Who doesn’t love a great meme? At 10x Ascend, we are suckers for negotiation memes that capture the zeitgeist of our time. So we created a handful of our own, pulling from our decades of experience negotiating compensation packages.
The negotiation memes in this list will resonate with some viewers more than others. But one thing remains consistent: They’re all inspired by real-life negotiation moments, and we hope you’ll enjoy these as much as we enjoyed making them. So without further ado, here is our list of 7 negotiation memes we couldn’t resist sharing with our growing community of tech talent and aspiring negotiation masters.
1. The Record Inflation Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: There has never been a better built-in justification for everyone negotiating a raise. With inflation bouncing between 5 and 10% in the United States, the salary that doesn’t rise by at least an equivalent amount is losing value… quickly. Inflation should impact just about every negotiation while it is at record levels. If you’re due for a raise, consider that you have justification to tack on an additional 5-10% to the amount being negotiated. And if you’re not necessarily due for a performance-based raise, still asking for an inflation-oriented raise makes sense. Don’t forget, if everything is inflated, your company’s top-line probably is as well. If they are earning more because of the economic environment, why aren’t you, too?
2. The Unlimited PTO Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: We’ve written before about the sometimes-deceiving nature of the unlimited PTO policy. Popularized by forward-thinking tech firms like Netflix, unlimited PTO looks amazing on paper. But in practice, unlimited PTO can backfire. Negotiating your vacation time can be tricky when a company offers an “unlimited” amount of it. We put “unlimited” in quotes here because if employees don’t actually take advantage of such a policy, you will want to know this before signing a deal. During your negotiation, ask about the policy. How many weeks do most employees take off? How do you know what is an appropriate amount? Do managers track how much you’ve taken? Answers to these questions will help you understand what the real policy is in practice, and whether it jibes with your own employment desires.
3. The Taken Speech Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: The iconic Liam Neeson scene is probably a bit more intense than any job offer negotiation, but the sentiment rings true here. Negotiation, like anything else, is a set of skills that can be mastered over years of experience and practice. A job candidate should enter a negotiation the same way they’d enter an important presentation – with plenty of reps under their belt until they’re confident everything will go smoothly. And if negotiation simply isn’t a skill set in which you have interest or confidence in developing, that’s why there are experts who can negotiate for you.
4. The Impossible Job Requirement Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: Ruby on Rails developers would be quick to point out that the scripting language didn’t even exist 20 years ago. Believe it or not, we’ve seen impossible job requirements like this at Ascend, on multiple occasions. Such an occurrence can either mean one of two things. Either the company is clueless and should probably be avoided. OR, it was an honest human error that doesn’t speak to the competency of the entire company. If the latter, then this situation presents a lay-up for the Ruby developer to flex their expertise during a job offer negotiation.
5. The Unsubstantiated Fear Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: Negotiation can be scary. And some job candidates have a fear of an employer rescinding an offer after negotiation. In our view, if an employer rescinds an offer after negotiation, they are either not an employer you want to work for, or something went terribly wrong in the negotiation. As Liam Neeson taught us above, negotiation is a specific set of skills that can be learned. If you are confident in those skills, you can rule out the possibility of YOU being the reason for an offer being rescinded. So, you’re left with the possibility of the employer being a bad actor and doing something highly unlikely. At the end of the day, what do you have to lose? Candidates should always negotiate. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the worst they will say is “no.”
6. The Multiple Offers Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: As a nice follow up to the Unsubstantiated Fear meme, this one highlights the ultimate leverage in any job offer negotiation: having multiple offers. Having multiple job offers is extremely powerful for a couple reasons. First, it gives you some chips at the negotiation table to compare different elements of your multiple offers. For example, if one company determined you are worth a much higher salary, that is hard proof of your market value, and that information can be relayed to the company with the weaker offer. And second, assuming you have multiple offers that are all decent, this gives you the freedom to potentially walk away from the negotiation table, in which case the company would miss out on you entirely. As we’ve said before, the ultimate leverage in any negotiation is the willingness to walk away.
7. The Lowball Negotiation Meme
Why we love it: For top-tier talent, the notion that you must first prove yourself in a role in order to earn your market value is bogus. High-caliber tech talent typically has a clear track record of producing high-caliber work. That means that your job offer negotiation should aim to match your level of skill. If you’re going to be a critical member of the team, things like salary, equity, and title should reflect that. Employers should expect talent to perform in-line with the way they are being compensated. That means coming to the negotiation table with a strong offer, and not hiding behind the idea that great talent must first prove themselves – which is a recipe for turning away the best candidates.
Send Us Your Favorite Negotiation Memes
This list of some of our favorite negotiation memes hardly scratches the surface of what’s out there. If you have any good ones to send our way (and to add to this post), please reach out and let’s share a laugh or two. Find us on Twitter or LinkedIn, or reach out directly on our website.