Negotiate Your Salary Like A CEO By Asking For Protection

Negotiate Your Salary Like A CEO By Asking For Protection
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If you’ve ever wondered how CEOs walk away with millions when they’re forced out of a company, it’s because they negotiate those exit terms when they sign a contract. In an interview with Slate, executive compensation attorney Jotham Stein recommends you do the same, regardless of your position.

Photo by bpsusf.

Stein suggests anyone can do this when negotiating for a new position or a renegotiating for a raise:

Even for the person who is a mid-level manager or even lower, when they go to a new job they should say, “Listen, I’m happy to move jobs, but if you fire me, you at least should pay me some severance.” Say, one month, two months, three months, that’s the kind of protection people should be thinking about.

It’s not a bad idea, especially if you’re unsure about a new position or if they’re unwilling to give you a raise. You can find some more tips about negotiating your salary over on Slate.

Your Salary, and How to Raise It [Slate]


  • Thats funny. As an employer why the hell would I give you two months pay if I fire you? If you are fired you are crap as an employee, by asking for that it the job interview just tells me you are regularly fired. Australian law already covers a person for wrongful dismissal etc

    You have just cemented yourself into the list of people to pass on

    • Fired may not be the best word to use?

      Personally the two things I ask for during a review is extra money and extra paid leave each year.

      Worked at a place, they didn’t have enough money in the budget that year for a decent pay increase and instead I asked for an extra four weeks paid leave and got it.

  • If you think about it, it’s a great disincentive for your boss to fire you – they’d have to pay out big and still pay for whoever replaces you. That’s a huge cost.

    However, if I was hiring and someone wanted to negotiate 5 years pay on redundancy? Hell no. Considering it’s law to provide a severance package in Australia when you make someone redundant, that’s just greedy – I’d pass.

  • very US centric article this one. Australian law protects people differently to US law.

    That 5-year redundancy is an interesting claim, but if true I would suspect the person had wrked for a large heavily unionised organisation for many years – my guess would be Telstra/Telecom – as few companies have such large redundancy pay out conditions.

    • Might also have been a voluntary redundancy. Some of those types of workplaces occasionally have very generous offers for voluntary redundancy based around time in the job if they decide to reduce staff.

  • It would also depend on the experiance and qualifications you had. If you know the company inside out (Say… all the passwords) then you might have a bit a leverage with them.

  • Whoa! First, Daniel, you’re happy to sit in a concrete cell for a few years, are you.. and you’ve had an ethics bypass? The law frowns severely on blackmail-by-passwords; don’t try it. (You could get time for bad spelling, too..)
    Hell, everything’s negotiable, and SkinHead’s right (on everything except his choice of name), but CEOs are offered their salaries on the basis of their reputations. If you haven’t got a good one of those then you may be whistling in the wind.
    Just imagine you’re asking yourself for pay-for-nothing and see how you react. Pretend you own the business. ‘I want more forfree’ is the modern ethic; try it, but if you still don’t get call-backs, it may be time to change tack.

  • Truly worthless advice if you’re applying for jobs. If you’re being head hunted at a high level, maybe. But if you’re writing an application for $60k a year? Never, ever going to happen.

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