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You aggression factor

How aggressive should you be when you negotiate starting salary?

by Josh Doody

Before we can calculate your counter offer, we need to determine how aggressive you can be.

Remember those two “0—10” questions we looked at when you set your minimum acceptable salary? We’re finally going to use them!

We’re going to do some very light math here. Here’s the formula for your aggression factor:

[How badly they need you]
- [How badly you need this job]
= Your aggression factor

Here’s a quick example: Let’s say you are pretty sure the company needs you to do this job pretty badly, but you don’t need this particular job too badly. “How badly they need you” would be about an 8, and “How badly you need this job” would be about a 3. That means the formula would be 8 - 3 = 5. In this situation, your aggression factor is 5.

If your aggression factor works out to be less than zero, just set it to 0. That means your aggression factor should always be a number between 0 and 10.

Pretty easy! Make sure you keep this number handy because we’ll come back to it in a little bit.

Okay, now we’re ready to determine your counter.