Video details

Salary Negotiations During a Pandemic


Presented by WWCode Tokyo Speakers:
- Yan Fan, Co-Founder & COO at Code Chrysalis - Eri Ochiai, Career Support Lead at Code Chrysalis
Salary negotiation is a tricky subject--most of us never get any practice doing it, because the need comes up so rarely. If you have always been nervous or scared about negotiating your salary, this talk is for you. In it, Yan will go over strategies and processes for salary negotiation and give you the confidence to make that ask in the future.
We are happy to be hosting this event with Code Chrysalis.
WHO IS THIS EVENT FOR? ✅ Anyone looking for work or will be looking for work in the future
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN? 🔅 Why you should negotiate your salary 🔅 BATNA: Why you should always be thinking about this 🔅 Strategy: What should you be doing going into this? 🔅 Troubleshooting: Tough situations and how to respond
SCHEDULE 🗓 19:30 - Introductions 19:45 - "Salary Negotiations During a Pandemic" 20:45 - Q&A 21:00 - End
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Yeah. By the way, I'm going to be recording that's. Okay. Sorry for that. No problem. Thank you, everyone, for joining. Salary negotiation during a pandemic. Although this is really just a salary negotiating talk, and we just happen to be in a pandemic. So my name is Ian. I'm one of the co founders of Code. Chrysalis. Anne, you want to introduce yourself? Hi. My name is Anne. I'm director of Women Who Code Tokyo, and we're really grateful to have Code. Chrysalis providing content for tonight's event, and we'll hope to get a good discussion going. Yeah, we have Erie, everyone. My name is Eri. I am the career coach at Code. Chrysalis and I help people get jobs. So really looking forward to today's event. Great. Anne, you want to introduce? Yeah, I'm just going to start off and talk a little bit about Women Who Code. We are an international nonprofit organization and our mission is to inspire women to excel in technology careers. You can check out our website and join us at Women Who Tokyo. You've probably found our meet up page if you're here next slide, please. And we'd also like to remind people that all our events are covered by a code of conduct. We strive to be an inclusive and safe space. We are multilingual. We are welcoming to anyone interested in the main purpose of the event, regardless of nationality, language, gender, or skill level. If there's any harassment or inappropriate behavior or someone here who is not on the purpose of the event, we may ask you to leave. For more information, please read our code of conduct, and with that, I will turn it over to Yen for the main event. Thanks. Before I get there, I want to do a little Code Chrysler plug. For those of you who don't know about us, we are a coding boot camp located in Tokyo. We are all about helping you make a quality career transition into software engineering. Quality being a keyword. We really believe that there are wonderful software engineering careers out there that you can grow into in Tokyo. And so these are just some of the companies that our students either have gotten an offer at work at or used to work at after graduating from our program. And so we have four programs for those interested in either exploring how to code or if you want to make a career transition. So we have the two programs at the top here. We have Immersive and the Immersive part time. These are the boot camps helping people make a full career transition into software engineering. And then also, if you're new to coding, if you aren't sure if it's for you, you can also try your hand at our part time programs. So we have part time introduction to coding programs. So we have foundations and foundations. Lite One is a class based and where we teach you all the introductory JavaScript things that you need to know to get up and running. And then we have foundations Lite, which is just the curriculum and the recorded lectures. So please check out our website if you want to know more. We have foundations classes that are starting. We have one starting on March 29, the deadline being it's already passed, but you still have time to sign up if you be nice and message us, so please check those out. We also have an Immersive, so this is a full time course dedicated to helping people make a transition into the tech field and that starts July 28. If you're interested in that, please contact us as soon as possible because we do have an admission standard, a technical standard that you need to pass in order to get in. So come talk to us, we'll tell you all about it. And this is a standard to make sure that this is like the choice for you. So there's that. And then we also have an Immersive part time. This is a six month part time version so you can continue working at your day job, but then on nights and weekends be working towards becoming a software engineer. So the next one for that starts August 9, just like the other Immersive. Please contact us as soon as possible because there are technical there's like an admissions bar that you have to pass. And also if you happen to be an Alt working at an English school in a Kiwi, if you are part of the Jet program or similar, we have a deferred payment plan specifically for English teachers and Alts, so please keep an eye out for that. Please message us if you have any more questions, but it's an ability for you to just pay your tuition, pay part of the tuition up front, and then pay the rest back in installments. So that's enough about code Chrysalis. I want to get to the real meat of the event, which is salary negotiation. Just a few disclaimers and a bit of information before we start. All I did was kind of copy and paste a few slides from a lecture that we actually give to our Immersive and Immersive part time boot camp students. So this is a part of the program, but I just picked and chose like a few things for tonight's event, so we're not covering everything because of the limited time. But yes, this is directly from our curriculum. Also, these scenarios and examples here are specifically for software engineers. But honestly, the knowledge can really be applied to any occupation. And yeah, negotiating your salary is really hard. Negotiating your salary when you're an industry minority, specifically a woman, is even harder. And so if you have any questions around that, Erie and I are happy to answer. And yes, studies show that women negotiate salaries just as much as men, or when they do, they are less successful. And ultimately these are just some tips and advice there's a lot of different scenarios out there every conversation is different so I think most importantly figure out what's best suited for your situation and also your style and your personality okay, if you have any questions, please type them in the chat It'll be great for people to get to see questions as well but yeah, please type them in the chat whenever you can during the lecture we also have time after lots of time afterwards to answer any questions My only hope is that by the end of today's event the next time you're in a situation where you have an offer in front of you I hope that you will ask for a higher salary I hope you won't be negotiating so I want to first talk about the negotiating mindset I think most of us don't have very much experience negotiating and it's because we don't change our jobs that often we don't get that kind of opportunity very often and so it can make negotiating which is already intimidating it can make it even more intimidating because we just don't have a lot of that practice So I want to try to first focus on mindset that you should have when you're going into negotiations in particular negotiating is not offensive and it's not going in as a debate or an argument as many people might think you're not preparing yourself for war so I want you to try your best to think of them as being not offensive instead, I want you to think of negotiations as an agreement or trying to find some kind of equilibrium between what you want and what you need and what the company is able to afford So for example, in this first scenario if you get a ¥6.5 million offer and the company offers you 6 million so if you get a 6.5 million offer from