There’s often a negative or even “evil” stigma that comes with negotiating. Especially for creatives.
“You don’t care about the work if you want more money”
“Money is the root of all evil. It crushes your creative juices… and your SOUL.”
To all of this, I say bulls**t.
You have to put yourself and your work first. Always.
And how do you do that? Negotiate for every single penny that you’re worth.
Trust me, it is not easy. It takes work. It takes failed conversations.
I still think about the first conversation in which I tried to negotiate for more money. As a junior copywriter in Chicago, I was finally receiving my promotion to be a regular ol’ copywriter. I still remember sitting in the big meeting room, surrounded by my boss, the executive creative director, and our head of HR.
The conversation went like this:
Executive Creative Director: “We love working with you. We see a lot of potential in your growth. That’s why we’re rewarding you with a promotion and a raise.”
Me: “Oh… uh, I guess I was hoping for more. *big sigh* I’ve done more than other people.”
Are you cringing right now? I’m cringing writing this. Don’t do this.
I remember how excited everyone was at the beginning of the conversation. But after my response? Their faces fell. The mood of the room shifted to one of horror and disappointment and greed.
That conversation didn’t go well.
But wanna know what did go well?
I spoke with our head HR later and asked how I could have improved. She gave me honest feedback: the company offered me a promotion and my boss had fought hard for me, but my response was spoiled and ungrateful.
Dear fellow creatives: NEVER, EVER, EVER appear ungrateful. And don’t compare yourself to your colleagues. Ever. Never ever. Don’t do it. Not in reviews, not in negotiations, and not in your everyday conversations.
So, let’s get to it. How do you become a negotiating powerhouse?
Follow Ramit Sethi.
Negotiate a raise at your current position.
Do everything he says. Everything. Don’t skip steps.
Find your dream job.
Finding your dream job takes time and energy, but this system works. Since going through this course way back in 2013, I found 4 new jobs and negotiated $20K+ raises with each company.
Manage your new money wisely and keep growing both personally and professionally.
Read Sethi’s book on personal finances.
Now get to work, my friends.
Comment below if you have any questions. Happy negotiating!
Disclaimer: I don’t know Ramit Sethi. I have never met him. I just found his stuff a long time ago and it works.