Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter talks about where and how your salary negotiation really begins.

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I want to teach you an important rule about salary negotiation, the one that all the other rules don't matter unless you follow this.
You see, a lot of you get focused on the money early on. Like, you find that about the job, you hear what the salary is, you start going, "Ooh! they will pay $100-$125, for example, on a base plus bonus. OOH!, I'm going to get $125,000." But you forget one thing. And the one thing you forget, is you got to make them fall in love with you.
You get fixated on the money. You know, it's the carrot that's out in front of you, sorry, I'll use my watch. See, it's the carrot that's out in front of you in a circle.
But the problem is you do nothing to prepare yourself for your interviews. You're doing nothing to get ready for that time when you get to step out onto the stage and sing the big song in the play.
So, your big job before getting a job is to make them fall in love because, after all, unless you make them fall in love, no love, no money, no honey. At the end of the day you go home and you go, "Hey, I didn't get the job. It's all your fault," and you start blaming other people when it's really your fault.
So, work at making them like you. Work at preparing for your interviews. Work at getting your resume ready to even get the interview. There is work to do. Start doing it and don't start dreaming and thinking ahead. Just take it one step at a time.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a recruiter for more than 40 years.

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