another company and this company offers you ¥6 million then a negotiation is going to need to happen for the second company to try to woo you from the first and in the second scenario, if a company offers you 6.5 but you were okay with 6 million then the company missed out on an opportunity to save money and so negotiations are really just discovering what that equilibrium salary is where both the parties will be satisfied and so negotiations are pretty important you should negotiate because the same level does not always mean same pay so we got this information from an American website I can share the link a little later but I think it's an open salary but you can see here that for people who are joining Microsoft at the same level and position with the same number years of experience and years at Microsoft you can see that the total pay can come out to being very different so even people at your same level with the same amount of experience as you same amount of time in the company depending on how their conversations go, they might be getting paid differently than you. And so missing out on negotiating means that you could be losing out on potentially lots of income throughout your life. And so in the study from US job data, the income loss over a 45 year career can be almost as high as a million USD. And yes, thank you, Anne. That was levels FYI that we got that data from to kind of put this into perspective, even a difference of ¥250,000 can be different when compounded over time. When you want five point 25. But the company is offering you 5 million. For some people, they might think, well, that's close enough. It's ¥250,000 spread out over twelve months. I'm not losing out that much. Right. However, when you think about how much that build up is year after year of making a little bit less, that can compound. So after six years, that ¥250,000 difference actually compounds up to one point ¥62 million. And in that sense, it can be quite a lot of money. Right. And this is assuming that you're getting a raise of roughly 3% every year. So all that difference, it can compound and become greater. So you are all here to talk about negotiations. Let's say you have an offer. Let's talk about what to do when you get that job offer. You've been interviewing at these companies or at this particular company for a while. You've talked to lots of people, you've had lots of interviews, and they finally give you an offer. They either call you on the phone or they send you an email. What do you do? The first bit of advice, do not agree to anything yet. For a lot of people that offer that they get they're so excited. It can be really easy to be like, yes, I will take the offer. I love your company. I want to join. But before you do that, I think it's really important to take a step back and do a few things. So don't agree to anything yet. Here are the steps that I want you to take. I would like you to respond. Thank you. Within 24 hours via email. This is because companies or people are pretty nervous, too, at this stage when they've given you an offer, they've spent a lot of time and money trying to find you. Right. They've been interviewing lots of candidates. They've been waiting for this person to finally join and do this particular job. So they've already invested a lot into this process. Second thing, they are nervous because they like you and they want you to join. And so they're nervous and wondering if you will reciprocate. And so it's important to be Proactive about maintaining contact with that company while you make your decision. So before you say yes to that offer, send them an email telling them that you're going to think about it. This will buy you a bit of time. So here I have an example response. Hi Ken, thank you for the offer. I am excited to be selected for this position and really enjoyed meeting you and everyone on the team. I'll take a good look over this offer and let you know my decision. All right. And by the way, if you are interested in seeing some responses, I created a little QR code with just three simple responses that I'll be going over soon. So remember to send out an email similar to this to buy yourself some time to think things over. Take a bit of time to read through that contract. The second thing is, if your offer was verbal, make sure that it's in writing. So if they called you on the phone and tell you the offer, please make sure that you get it in writing. So a great way is to email them. Hey, thank you for your call. I'm really excited about this opportunity and had a great time speaking with the team. From what I gather, the details are for the role of software engineer with a compensation of ¥5.5 million. Can you send a written offer so I can better make my decision? This makes sure that there's no miscommunication on the phone, different accents, talking to different types of people. It can really be confusing. You might hear a 50 and that person was talking about a 15, right. So be careful, make sure that you get it in writing. And then also I want you to figure out what your Batna is and what the company's Batman is as well. Batna means best alternative to the negotiated agreement. And it really just is about your ability to bargain, your bargaining power. And so Batna is what you will walk away with if you don't reach an agreement with that company. So if you don't end up taking that company's offer, do you have other offers lined up? Do you have other interviews lined up? Are you willing to take the job if the pay is lower? Are there opportunities to increase pay over time? So I want you to think about those things as well. And it's also important to think about the company's alternatives. Usually we're just thinking about ourselves. Oh, my gosh, that's the only offer I have or I don't want to keep job hunting. Right. I think it's also important to think about the company, the company's alternatives. Are they expanding their team? How critical is this role? How difficult is it to fill? How many people are interviewing? And also maybe how fast they're trying to fill that role, how long they've been looking for someone. And it's important to think about the cost of hiring for that company and how much they want to invest more in it if you don't accept the offer. So here's just an example of the cost of hiring during an interview process. Oftentimes there's a phone screen. So in total, maybe with you, it's going to be a 30 minutes phone screen. But then it takes 30 minutes for all the prep work and the note taking and things like that. There are sometimes four to five other interviews. Maybe we estimate like 6 hours total, and then maybe a final higher up approval that might take about 1 hour. And then they finally make you an offer. So that's already 8 hours a time for one candidate. And let's say they interview 30 candidates, right? That's 240 hours. And so if we just give an average sort of hourly of ¥3000 per hour, that can come out to ¥720,000 just for looking. And that's not including all of the different meetings and discussions about candidates, the fees for the job postings, which are really expensive recruiter fees, and also the cost of not having someone in that position. The opportunity cost. So when you're thinking about your own Batna, remember to also think about the company. And I think it makes it a little less intimidating when you're thinking about the amount of power that you might have over the company that you're negotiating with. And if you like the company, gather some supporting evidence. Right. Why should you deserve more? Well, some questions to answer. How will this company benefit from me joining? What can I do for this company? And what makes me different from everyone else? A good way to be able to answer some of these questions is to try to talk to some other people in the company, if you can. So I always like to reach out to people on the team through LinkedIn to get kind of their opinions or their viewpoints about their company and the team that you might be joining. And it's important to figure out the company's views, ask the company what the salary range for the position is, and also research what similar companies are paying as well. And if you like the company, figure out your ask. And this is the really hard