Advice Learned Along The Way
Negotiating Your Salary

Mastering Salary Negotiations: The Advanced Tech Lead's Playbook

1. Understand Your Worth

Understanding your market value is paramount. Carry out thorough research to know the average salary for your role, experience, skills, and location. Use websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and local industry surveys. Connect with peers in professional networks and forums.

Case Study: Insight into Market Rates

David, a tech lead, received a £100,000 offer - a 25% raise from his current role. He discovered a survey revealing that tech leads in his city with his skills and experience earned an average of £120,000. This research gave David the leverage to renegotiate the offer, aligning it with market rates.


  • Thoroughly research market rates
  • Tap into your professional network for insights
  • Consider years of experience, specific technical skills, geographical location


  • Accept an offer before understanding the market rate
  • Undervalue your skills

2. Holistic View of Compensation

Your total compensation package encompasses more than just the base salary. It includes bonuses, stock options, insurance, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and other benefits.

Case Study: Balancing Act

Sarah, a tech lead, received a slightly lower base salary offer than anticipated - £110,000. However, the package included an exceptional health plan, 20% annual bonuses and generous stock options. Considering her family's healthcare needs and the potential for financial growth, Sarah accepted the offer.


  • Understand all elements of the compensation package
  • Assess personal circumstances and what benefits are most valuable to you


  • Focus solely on the base salary
  • Overlook other significant benefits that contribute to the overall package

3. Leverage Competing Offers

Competing offers can provide leverage in your salary negotiation. However, it's vital to use this information tactfully to avoid giving an impression of disloyalty or using it purely as a bargaining chip.

Case Study: Artful Negotiator

Ben subtly mentioned a competing offer of £125,000 during his negotiations. The company, sensing the risk of losing him, increased their initial offer from £120,000 to £130,000.


  • Politely mention any competing offers
  • Use the situation to show your value in the market


  • Use competing offers as threats
  • Make up fictitious offers

4. Conceal Your Cards

Avoid disclosing your current salary or desired salary early in the negotiation. This allows more room for negotiation and prevents your new salary from being anchored to your old one.

Case Study: Shrewd Strategist

Laura chose not to reveal her current £95,000 salary during negotiations. The company made the first offer of £120,000 - a figure she might not have achieved had she disclosed her previous salary.


  • Keep current salary confidential if possible
  • Let the employer make the first offer


  • Rush to disclose your salary expectations
  • Allow your past salary to dictate your future one

5. Learn Negotiation Tactics

Knowing how to navigate the negotiation is crucial. Techniques such as mirroring (repeating your counterpart's key phrases) can guide the conversation in your favor.

Case Study: Skilled Negotiator

Luke, an experienced tech lead, frequently mirrored the recruiter's language during the negotiation. The recruiter mentioned they could "potentially stretch to £130,000". Luke responded, "You mentioned you could potentially stretch. Could we explore that further?" His final offer was a satisfactory £130,000.


  • Use negotiation techniques like mirroring
  • Show empathy and build rapport with

your negotiator


  • Be confrontational or overly aggressive

6. Be Prepared to Walk Away

Don’t be afraid to walk away from an offer that doesn’t meet your expectations. This demonstrates your confidence and self-worth.

Case Study: Bold Move

Emma, a sought-after tech lead, turned down a £115,000 offer, knowing her worth. Her bold move led the company to reconsider and return with an improved £125,000 offer.


  • Know your worth and stand your ground
  • Show willingness to walk away if necessary


  • Accept an unsatisfactory offer out of desperation
  • Burn bridges if an offer isn't up to par

Remember, companies have their own goals and tactics during salary negotiations. They aim to secure top talent while adhering to budgetary constraints. They might initially lowball an offer or stress on their "limited budget" to lower your expectations. Understand these tactics to better navigate the negotiation process. Establishing a mutual understanding and respectful communication will not only help you achieve a satisfactory offer but also build a healthy foundation for your future role.