Startup salary discussion/negotiation

negotiation salary startup
New answer on Jan 10, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 08, 2020

Hi,

I am working at a well funded fast-growing startup. It's been about 8 months into the job. I wanted to ask how I should bring up the topic about salary and career growth within the firm. There was no communication about this with me when I had first signed the contract but I need to know what salary hike the firm plans to give and how that would vary on performance. How should I bring up this topic and go about discussing it with my manager?

Note: My base pay is much lower than what I expect to receive. I want to bring up my major discontentment with my salary (there is a valid reason for this as graduates with the same degree as I are getting multiple times of what I am making).

Any advice on how I should bring up and steer this conversation will be highly appreciated.

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 08, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I have bad news for you - startups won't really increase your salary. There might be a small (3-7%) increase YoY. There might be a bonus and performance management program (But I believe you would already know if it was in place).

Anyway, the good steps here can be the following:

  • Wait until you get a year in tenure (8 months is not enough to start those discussions).
  • Make sure you understand the official promotion system (Makes sense to discuss with your boss)
  • Grow with the company by taking more and more to your plate

Several rules can help you grow:

  • Be proactive and come up with ideas yourself
  • Find the main Company's revenue driver and try to move towards that function (Some companies are engineer and product -driven (google), others are driven by supply (Airbnb), or Sales (Fast-growing Saas businesses)
  • Be close to the "resource center of the company". In most of the tech companies, it's data. If you own some data and analytics required by many departments - this gives you immediate visibility

Best!

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Clara
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replied on Jan 10, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

With what you are saying in your post, they are taking advantage of you in that company. Hence, I would:

  1. Try to negotiate it with your boss, with the same arguments you mentioned. It´s totally legitimate and it should not irritate him what so ever, if you do it properly.
  2. If they don´t agree, I would start looking for something else, where I would ensure to negotiate not only the initial salary, but also the 4-year projection the minute you sign.

Whenever you get an outside offer, you can talk again with your boss -you would be surprised of how many times they not only equal it, but raise it, in order for you to stay-.

Best of luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
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replied on Jan 08, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
there's nothing strange in discussing with your boss about your salary, and he will be mature enough to appreciate it more than knowing that you left the company even because of the salary. So you can talk about your expectations, your impact in the firm, and your potential opportunity to make a better CV and salary elsewhere. Remember to him how motivated you are with the common goal, but show how he should paying off better the responsibilities you handle.

Best,
Antonello

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 08, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

How is possible that you signed a contract with no communication regarding your salary?
I think that the best way is to come up with another job offer. It would be fair at that point to discuss about your salary and position in the company.

Best,
Luca

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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