This post comes from an email exchange this week, with a client who is working with me on Negotiating Assistance. Discipline, institution, etc. all excised.
She has more than one offer, and drafted an email to her job #1–a R1– seeking to negotiate a few elements of the offer.
What I wrote in response to her initial draft is this:
“Thank god you found me. This email is a vortex of female self-sabotage. It’s all emotion, diffidence and excuses…. stop!”
Below I give her original email draft. I bold every term and phrase that diminishes, juvenilizes, genders, sabotages or makes excuses for the candidate. My rewrite is below that. Read and learn, ladies, read and learn.
P.S.: Occasionally men do this too, but less often.
I just wanted to get back to you and discuss a little more about the offer.
I would again like to let you know that xx is my priority but I also have an offer from xxx which is offering me $xxK. I understand that you many have some constraints but would you consider increasing the starting salary to some extent? Also, I was wondering if you could add a start-up research fund. I understand that conference travels are generally covered, but I would like to make sure that I get covered for two conferences each year in order to stay productive. In terms of teaching load, would it be possible to have a x course load during the second year? In addition, I will really appreciate if I could get covered for the house hunting trip for my husband and myself. It is going to be a long move from xxx, so we would like to visit and make sure that we find a nice place for our family.
Also, I would really appreciate if you could consider extending the deadline just a few more days. Again, my priority is xx but I just want to make sure that I know all the options before I make my decision and I am expecting to hear from a few schools within next week.
Thank you again for the generous offer.. XXX is my top choice and I’m excited about joining the faculty there. However, I have a few issues related to the offer that need to be resolved before I can give a final commitment. I want you to know that I have another offer in hand as well as several possible offers that I am to hear about shortly.
My competing offer brings a salary of $xxK, and so I would like to request that XX match that, reflecting my XX years of teaching XX, my XX number of publications, etc.. (Note: if you have no competing offer, then just say “I’d like to request a salary of $XX [with the figure being about 10% higher than the original, unless I’ve advised you otherwise], reflecting my XX years of teaching XX, my XX number of publications, etc.. )
I would also like a start-up research fund of $xxxxx, to fund things like travel for my research on XX and a research assistant to assist me with YY.
In terms of teaching load, I’d like to request a course release for the second year as well to help me advance my research program toward tenure.
I would like to make a trip to xxx with my partner to look at houses, and I’d like to know if the department can cover some or all of that expense.
And finally, I want to ask for a further extension of the deadline by one week. I am very grateful for your flexibility on the deadline so far. But because several offers seem to be pending, I wish to know all of my options before I make a final decision.
I want to reiterate my seriousness about the xx position, and hope that we can reach an agreement quickly.