part, writing up or being able to prepare for a particular meeting. In Japan, a lot of salary meetings happen. A lot of salary negotiations happen in a meeting. And so it's important to make sure that you are well prepared. So write up the things that you might want to say. Write up your supporting evidence right up why you really want to join the company and why they would benefit from you joining. So here's an example. Hi, Ken, same guy. I hope you're doing well. And thank you again for the opportunity to join Company X. Next part I talk about why I want to join. Of course, be more specific. And then before we proceed further, I was wondering if you would be open to reevaluating my starting salary from 6.2 to ¥7 million. After I make that ask, I talk about why it might be I might be valuable at ¥7 million. Right. Why I think that I am worth that amount. And then at the end please let me know. I will do my best and I will do my best to get a signed offer letter by August 2. So this gives the person ten, the person hiring for this an incentive as well. He knows that if he can get you that seven, if he can get agreement on the seven from the company, then he's going to have someone in that seat in that position and ready to go immediately. So you're also being able to give a little bit as well, right. Sweeten the deal. So, yeah, this example, by the way, is just one example. Depending on the situation, it can really vary. If you want this example, I included a link, so please check that out. So I believe that asking is always better than not asking. And if you ask, you might actually succeed. There is a chance. And if you don't ask, you automatically lose. Right. So it's always better, I think, to ask. So some things to be aware we are in a pandemic. Some things to be aware about with Coban 19, depending on the company, they might have some difficulties. So it might be important to acknowledge that maybe the company is going through a difficult time and to be flexible in terms of options and creative in creating alternatives. So instead of salaries, you could talk about a deferred bonus. You could talk about having an earlier raise or promotion cycle or a more aggressive one. You can ask for more vacation days or maybe equity like stock options or maybe some more time flexibility. But depending on the company, these are other things that you can think about Besides just your compensation. That might make it worth it and might make the company more likely to agree. That was really short and it was also a lot of talking. I want to leave the rest of the time for questions. I know we already have a few. And also I want to give Arya a chance to talk because she is the real expert with all of this. Aries background is pretty awesome. Erie, you gave a little introduction earlier, but I don't know if you can just give a bit longer one about why you're so great at this. Yeah. Thanks for the intro. Yeah, I'm happy to answer any questions. I think we already have some pretty good questions in the chat right now. So before I became a career coach at CC, I was actually working as human resources in a tech company here in Japan. So I did recruitment and also I did onboarding and I did all sorts of HR things. And yeah, I know quite a lot about what happens behind the scenes. So if you're curious tonight about what goes on behind the scenes during a promotion talk or deciding who to hire, feel free to ask me. I'm happy to share my experience with you. And yeah, I've just been helping a lot of graduates at CC find jobs in the tech industry, and I've noticed a lot of trends. So let me know if you're interested. Happy to answer anything. Should we get started with some questions that are already in there? Sure. Yeah. So the way the Q and A is, please write your questions in there and I will read them. And if we need follow up, we could maybe unmute people one by one. But we're going to try this for now. I hope that's all right. Sure. Yeah, it looks like we've already got some really good ones. Marissa Cassidy asks, do you have advice for salary negotiation during a promotion? You get promoted, I guess. And yeah, you want to negotiate your salary. Arie, do you want to change or do you want me to take this? Yeah, I can maybe start with one advice. So this is actually an exercise that I go through with our graduates, too, when they come back and they're like, Arya, I'm going to have this talk with my boss, and I think I might get promoted or I don't know, I want to get promoted. What should I do? The first thing is to go back to your previous conversation. I think a lot of people forget to do this, but let's say I'm not sure. Marie say this is your first time in this company that you're working out where you're talking about promotion. But what was the thing that you were doing when you first got hired? For example, if this is your first time talking about promotion or if this is your second time, the last time you got promoted, what were the things that you were doing so your main tasks, your roles, what were their expectations at that time? And compare them with what you're doing right now? What are some things that you have taken on as your role tests and compare them. Just list everything up, everything you can remember. If there are any sort of conversations or any proof of you doing them, that's great, too. But just have everything on the same page and compare, let's say, like in one year time, I have gone from here to here. And if you look at it, you'll start to understand, oh, these are things that I'm able to do today that I didn't even know how to do a year ago, and that will set you up for a good start in talking about your promotion. Because negotiation isn't just about money. It's about responsibility. It's about how much commitment you can make to the growth of the company. So if you have identified areas where you have grown in the past year or so, those are great things to bring up during that conversation. And people like to acknowledge those things. So I think that's one advice that I can start with. I think renegotiation during a promotion should actually start way before the promotion. So that's where you're gathering examples, you're keeping track of the successes that you have had, and you're also constantly checking to make sure that your idea of success is the same as your manager. I see this all the time where your manager has a different idea of what priorities are and what success actually looks like. And so I see some people working really hard to do a particular thing, but when their manager is looking at it, they might think that that thing that you're working really hard on is not as important as this other area that you might actually need to focus on. So it's always important to make sure that that alignment is there. The other thing is to try your best to tie what you are doing with some kind of dollar amount for the company. This is a lot harder to do, especially the larger of a company you're in. So I know that it's maybe not the best advice that you want to hear, but do try your best to quantify what your impact may have had. And it's a good idea to be able to also just talk with colleagues about their perception of your impact as well. But it's always important to make sure that you're identifying or like you're creating a connection between what you're doing to the company's bottom line. So I guess that's my main advice. Another one is also to make sure you know who the decision maker is for this. So the larger the company, the less likely your direct manager has in actually being able to make that decision. For salaries. Often times with a large company or like even a medium sized company, there's usually a process, right? So if someone asks for a higher salary, that hiring manager like that, sorry, not hiring manager. But your manager usually has to go through some kind of process with HR or with finance to get that approved. And so if that is the case, make sure that your boss is armed with all of this evidence. So make sure that your boss is on your team can vouch for you, because that is the person going to bat to try to get you that higher salary. So yeah, it is hard. None of this is easy. It's incredibly difficult. It's even more difficult as a woman. I think