Thursday, May 26, 2011

Salary Tutor by Jim Hopkinson

This book is forthcoming and will be available for purchase in August 2011. I would like to give a thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for making this galley available.

Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You

Learning how to negotiate—for anything, not just salary—is a vital skill, and you will have to use your persuasion and negotiation skills many times in your career.* Negotiating a salary, even your very first salary, is possible and the Salary Tutor explains how to do it in simple, clear, encouraging language. Heck, the author even throws in a flowchart.

I thought the real strength of this book was the preparation of the Industry Research of Salaries (IRS) document, which includes the lowest salary you would accept, the industry standard and the top of the range for the position. The author also includes sources for research (, Glassdoor,, though I would also include some of the salary tools from vertical search engines and industry specific salary surveys, if you have access to them, to your research. The author recommends including this document in your portfolio, so it is prepared for interviewers should the issue come up, and to make several different versions of this document. There is nothing like research and preparation for defending your position in a negotiation, so this is not a step to be skipped. Even if you are never allowed to negotiate your salary—which can happen in a union, non-profit or government work environment—it cannot hurt to know if you are making what the position deserves, especially if additional duties are added to your position at a later date.

The author also has some solid advice for freelancers and creative professionals who need to negotiate each and every contract or service for a client, which is not found in many salary negotiation books. So the structure of the book follows: author’s salary memoir, how to negotiate for the first time, negotiating a raise or promotion and negotiating for freelancers. Considering how short the book was, meaning it could be read in an evening, I was impressed with how comprehensive the book was overall.

Since negotiation is important part of career management, I would strongly recommend this book as a simple primer on negotiation. There will be other resources that can supplement the information in this book, but I think it is one of the best introductions to this process that I have ever encountered.

*For librarians, the first time you have to negotiate a discount or a license, you will wish you had spent some time learning how to persuade salespeople to take less from your budget.

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