,000 range. Your job is to figure out how high you can get in this range and to use tactics that will guide you there. You've gone from a really wide range to a narrow range.

[15:47] Now is the time that you can plan a more specific second phase of your negotiation. You've counter-offered. That's the first phase. That's the big swing. We're going to try and see how much we can move this offer.

[15:57] Now you're going to think, OK, how will they respond to my counteroffer? I've said $56,000. What am I going to do if they come back at $55,000, or $52,000, or they don't move at all? What will I do? How will I respond?

[16:08] That's going to be based on your minimum acceptable salary plus a little bit of art and science to creating tiers here that we're going to look through, that I call increments that you can negotiate. You've narrowed the window. You've got your window 50 to 56.

[16:22] Now before you finalize the negotiation, which will usually happen on a phone call, you want to plan for each of those increments. Let's walk through this. I said 50 to 56 is our new window. You can see that I'm starting at top here.

[16:35] Since we countered at $56,000, I'm saying if they come up to 55 or 56, which means they either came really close to or they actually met your ask, then you can just say, "You know what? That's good enough for me. When do I start?"

[16:47] Hopefully, you ask for enough that you'll be comfortable with a yes. That's part of the minimum acceptable salary. What you're doing here is you're being a good negotiating partner saying if they come really close to what I ask for, even if they don't hit the nail on the head, I'm going to be OK with that. I asked for quite a bit more. They gave it to me and I'm good.

[17:03] Below that, you see this next line is they came up to 53 or 54,000. You might say, "They've come up 3 or 4,000 on base, I wonder if I can get just another $1,000 a year? That would be great. It's another 100 bucks a month basically that can really help with some small expenses or help me pay for gas on my commute or something like that.

[17:20] You say, "Well, you came up to $53,500. Can you come up to $55,000? If you can do that, I'm on board." You'll notice the "on board" line there. Looks like a throwaway, but really what you're signaling to them is if you can do this for me, the negotiation will end. I'm giving you an opportunity to end the negotiation by giving me this thing that I'm asking for.

[17:37] My rule of thumb with this script is you are left or right. The first thing you'll do is you'll figure out what row you're on. Earlier I said they come back at 55, you'll say yes. If they come back at 53 or 53.5 or 54, then you're on that row. You can ignore the other rows that you'll see on the script.

[17:53] You'd say, "Well, if you can come up to 55, I'm on board." They say yes, then you're done. You stop. If they say no or they give you a partial yes, which means they give you part of what you asked for but not all of it, you move to the next thing to the right on the script.

[18:04] The next thing on this script would be equity. Maybe they offered you some equity as well. I'm not going to go into detail here on numbers, just for the sake of time, but let's say that they didn't come up to 55.

[18:14] You say, "I understand that you're not that flexible on salary anymore. Thanks for working with me. You offered me this much equity. I wonder if you could come up to this amount of equity. If you can do that, I would be comfortable with this and I would be on board."

[18:25] If they say yes, you're done. If they say no or give you a partial yes, they've moved a little bit but not all the way, then you move on to the last thing, which is often a sign-up bonus for jobs in tech.

[18:34] You might say, "Thanks for working with me on the salary. I appreciate it. I know that you're stuck there. I appreciate the equity that you've offered. I know that you can't be any more flexible there. I wonder if you could include a $10,000 sign up bonus to help me cover some first-year expenses. If you can do that, then I'm on board."

[18:49] That's the strategy here as you go. Pick a row, and then move left to right across the row until you get a yes or you run out of things to ask for. Then you're done. You've got the best version of the offer when you get through that process, you know what it looks like, and now you can consider whether you're actually going to accept it.

[19:04] To complete this example, you can see in the middle, we have another middle row where they've moved on salary a little bit, but they didn't come up all the way to our 56,000 counteroffer. You do the same thing with maybe a different number, sometimes depending on the range that you're looking at.

[19:17] Again, they came up a little on salary, you asked for a little more salary, you moved left to right. If you get a yes, you stop, a no or a partial yes, and you continue until you run out of things.

[19:27] Then at the bottom here is our worst-case scenario. They offered 50, we countered at 56,000, and they only came up either not at all 50, maybe they came up to 51, or a very little bit.