as women, whenever we are serious, whenever we ask for something for ourselves, it is perceived negatively. It sucks. Like being a woman can be very depressing. The social cost of us asking for things is much higher than the social cost of men. And so if you're feeling nervous about it, that's completely normal. I think it's do your best to the best we can do is just make sure we're prepared and get that support from friends, from family, from even, like, seeking out particular mentors. So, yeah, that's my advice. And next question. Oh, you're muted. Yeah, sorry, same question. Okay. How do you engineer Cafe asks? How do you respond to being asked your desired salary, especially early in the interview process. This one, can I share a link? I want to let Yan and Erie talk, but I want to share a really good link that talks about the specific thing. So I'm going to just share this website in here and then I'll turn it over to you. But that's what they have some good advice in there. All right. Please go ahead. Yes. Okay. So if you are asked about your desire salary, I think it's important to understand why they're asking for it. For most companies, they want to see if you are within the range that they have in mind for this role. Usually with any job that's out there, there's like a particular range that they have. And so if you're asking for something like much higher or much lower or usually it's much higher than what the range is, they want to make sure that they're not taking you through this interview process only to have a huge mismatch. And so there's a few things I think I try to see if I can get the range of the company first. And so if you get asked, like what's your desired salary, the counter that you can first try is, well, what is the range for this role? Like, what is the budgeted range for this role? So do your best to try to ask a question to get theirs. You always want to try to make the company give their range first. And if it's within what you want, that's great. But yeah. Arie, you have another tip. Yeah. Well, yeah. I can tell you from my experience to that when I was in HR, I would be usually the first one to do the interview around. And it was my job to ask this question. And the reason why I was asking was like what Yan said. I wanted to make sure that the candidate that we were going to proceed with didn't have like a crazy desired salary that we could just never afford. So that means that if someone's desired salary was like 16 million and then we could never afford that. Even if that person was like a great candidate and we really like their skill set, we would not move forward because it would just waste our time. So in that case, as Dan said, do prior research. And I think another thing to add on top of that is you might be able to postpone that talk. So you could say something like, well, thank you for that question. I'm actually really interested in this position and I would really love to learn more about it through talking to more people from your company. And if we come to a point where you are interested in me and I'm interested in the position, I'm open to talk about this topic again. But at this point, I just really want to get to know people and about this position and they might just say okay and let you move on. Cool. May I add a comment too that sometimes it depends on the company but there are places in Tokyo that will pay ¥16 million and depending on your skill set, that might be. But it sounds like sometimes it's not aligned between the employer and the employee or the potential the interview candidates. So I just wanted to add like it's not necessarily a crazy ask but it might just be not a right fit for that situation. And it sounds like that's a good answer for I guess, getting those things addressed. Yeah. Thanks Engineering Cafe for your question and thanks, Erie and Yan for responding. Yeah. Let's see next. When making a career switch from a completely irrelevant field in my case from government to tech how do you show that you would be a valuable hire if only the transferable skills are soft skills? I can talk about that. I need a career switch from finance to tech I only had soft skills I was doing a switch into software engineering from a finance job it turns out that being in tech doesn't mean that hard skills are the only things that make you valuable I think a lot of things that I had learned in my finance job came in really handy for example and also just coming from a beginner background I think made me kind of handy I think being able to work on a team and explain things to people who didn't have a tech background was really important also making sure that I also think those people skills are really important so I think just in general when people are making a career change I think it's easy to think that you are only going in there to learn in the beginning but that's not the way to go about it it's important to look at the things that you were doing before and really understand what your value or what the impact was or what you learned from those jobs and try to pick them out I find that this activity of trying to figure out what those things are is really useful when you can do it with a friend like a good friend or a mentor and have them ask you what was your impact in this? What made this job interesting? And just ask you all of these questions to try to synthesize all of these memories or things out of your head it will help you a lot with I think being able to state your value when you're making that career change I think we help a lot of English teachers and I think with that I really love helping English teachers kind of pick out the skills that they had in their English teaching jobs teaching is incredibly important I mean, I run a school and so it's important to be able to connect those things over to the software engineering job that they're trying to get, whether it's those communication skills or this ability to just kind of see beyond your job description the impact that you may have made, the initiative that you took, the responsibilities that you had, your ability to maybe work in a really foreign environment. So all of these things are really important and it's important to just connect it to the new company. Arie, you can probably be a lot more eloquent than me on that. Yeah. So I'm looking at your question and I'm thinking like I'm not sure what you mean by how do you show because I think that if you are talking about, for example, how do you show that on a resume that can be different from how do you show that in a conversation? And I think if you are thinking about how do you show that in a conversation, like if you get an offer and you're trying to negotiate in that context, oftentimes what I noticed about candidates is there's a lot of assumptions that they're making about the job that they've gotten, the offer they've received. So a really good exercise would be to again write down everything you know about that position based on what they say in the email that you got or based on the various interviewers that you've talked to leading up to the offer and really get a clear picture, like fact based picture on what this role is. Because very often we have we as in people, when you get an offer, you're so excited that you have this tendency to inflate the picture and say, oh, I'm sure that it's going to be about this and I'll work with these people. It's going to be so exciting and you can go on and on. But what's really important is be factual. So what are the things that will actually be doing? Who will I work with? What is expected of me? And when you are not sure about something, that's a good place to ask because most likely after you get the offer, they will invite you to some kind of a meeting where you have a chance to ask about the job. So if you are switching careers or switching jobs from different fields, you really want to gain that understanding of what is the thing that they want you to do and not just the technical parts but the nonchemical area. So for example, if you're going to work with another team and that team happens to be something that you understand pretty well, that's a great place to talk about your non technical skill set. If you were not in tech before or even the industry