I was feeling uncertain about establishing a fair market price for my fairly senior and specialized skill set. The market seems pretty strong but just how strong is hard to tell. My other concern was whether I should make the significant investment of time and energy to bring multiple prospects to the point of making an offer or instead concentrate first on my preferred choice.

I’d heard that my most preferred option made strong but fairly inflexible offers, and so I thought there may not be enough room to negotiate to make up for the up-front coaching fee. And, where the company tended to move, it seemed to be primarily through a signing bonus, which would make Josh’s performance fee relatively more expensive compared to, for example, an improvement in ongoing salary. I had also previously read Josh’s book and it was good but most of the advice was not new to me, although I found the formula for counteroffers was novel and very good.

A $100k improvement

Despite these hesitations, I decided to work with Josh and got a great outcome. The company we negotiated with made a strong initial offer: over the next 4 years it may be worth $1M+ more than my current job. With Josh’s help, we added an additional $100k in bonuses — a $50k signing bonus and a $50k second-year bonus.

I think given their strong need for someone with my skill set and information that I previously had about how they structured their offers, I might have got the second-round offer (+$80k) out of them without Josh’s assistance. But I don’t think I would have had the confidence to stick in for the third round, which gave an additional $20k improvement. So one way to look at it is that I paid Josh $8k to get a $20k improvement beyond the likely alternative case, which is still very positive.

I appreciated a lot of things about Josh’s coaching, including:

Now that it’s all settled, I think this will be a very good, energizing and refreshing step in my career. I had some hesitation about walking away from my current job, but knowing that I got a good deal and having additional compensation for RSUs I’m walking away from helped me decide to make the change.

I would recommend Josh to a friend, for all the reasons I mentioned. In higher pay ranges, the fee is moderate compared to the amounts at stake.