[19:40] What that tells you is they're not very flexible on salary, but in this case, I'd say that our minimum was 52,000. The minimum acceptable salary for this hypothetical is 52,000, so this person would have a decision to make.

[19:51] Usually, if you wrote down that number, "It's 52,000, I'm not going to accept the job for less than 52," this is when you would use that number.

[19:57] You would tell them, "Thanks for working with me, I appreciate you coming up to 51. I did the math, and I really can't accept this job for less than 52,000. If you can come up to 52, I'm on board. If you can't, then I really need to think about this some more."

[20:08] You're using that minimum to make sure you get to the minimum. A lot of times for the type of folks that are watching this today, you'll be at higher ranges than 50 to 51 or 52, but the same concept applies, which is regardless of where they come to, if they don't hit that minimum that you decided objectively before you began negotiating, then you know that you need to keep pushing.

[20:28] That's how you get through the negotiation, and you would have the best version of the offer that's available. You started by not giving them any numbers, they made an offer, you counter-offer 10 to 20 percent above what they offered based on how badly you think they need you in this particular role.

[20:43] Then you plan for [inaudible] between their offer and your counteroffer so that you had a solid script to follow, so you can maximize not only the salary but also the equity and the sign-up bonus in this case, if you had the opportunity to do that. If they kept leaving the door open by giving you noes or partial yeses.

[20:59] The last thing that I want to talk about is equity. I've alluded to that a couple times. My general rule of thumb for equity -- and of course, there are lots, and lots, and lots of articles and words written about this online -- is as follows.

[21:11] If you can put a real dollar valuation on the equity, which basically means if it's a public company with equity, that they're offering RSUs like Amazon, or Google, or another big company, you can go to Yahoo Finance and see what the current value of the equity they offered you is.

[21:25] Then I think that it's OK to incorporate that into your primary negotiation and treat it almost like cash. It's not cash, but it's a way for them to compensate you significantly in non-cash ways that can be really valuable to you.

[21:39] I usually say, "We're going to incorporate that. We're going to figure out what the best version of this offer is including equity and even maximize equity, if that's something that's important to you," I'm talking to a client.

[21:48] On the other hand, if the equity is not something you can value with real dollars, if it's really early-stage startup, they're offering you 10,000 common stock shares in their company and they value them at $1 a share or something, I usually weight that significantly less. You can't put a real value on that.

[22:04] It's more of a lottery ticket or monopoly money. It might pay off really big. It could also have a negative value to you or zero value to you in the long run.

[22:12] I usually tend to set that aside. I see that as a bonus, as an extra thing that you might negotiate, and I focus on more of the cash-like base salary and possibly the sign-up bonus. That's my rule of thumb for equity, just in case you had questions on that.

[22:25] If it's publicly available information, you can put a real money value on it, you know how you exercise those options, then you might incorporate that in your negotiation.

[22:33] If it's not something that you can put a real value on, you're trusting their valuation in a spreadsheet with low, medium, and high numbers, for example, I usually put less weight on that and focus more on things that are closer to cash.

[22:45] That's how to negotiate job offers for software developers. Will, I'm open to taking questions if you have any. I appreciate everybody's time. Thank you for listening as I buzzed through this. I hope you have some things that you can use for future negotiations next time you get a job offer.

Will: [23:05] Thank you for that, Josh. I appreciate it. I'm not in that state yet but I got a lot of things to think about if I get to that state. I especially liked the part where you mentioned out not giving the answer when they asked for that more focus on the value. I think that's a good response besides just "no." [laughs]

Josh: [23:24] Yeah, it's tough. I tell a lot of people that I talk to and that I work with that that part that you just mentioned, Will, is often more stressful than actually negotiating the offer.

[23:33] Because at least when they've made an offer you know you've got some offer to work with and you can negotiate and feel pretty good. But when you tell them, "No, I'm not going to give you an information that you asked for," that could be really scary because what if they decide they don't want to move forward with you or they don't make an offer?

[23:47] That could be the most stressful part of the entire negotiation. It happens right at the beginning, in that first call of the recruiter [inaudible] .

