[Computational Complexity] Negotiating Your Job
An excellent Chronicle article on negotiating your job offer. I fully agree with the article that you lose out considerably by not negotiating and that you focus more than anything else on salary. An extra $5000 now will grow through the years as salary increases are usually a percentage of the current salary. Universities try to hold down the salary for similar reasons.
Once a department makes an offer, even if it was a tough decision, they then try as hard as they can to get the candidate to accept. Losing a candidate looks bad in their university and in the CS community. Take advantage of this and negotiate hard. Remember that once you agree to a contract your negotiating power goes to zero and remains zero for years to come.
For computer science, the Faculty Salary section of the Taulbee Survey can give you some idea what kind of income to aim for.
After salary, try to negotiate larger startup (or individually money for summer salary, students, travel), course reductions and any special needs you might have. As a rule, anything is negotiable.
If you have two offers, even if one offer dominates the other you should keep both offers open to be in a better negotiating position. This isn't good for the community as it keeps two positions tied up, but you need to think about yourself. Try to wrap up the negotiations as quickly as possible though so you don't keep jobs away from other people.
And, of course, if you get an offer from Chicago, ignore all of the above and just accept our initial offer immediately.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 11/08/2005 03:13:00 PM