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. I do have a few issues related to the offer that I’d like to discuss further. 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.
I would like to request a salary of $XXX, reflecting my XX years of teaching XX, my XX number of publications, etc.. For reference, my competing offer salary is $XXX (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 $XXX, to fund things such as 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 an additional 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.