Will: [23:54] All right, thank you. One question is from Svetlana. Apologize if I'm saying that wrong. They said, "What are the most accurate sources for salary and total compensation data in the local market or a company?"

Josh: [24:11] It's going to depend on the industry. I like paysa.com quite a bit. I'll drop it in here. That does a good job of letting you find salaries that are in geography by job title. It does a lot of different companies that are tech jobs. I think that's a good place.

[24:34] Glassdoor.com is also really good. I've written a lot of articles at Glassdoor. It's a good site and they have a lot broader data set and a lot more data. They also do a geographic breakdown. Those are two really good sites that can be a good starting point.

[24:50] These are all kind of guesses that you'll get, and it depends on industry and all that stuff but those are a good place to start.

Will: [24:57] All right, thank you. A question I have from Christian, say, "How do I negotiate a promotion? I received the promotion offer. I want to accept it, but I would like to know how do I negotiate a better offer?"

Josh: [25:10] That's a good question. It's totally different than negotiating a new job offer. Typically, what I would say, just to give you something really quick that you can use, is when you're negotiating a promotion, if you want to try to get a raise for that promotion, they often will not travel in pairs.

[25:27] Sometimes you'll have a raise and a promotion or there'll be together. What I would do is actually different than what I said for negotiating new offers. That is figure out what you think the value of your work will be in that role or the work that you're already doing.

[25:40] I would specifically say, "I appreciate this promotion opportunity. I'd also like to talk about compensation." You're opening the door for your manager there.

"[25:48] I think that based on the research that I've done and the value that I bring, I'd be more comfortable at this salary," and tell them specifically what salary you'd like to get that raised to with your promotion. Then back it up with some information about how maybe you're already doing this job.

[26:01] You've been doing this job for a while, you just want to be compensated with the title and the pay for that particular role, and demonstrate through some accomplishments that you have. "These are the things that I'm doing that already demonstrate that I can do this job, that I'm doing that are valuable that I'm not necessarily being compensated for right now."

[26:17] That's the general approach that I take to that. We'll also share a link with you where they can read more on my site, fearlesssalarynegotiation.com, about how to navigate that process. That's the best I can do in 30 seconds.

Will: [26:34] Cool. Thank you. We have question from Julius. He says, "What if they don't give the initial offer and push you to say the number first?"

Josh: [26:43] This is really tricky. Most of the time, what I've found is that's a bluff. I've seen this from companies, big and small.

[26:51] Usually, if you hold your ground and you say, "I really don't know," which is an honest answer, by the way, as I mentioned earlier, what they're saying is, "Why don't you take a wild guess what we compensate people with your resume in this role at our company right now?"

[27:04] Just take a guess, which is not wise for you to do. If you say, "I really don't know. I don't have any idea. I'm interested in the role. I want to add value." If you say that enough times, and I shared a link earlier with Will that has a ton of information on how to avoid this question, usually they'll give up and they'll give you an offer. So mostly it's a bluff.

[27:24] If you get to a point where they're literally saying, "I will not make you an offer unless you say a number," then I guess you have to decide if you believe they're bluffing or not. If you think they're not bluffing and they are clearly just going to not move, then I think that you might have to just guess, and I would say, guess high but not too high.

[27:40] That's where you can do that salary research and try and figure out what you might be able to command for that role. But again, 98 percent of the time, that's a bluff, and if you stand your ground, they're eventually just going to say, "OK, we tried."

Will: [27:55] Sounds good. Thank you so much, Josh. I want to thank Mick as well for speaking for our third Egghead Talk. He was our first doubleheader. I think it went through pretty smoothly. Definitely thank everyone for their questions and being involved.

[28:09] I'll just say if you want to follow Josh, I've posted his Twitter link. I've also posted Mick's so you can follow them, ask them any follow-up questions. If you do discuss it on Twitter, make sure you use the hashtag #eggheadTalks.

[28:24] I appreciate everyone for coming. I had a great time. I learned a lot today. I look forward to seeing what everyone else learned.

[28:31] We do have another one scheduled for May. It's not fully locked in yet, but we do have no one scheduled for May. Keep an eye on your emails for that. I thank everybody, and everyone, have a great day.

Josh: [28:43] Thanks for having me, y'all. Have a good one.