itself, let's say that they want to hire you because you have a great understanding or they think that you have a great understanding of the sector that this business is in. So then you can talk more about that non technical skill set or that experience that you have. So understanding first, what exactly is it that they like about me or my background and why am I giving me an offer? I think that will really help you get to that understanding of how to demonstrate the things that you have. So I think that's what I can talk about in terms of that conversation. Thanks. That was some really awesome and detailed answers. Next question is from Carmen P. Is there a rule regarding who should state the salary range first? Is it better that the candidate gives a range or is it better to wait for the employer to give theirs? And how should the candidate answer the question, what is your current salary during the negotiation? It's a little similar to Engineer Cafe's question, but there's a slightly different. So I'll let you take it if you'd like or if you feel like you've covered before. Yeah. They always get the employer to say it first. What do you do if they're pushy, though? I feel like I tried it once. They're like, no, we need you to give a number. That's where you have to make sure that you have done your research and that's that you have a range in mind. And I always like to give a range. I don't like to give up one number. I always like to give a range. Interesting. Do you find that with giving a range that they'll want to take the bottom number? Like, sometimes people will keep things open for negotiation. Oh, I see. Yeah. Is that an earthquake? Thanks, I hope not. Next question from Patty. Japanese companies usually ask for your previous salary and sometimes they are very insistent. Does this pose a disadvantage for you as a candidate and how do you suggest to deal or respond to this question? Ariel let you take this one because you've got a great answer. Yeah. Well, I mean, I think one of the biggest challenges about negotiating your salary in Japan is this. So it is quite common for Japanese companies to ask about your current salary or actually your previous salary if you had something different before and base their offer on what you were making before. And as Dan said, giving a range could be something. And one thing to understand here is in Japan it's very difficult. Okay. I should start by saying don't lie about it. Don't ever lie about it. Because what can happen is once you are accepted into the company, the HR person will ask you to submit certain things that are like payment slips of your taxes from the year before. And they can see how much you were making based on how much tax you paid that year before that. So if you lie and say, oh, I was making this amount and it was completely different. I mean, are they going to fire you? Well, it's hard to fire people in Japan, so I don't think you're going to get fired, but it's not going to set you up for success for sure, because they're going to label you as someone who lied about a very big piece of information. So I do not support that kind of approach. So making up a number rather if they are that insistent. Sometimes I think you just have to give a number. In that case, you just can't escape it. The thing though, to know is if they are a company that is that insistent on asking for a previous salary to base their new offer, that says a lot about the company's culture that even if you were to join, that previous number is going to follow you. And the question is how comfortable are you working in a place like that? There are other companies who aren't as insistent, believe me. You may not believe me, but they are there. So I think the question that you'd want to ask yourself at that point when you are kind of pinned down and you have to give a number is okay. How do I really feel about this company at this point, seeing how they are insistent about this? Yeah. And I just want to also drill down the assistance part. Sometimes it's not whoever you're talking to, like fault. Like if you're talking to an HR person at the company, oftentimes that person's just doing their job. So I like to try to get real with that person and see if I can connect with them just on a human level, figure out kind of what's going on and try to see if you can just connect with that person as like a human and help me help you, let's help each other. That sort of approach. I think this is probably a relatable one for a lot of women because if you're historically underpaid, there's a fear that it might be hard to like, you know, get out of it in the next job. If I may add, one thing that I found is sometimes if I'm interviewing at more than one place at a time, I can get the companies rather than focusing so much on my previous salary. If I have one or two offers, I might be able to say, well, so and so is looking at this range, but you have to actually have, you know, again, don't lie. Like be honest, be a good but yeah, great. That's a really good answer. Let's see next one we have. Do you have any advice for freelancers moving into a full time position, no previous salary to compare to, etc. Yeah, I would say do your best to give an estimate for what the full time would have been if you were freelancing full time. No real advice. I think other than there should be no real difference. Other than that the things that we have talked about in the past, like knowing your value, knowing what your impact was, they still stand for freelancers too. Should there be any calculations given that sometimes freelancers will charge extra given they're working, like less, fewer hours, but they spend more time finding clients. Is there any thoughts on I don't know how the bath works out. I think there's like a website where you can go and punch numbers and get it. If you are dealing with an HR person who has certain experience, they'll be able to calculate that on their own because as freelancers, you have to pay your own taxes and everything else, and full time workers don't. Well, they do that through their monthly pay flip. Yeah. But if the HR person has any background or experience in hiring, they should know how to do that on their own. So you could be the one to suggest something. But in general, I don't think that will be like a huge issue. Great. Next question comes from Naomi. Is it okay to give a high number but say you are open to negotiating. Does this weaken your position in the negotiation? That's a gamble you must take. There's pros and cons to giving a much higher number. It depends also on how much higher it would be. That is my usual approach, actually. But it really depends on, I think, how well prepared you are, how much experience you have, and also thinking about Batna. Right. So thinking about what that company's Batna is in particular, if you know that they've been looking for a long time, if you know that you are a particularly good fit for this role, if you feel like in the interview process you really connected with those people and with the hiring manager, then I would say, definitely go ahead. Does it weaken your position in the negotiation? I think if it's significantly higher, like, let's say the company was thinking 6 million, but you were like, no, I was like 10 million or 9 million. Being that off from what the company was expecting, I think could actually we've never seen a company say like, no and just take the offer away. They'll probably just say no. Can you come down to where we are at? But yeah, I would say feel free to go for it, make sure that you have done the work, though, and prepared. Arie, I don't know if you would give the same advice. Yeah. I think preparation is really going to be the key because you don't want to just throw in a number there and be like, hey, I want this. Can you match that? It needs to come from a certain place of understanding. And I think this is what Yen was saying earlier about how negotiation is not like adversarial. You want to find this sort of common understanding or come to an agreement between both parties. So if you're going to start out with just a number that you yourself think is going to be super high, maybe you want to do some check and see is this realistic for them, too? Look for