Negotiation Advice for Graduate Students’ First Jobs

This morning’s edition of “Inside Higher Education” (one of the two or three sites I read every morning) includes an article by a current PhD student entitled, “Basic Negotiation Advice for Grad Students.”  Available here.

Pieces are consistent with the commonly understood “best practices” of our field, such as they are.  Prepare well.  Don’t just focus on numbers.  Postpone commitment until the end.  Don’t say Yes just because they offered something.  Etc.

Pieces are questionable, or worse, at least as articulated.  “Have a counteroffer in mind before negotiations start.”

I wonder whether any of you provide help in one form or another to the students on your campuses (beyond those in your classes) to help them with these really important first negotiations.  Some years ago, I wrote a super-brief thing for our Career Center about job negotiations.  I have no idea if they still use it.  Once, I was asked to come talk with some PhDs about their job search negotiations.  But really, I do essentially nothing in this regard.

And at least this morning, that’s feeling like a mistake on my part.  I’d love to learn what others do.


2 thoughts on “Negotiation Advice for Graduate Students’ First Jobs”

  1. In ADR, I have the students prepare for their first job negotiation when we go through the negotiation skills section of our book. I also make it explicitly a goal for them in that section of the class. “When we are learning about negotiation, I want you to be thinking about how you would implement these skills in your first job negotiation.” I also think this helps keep them focused on why these skills are so important.

  2. Rishi Batra, of Texas Tech University, has his students do a job negotiation simulation, described on the DRLE (Dispute Resolution in Legal Education) website.

    Students in my negotiation course, do fishbowl improv scenes of difficult moments in a job negotiation.

    This isn’t advice but it may be relevant and helpful.

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