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What would you ask for?

For the first time in my life I'm being actively courted for a job.  The VP I'm talking to seems really intent on having me join the company.  I'm interested, but haven't committed to anything yet.

It occurs to me that I should leverage his interest to my advantage.  Never having been in this position before (and probably never again), I'm not sure what I should ask for. 

Besides a bigger salary, what else would you ask for?

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Thirty oiled virgins, a daily sponge bath, and a foosball table.

Well maybe you ought to ask for something more practical.  What's important to you?  Do you want to spend more time with your kids?  Get as many work-from-home days as you can.  Do you want to be as productive as possible?  Ask for your own office (and some quiet).  Do you want to study the blue-toothed booby?  Ask for college funds.

Before you get a list of demands, first determine what your priorities are and what you aim to do while working at this place (your demands should be focused like a laser, not a clusterbomb).

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Flexible work hours, good health insurance, 401k matching, responsibility and challenges, and a competitive salary.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Ask for things that benefit you but cost them very little.

Flexible work shedule. Increased vacation time (with commensurate decrease in pay).

Fast computer.  (Costs them a little, but increases your productivity at the same time. hopefully they'll realize that)

Dual monitor setup (see above)

Sunday, August 8, 2004

A contract for X number of years with a penalty for foreclosure.  An assured income is way more of a productivity booster than a beowulf cluster of NEC Earth Simulators, IMO.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Dual monitors
Operating system of your choice
Editor of your choice
Ability to download and install pograms on your workstation.
Part ownership or ability to become partner

Tom Vu
Sunday, August 8, 2004

Dual monitor setups are nice...  but also request a "training allotment" and make sure to put it in terms of:

"If I use it, my skills get better and you benefit.  If I don't use it, it won't be spent.  Either way, both sides benefit."

I did that at my last job and managed to get my annual training allotment doubled.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Oh... and make sure to note what that allotment can be used for...

books, classes, seminars, software, conferences, etc

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Get it it writing and realize that as soon as you accept the offer, the freebies are over.

I like all the ideas.  Training & Vacaiton increases are especially win-wins in my book.  If the company won't give you that ...

Sunday, August 8, 2004

2 words:

hooker allowance

CGI-bin Laden
Sunday, August 8, 2004

> A contract for X number of years with a penalty for foreclosure.

Or a year's notice: so that the contract is for an unspecified number of years, but they need to tell you one year before they end it.

I think I'd ask for competent and motivated coworkers; and access to resources that support development (customers, sales, QA).

Christopher Wells
Sunday, August 8, 2004

One question to ask yourself is, "what are you giving up"?

What do you like about the way things are?  Think of requirements that would insure those things don't change, or that they get even better.

Two years ago I was in your position.  I was an independent contractor.  I loved working from home 99% of the time; I loved making an excellent hourly rate; I loved lots of flex time.  In short, I liked my lifestyle and didn't want to change it.

Furthermore, if my suitor wanted me to come to work for them, I wanted to be compensated for the risk of closing down my consultancy, and the expense of eventually having to start it back up again.  Plus, I wanted enough money to be able to rationalize the inevitable pointy-haired-boss nonsense I would have to put up with.

So, my core personal requirements were:

1) 100% telecommute
2) 20% more pay
3) A highly marketable job title (I chose CTO).

To my amazement, they said yes.  I'm still there and still reasonably happy.

John S West
Sunday, August 8, 2004

> Or a year's notice

according to the country you're living in, this may or may not be legal. So check it first, because if they give it to you, it might just turn to be worth less than the paper it's written on.

My 2 EUR-cents.

Serge Wautier
Sunday, August 8, 2004

2 flat panel monitors (more room for paper on my desk).
An allowance for books (pitch it so that the books are the foundation of the company library and aim for a book a week).
Time for research projects (maybe half day a week). You never know when something you diddled with ends up saving the company. Things like post-it notes are an example of a project that started as a "don't do this on company time" to become something that 3M makes millions on.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

A 5:00 gaurantee. As long as you show up at 9:00AM, and take a 1 hour lunch, you can leave at 5:00.
Sunday, August 8, 2004

Dual monitors (for me this is non-negotiable)
Quiet office
A decent benefits package
New computer (not some shitty 700MhZ hand-me-down suffering from Windows "rot" having been used by 4 different people in the past)
Coke/beer fridge on free-play

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Employment by contract. You guarantee 6 months notice to quit, they have to give you 6 months notice of termination. Whats at stake, an exit package. Some decent figure based on your annual salary (maybe include bonuses in that figure) at the time you leave, lets say 30%. Also in the contract a simple guarantee of bonus and promotion based on some tangible financial or other goals. Guaranteed health care upon retirement that includes dental and vision. A nice retirement package. The real kicker you want the contract to be so simple it is only 2-3 pages long, simple and to the point with no crazy loop holes etc.

While your at it get them to pay for insurance on your hands, eyes and back. Assuming you program if they go so does your job, so a nice insurance package to cover them might be nice. Chemists often insure their knees and backs since the stand so much at work. I know one guy that such an insurance package really helped him out.

Monday, August 9, 2004


New computer (not some shitty 700MhZ hand-me-down suffering from Windows "rot" having been used by 4 different people in the past)


Try 266 MHz. Kid you not. Visual Studio takes 30 seconds to start. At least it has enough memory.

dot for this one
Monday, August 9, 2004

If I had the choice?  I'm getting annoyed with the pittance of vacation time I have.  And it takes so freaking long to get more out of the company.  Make sure you get enough time off. 

Monday, August 9, 2004

A really nice desk:

Thursday, August 12, 2004

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