data. There's a lot of salary data out there nowadays, thankfully. So you can do some research there. Like what Yan said about that. Why is it so important for you to get that high number now? Right? Is it possible for you to wait six months or is it the best timing to aim for that number right now with this particular company? So I think asking those questions for yourself might give you some clarity. Yeah. So I wouldn't say it would weaken you, but I think it would definitely make an impression on who you are, on the people that you will be talking with. And of course, if you are playing very difficult to get, that's the kind of impression that you're going to make on them. So the question is, do you really want to go for that? Yeah. And if I may add, I can speak from personal experience. I've thrown out numbers that were definitely above what the company could ask. And though we were verbally were like, oh, we want to work together. They were super excited. Then they were like, actually, we're going to go with someone else. So sometimes it can. Yes. I would say be confident and know your worth, but also be aware that it might. It just depends on who you're talking to. So I really like their advice about preparation and research. Next question from NA. Fun question. Do you do anything special the day before an interview or the day of interesting question. Can I go first? Oh, do you want to go first? No, go ahead. Oh, me. Okay. Yeah. There's a few things that I like to do. The first one is think of three things about yourself that by the end of that interview tomorrow, your interviewer must know about you. So think about the job. Think about yourself, how you might fit. And write down like three key things that like at the end of the interview, that interviewer must know about you. Right. It can be facts. It can be like particular ways that you would like to describe yourself. Write it down, stick it in the wall or wherever that you can see it during your interview. Because it can be really easy in an interview to get flustered and to forget, to bring up things like, oh, my God, I forgot to talk about this project that I worked on that was like really similar. Make sure that doesn't happen. Prepare. Have that list up another one. Take a look at their website. People always forget. Read the website, read through that about page. Look on LinkedIn. See if you can find the person who is interviewing on there. If you know their name, just like try to get as much research as possible. It's all about preparation. Yeah. So when you're thinking about something special. Well, I think sometimes people forget this, but I think this could be interesting if you've never thought about it. Is reminding yourself to remember the names of the people you talk to because you got so nervous about like what am I going to say? How am I going to impress them? And then you forget who you talk to. Like a fun anecdote that I can share is I was helping out this graduate one time and they did wonderfully throughout this interview process with one company that they really wanted to work at and they were at this final interview. This was pre Kobetz. The final interview was actually in the company. So they go to the company and as the interviewer is taking them to the meeting room to have their final interview, just casually talking. The person says to this graduate, who have you been talking to in the past few weeks? And this person just goes completely blank because they're just so nervous to be in that meeting room and they actually did remember who these people were but in that moment they just forgot. So they were just like yeah, that really nice person who's like in marketing, thankfully they got the offer. But yeah, it's just an exercise. Sometimes I like to share because we get so concentrated on these other things like what am I going to do and shine? But yeah, sometimes you never know what they're going to ask. And I think names are something great that we can remember and say oh yeah, I actually had a really nice chat with this person. It shows that you also remember that person, not just an interviewer. So I guess that's what I can say. Awesome. Let's see. The next question we have is by Stephanie how to get a fair salary for someone with no work experience in tech. Considering a Masters in a specialized boot camp, moving from an English teaching position. If it's for a particular type of role, like for software engineering, I think it's trying to figure out for the job posting, seeing if there's kind of rough salaries. There's also websites that are available I think and posted them in the chat a little bit up. But yeah, research. If it's a software engineering role which cause it's women who code, I kind of make that assumption if it's another role in tech, I think it's really like doing that research. So if you're going for a design position or a product manager position and you're making a switch, I think finding the right communities and asking people like what you should be expecting as salaries is really important and don't just ask one person like people make a mistake of just going with what their recruiter friend says. Recruiters only see a particular segment of the market so they're not always going to have the most accurate numbers for you. I would use LinkedIn in this case. See if you can find people in other companies with the job that you want and just hold message. Someone LinkedIn saying like hey, I have some questions about your career and I would like to try to get into that as well. Would you be open to talking to me? And you would be surprised at how many people are willing to respond to, like, honest sort of messages like that. So I would do that sort of research. But to be honest, like, the best way to go about it is just to start a conversation with a company and go into it, not from an adversarial point of view, but just kind of seeing what they have in mind and then coming with your values and the things that make you valuable. So, yeah, that's my advice. Erie. Well, I think something that I could also say kind of similar to what Yan was saying is taking part in communities. And I think women who code is like a really wonderful community. But especially if you don't have any experience and you're trying to get into tech, if you know the people in that community, it oftentimes really helps because you get an idea about a lot of people usually have already experienced being interviewed and going through different rounds of interviews with different companies. Just hearing stories about that usually gives you a better picture of what you need to be ready for. I also think that by being part of community, you can sometimes gain a bit of experience. So, for example, if you are looking to become a software engineer, you don't have to just look for a paid job from the very start. Maybe there is a volunteer work, right? Maybe there is like an open source project that's taking place and they're looking for someone to help out. And even if they're small things, that is still very valuable experience for you, that it's going to be with actual people and it's an actual project. So I would advocate anyone who's really looking to get into tech or software engineers to look into communities in that way, too, and even for you to reach out and say if you're someone who uses social media a lot and say, hey, I'm thinking about doing this project. Is anyone else interested and see if you can collaborate with other people? Great points. Next question is from Lily, who asks if you succeed in your salary negotiation and it's towards the higher end of the range in your experience, does that change the employer's expectation of your ability and role? My answer is probably definitely. I think they're giving that salary to you expecting that you are coming in with a particular level of experience probably, and that you will probably get things done faster. Right. Or get an understanding of what you need to do faster, or they want to see results or they expect to see results faster. So, yeah, definitely they have a higher view of you and they expect the results that come with it. That is a really interesting question. I'm curious, Lily, why you asked this question. But if you're at a stage where you have gotten an offer and you're about to join the company. And this is the situation. I think there's still room for you to ask questions. So what I would do is just show them first that you're very happy to receive this number and ask given that this has been changed, what are their new expectations around this role? How can you be successful in this role and see what they have to say? Because again, maybe you are inflating their expectation of you, but maybe there's another reason there that you just don't know yet. Great. Next question comes from Ganga who's saying, now I am a student, but previously I have 3.5 years experience in it. Also AI back in India, now I'm doing my master's three years experience back in India. Now I'm doing my Masters in AI at waseta how can I utilize my previous experience for getting better compensation or will I only be classified as a fresher? I think that might be like a fresh hire. Thank you. Yeah. It all depends on how you're approaching it and how you present yourself. Right. And so I think if you're able to think about that 3.5 years of experience in it, the impact that you had, the things that you can do, bringing that whenever you are going into interviews, making sure that the value that you have is being reflected well in your resume, resumes are really important. I think that makes a big difference. All the things that we've been talking about. Right. Knowing your value, being able to vouch for yourself when you're going through this interview, this job hunting process, when you're going through interviews, when you're negotiating your salary, you are basically a salesperson for yourself. Right. So if you were trying to be a salesperson or a representative for yourself, how might you talk about yourself? I find that these things are always useful to have a friend, like help you with this stuff because I mean, I'm really good at talking up my friends, but like not great. We tend to not be great at talking about ourselves to see if you can get input from a friend. But yeah, it's really how you present yourself. Erie? Yeah, I think Jan just said something and I want to kind of feedback on it about the resume because I think when I was working as HR, we also hired many candidates from abroad, from all parts of the world. And one thing that I noticed was sometimes we get people who are highly educated, highly qualified. But it was really hard to understand exactly what they were offering on the resume because they would have all these great Masters and PhDs and have this crazy work experience and great companies. But when it came to reading about what specifically they did in those companies, it was really hard to get a clear picture. So one advice that I have is when you are sending your application really tailor your work experience and your educational background to what they're looking for. Don't make them guess who you are. You need to be the one to say, okay, I have done these specific things and have studied these specific things that you want to see, and I have that. So you have to be the one to make that connection, not them trying to read between the lines. Yes, I think that's what I can say. Let's see. Next question we have is from Orlando, who asks how accurate would you say Opensallary JP is as a salary reference tool? Depends on the company. I would say for certain companies in Japan, it's a really great tool, but it doesn't have insights into all companies. And certainly I think open source, they've gotten better, but they definitely focus on it's much more popular in the English speaking parts of Tokyo, parts of Japan. So please keep that in mind. Probably not going to see too many like Mitsubishi salaries on there, for example, or like Mitsui salaries. That's something to know. I would look at. I think on open salary, they say how many, what do you call it, applications, how many responses they've gotten for each company? And so I think that's a helpful reference tool because if you have a large company, but if you know that a company is like 1000 people, but then there's only like three entries there, take it with a grain of salt. So I'd say with all of these things, like data for the most part might be accurate, but it really depends on who is giving their salaries. People who tend to have higher salaries are more likely to tell you about their salaries and more likely to put in responses in these. So I'd say take it with a grain of salt. Yeah, I would agree a lot too. I think I would say open source does a pretty good job. I think what I love about the website is before that, one of the biggest challenges about finding out, like how much should I be expecting from a certain company or about a certain position is you only had access to these very large recruitment agencies and the way they would categorize certain positions were just all based on that company. So if you look at like Hayes versus Robert Walters or all these big names, they'll have different definitions of an It engineer or like a full stack engineer or something. And it was so hard to get a clear picture on what you can be expecting. So I think to go back to that, like how accurate is that website? Maybe it's not the most accurate or it's not like the thing that you should only look at. So combine with other resources out there. But I have seen some improvement in terms of that clarity around what exactly can you expect as a software engineer, for example? It used to be a lot harder for sure. Awesome. Next question. I asked a couple based on some things that Women Who Code has been talking about. So some of you who follow Women Who Code on Twitter or have been in our Slack may have noticed. We've been asking a lot about the great resignation. The Women Who Code headquarters is in California. And this is kind of an American term regarding this big shift. We see where a lot of people are quitting their jobs and maybe applying to new jobs and negotiating new offers. So I wanted to ask about how the great resignation affected Japan. Is it still true? Early in the pandemic, salaries were coming down. Sometimes people got their job offers pulled because this money that was budgeted was suddenly gone. Is this a time now where things are getting better? Can tech workers negotiate for better pay? What are your thoughts? Yeah, I'll go first then. Yeah. So in Japan, the great resignation, I guess, so to speak, happened sometime between April and June of 2020. This was when there was a spike in the number of job seekers in Japan. If you go do any research, large recruitment agencies in Japan, they will also the same thing, very big number. I think it was the first time in like seven years that they have recorded this number of job seekers, which is quite drastic. And what was really interesting about this time around was a lot of people who traditionally would not sort of fit in the category of people who job Hunt had been kind of had decided to go into the job market. And one of the biggest reasons that people said was because they were not happy with how their employer had reacted or not reacted to the pandemic. So these are people, for example, who may be in their late 30s, even 40s, who were in very comfortable, stable jobs in large Japanese companies very often who decided, okay, this is enough. It's time for me to look for a job. And there are a lot of people like that, also very experienced types of candidates. And in terms of if this is true or not even today, I would say that there's more, I guess, movement of people in the market even today, which is a good thing. Actually, what's happening now in Japan is for the first time, people in their 40s or even 50s are changing jobs. And this is not a thing that was seen before. And what's happening is larger companies are a few things. So startups are beginning to pay more. So salary is increasing in the smaller companies. Startups. At the same time, larger companies are trying to compete and they're trying to win over more technical candidates into their company as fresh graduates. So they're increasing their salaries for freshly graduated type candidates. So there is a lot of movement happening. But precisely because of that movement of people, companies have really turned around and how they look hire people the kind of benefits that they offer. So I would say this has been overall very positive change for Japan. Great. I learned a lot from your answer. That was really wonderful. Cool. Next question is based on some observations of a friend. But yeah. So say someone receives a new job offer from a place where they're interviewing and they're currently employed, and then they notify their employer and their employer receives a counter offer. What should you do in that situation? I've seen this happen many times. This is where the only thing you can do is have a conversation with yourself and where you want to be and where you want to go. And it's not an easy conversation. It's not a short conversation for most people. Maybe it is for you. One thing I like to think about is where you want to be in ten years and to really think hard about what you in ten years is going to look like personal and professional. And that can include the types of skills that you might want to have, the types of experiences that you might want to have in ten years, the type of person you want to be. It can be vague. It can also be a lot more specific. So if you have a particular like, I want to have this job or be at this particular level, whatever that is, I think try really hard to think about what those things might be. It could be many things. It could be one thing. And then after that, I would think deeply about both of these companies and what you can gain from these companies to help you get closer to that ten year goal. Right. So thinking about in this company, at this new job, that might be what are the experiences or things or pay that might be different, that might get you closer. And then looking at your current company, what the counter was, maybe what the experiences you might have are and thinking about how they might get you closer to that ten year goal before you completely, I think go for the new job offer. If you do like your current company, it is really worth having a good conversation with them to see if they can negotiate on things even beyond pay. Right. Because I think usually when people are leaving companies, it's because they want maybe a different experience or they want just like something else. So if that is something like this is much easier in a larger company. If there are things that you know, you can potentially get involved in at your current company, go ahead and ask for that if it's going to be a raise or not a raise, because they may be already, like, matched your offer. But if it's going to be some kind of promotion, getting moved to a new team that you want to join, getting moved to a new office location in another country. So whatever that might be. Try to figure out what it is in your current company that would make you really want to stay. Like what's going to get you really excited to make you want to stay. And then when you have both of these things on the table, I think it will allow you to make a much better decision. But yeah, it's really just having that conversation with yourself. Erie, I don't know if you have any other words of wisdom. Yeah, I think that was great advice. I think this is the part where you really, of course, having a conversation with yourself, as Jan said, so true. I think it's also important to talk to someone about it, too, because I think how you handle this situation is going to be different from person to person. There is no one right answer because it really depends on what it is that you want. And what you want sometimes is like clear in one moment, but it can be very fuzzy in another moment, and especially during a job Hunt or in moments where things are changing, you lose sight of it. And it's completely natural. So something that I really do with graduates, we actually offer lifetime career support, which means that I work with graduates who already have jobs, but they're coming back for further support. So this is the kind of situation that I deal with very often. And what I see is it really depends on what you want. So what is it that you want in your job? What is it that you want in your career? And I think what Yan said about that ten year goal, what is it that you're aiming for? These are all factored into that one single decision. And talking it out with someone you trust is always going to help. So being in the state, I just happen to work with so many graduates. I'm very grateful for if you don't have anyone like a coach, you can work with someone who's a mentor or even a friend, someone that you can really have, say, hey, can you just listen to me for a second and just talk it out? Maybe just saying it out loud might help you realize that. Oh, actually, I don't really want to stay here. Or maybe you think, well, actually, I do want to stay here. So I think verbalizing it might be a really good exercise. Great points. We've got a couple more questions. We're getting close on time, though, so I'll try to just keep it to one or two more, but let's see. Thank Yan and Harry. I know it was not directly a question on negotiation tactics, but I think managing employer expectations is all part of being a good fit for the company. So I was curious about the downstream implications of succeeding in a negotiation and how to manage that. I don't think that was a question. I'm curious about the downstream implications of succeeding and how to manage that. Maybe it's not clear, but we can ask Lily to follow up. Perhaps. Let's see can move to how should one enter into equity related negotiations in Japan? That's a really complex question. There's also not a lot of information. It's very rare for a company in Japan to offer equity. It's not a thing. I think also the laws here and like financial things make it just a little bit more complex than, say, in Silicon Valley. Honestly, this sort of stuff is really tough. Even in Silicon Valley, I think it's really difficult to get a good read. The earlier the smaller and more new the company, the harder it is. So I honestly don't really have any good advice other than, I think, try to do some good research. But even then, there's just not too much data out there. Yes. I'm kind of stumped airy. I don't know if you can help me out. Yeah. I guess one thing to know is in Japan, equity is not something that you'd see very often being offered in a job. If you do see that, you should know that it's quite rare to begin with. And some companies I would say that in tech there are more and more companies who are doing this. Again, not many, but some are. And when they are doing that, it tends to show something about the company's culture or the way they view hiring people. So there is no should in how you enter in that negotiation. But I think maybe it should give you some understanding of what kind of company that you're working with. So I would define them as more, I guess, innovative because of just how rare it is in Japan at the moment and that they might really think about hiring people as ways of investing for growth of the business, rather than just a simple employee employer relationship. So I think when you enter in that conversation about equity, asking about growth plans for the company, because I would imagine that if they have something like that, they are interested in seeing you perform, to have you really contribute to a certain business or the entire company. So having that conversation to really understand what it is that they're aiming for as a business in the next year or three years or five years and try to get clarity around that. I think that might help a little bit with that topic. Great. Let's see. It's almost nine. So I think I want to wrap up at this point just because our speakers have been working so hard and we want to thank them for their expertise and wisdom. So if you could type applause or if you like, as we do in Japan. Sorry, we couldn't get to all the questions, but it's almost 90 minutes, so I want to let them go. Yeah, please. If you're interested more in learning about Code Chrysalis, they are sharing their links their meetup events and they have lots of free events in Tokyo. We're very grateful for them partnering with women who code and yeah. I'm going to wish everyone a good night, alright? Thanks for having us. Thanks for joining. Thanks everyone. And good luck with negotiating.