“I increased my salary by $4,000/year from my original offer. That is $4,000 more per year going towards my student loans!” – Sarah Schmidt PharmD
A Pharmacist’s Guide To Salary and Benefit Negotiation
A 40 page step by step guide to help you create a larger salary and more benefits
Chapter 1 : Why Every Pharmacist Should Negotiate Their Salary and Benefits
We break down all the common myths about why pharmacists can’t negotiate any more. Yes, the job market is full, but you can demonstrate your value and show your new job you are worth your salary!
Chapter 2 : Your Negotiation Strategy : An Overview
In this chapter you’ll learn the general process on how to negotiate your next job offer.
Chapter 3 : Your Negotiation Strategy : Create Value
This chapter creates your secret weapon: value. If you demonstrate your value to the new job, you’ll be able to prove why you’re worth what you ask for. We show you how to build your case.
Chapter 4 : Eight Steps to Negotiate Your Salary and Benefits
The final chapter walks you step by step on how to negotiate your salary and benefits. Each chapter has lead to this final guide. You’ll know what to watch out for when the HR manager negotiates with you. You’ll learn from the mistakes of others (including myself) and what not to say during the negotiation.
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Before she was a coach with The Happy PharmD, Jackie Boyle was a pharmacist seeking a new job opportunity. As part of her preparation to change jobs, Jackie signed up for a copy of our negotiation guide to learn all that she could about the negotiating process.
Here’s her version of how understanding the negotiation process improved her most recent outcome.
“I didn’t do it right the first time around, so with my first job I basically settled for what was offered to me,” Jackie said. “I didn’t know how to negotiate. I didn’t know what questions to ask or the proper terminology to use. I didn’t even understand the simple fact that I was able to negotiate. I basically did everything wrong.”
She was plagued by a sense that she should have done things differently, so she armed herself with information before embarking on the search for her second job.
“The negotiation process for my second job was different,” she said. “I used the negotiation tips that the team provided and I watched the bonus videos about negotiating. For me, it came down to one important question: What flexibility was there in this offer?”
“When I got the offer, I asked what flexibility there was. It was an open-ended question that could lead to lots of different conversations.”
“Then I stayed quiet.”
“The recruiter needed time to think about her answer and an opportunity to go back to her team and see what flexibility there was. I was shocked to hear her say that she would check with the team and get back to me.”
Jackie said there were a couple of other things she did that were helpful during the negotiation process.
“I looked at other comparable positions in the area and listed reasons why it was important for me to not accept the first offer that came my way,” she explained. “My family was losing a couple of big benefits by moving from one position to another, so at the end of the day, it was about what was best for my family.”
“I also reached out to my coach and someone who was a mentee who is excellent at negotiating. I called her and told her what was on the table and asked what she would do. She gave me excellent advice and encouraged me to be confident in the process.”
Like most pharmacists we work with at The Happy PharmD, salary wasn’t Jackie’s only motivation.
“One big thing we lost when I changed positions was my husband’s tuition reimbursement from my previous employer,” Jackie said. “That was a pretty hefty amount of financial stability every year, so I inquired about what that might look like.”
“I also lost all the paid time off that I had saved up from my previous job — 4 weeks’ worth. Due to logistical restrictions, that didn’t wind up carrying over, so I did end up losing something, but I gained in the process as well.”
Jackie said the hardest part of the entire process was changing her own mindset about negotiations.
“I needed to remain confident in knowing that asking these questions wasn’t being pushy, and it wasn’t unexpected either. I needed to feel comfortable that it was ok to ask and that it was also ok to wait and see what would happen.”
Jackie credits her family as a big motivating force throughout the negotiation process.
“I wasn’t asking for something for the sake of greed,” she said. “It was more internally things that I really wanted for my family because it’s the most important thing to me.”
When I asked her whether she would do anything differently if she had the chance, Jackie said she felt pretty good about the experience.
“At this point, I’m so proud of how I handled the negotiation that I feel pretty good about it.”
She did, however, learn a hard lesson about PTO transferring between jobs.
“I was a little surprised that PTO doesn’t always transfer, so I guess I might have used it before I left my prior job,” Jackie said.
She also learned the value of having people you can lean on throughout the process. She said it can be tough to remember that you hold the power in the conversation because their job offer means they want you for the position.
“Negotiation can be very stressful and it’s very fast-paced. It helps to have someone you can bounce ideas off of,” she said. “For professional issues, it helps to have colleagues who understand the market and who can help you understand the offer.”
Our negotiation guide ultimately helped Jackie negotiate a $4,000 raise annually, and it can help you through the negotiation process as well.
It’s important to understand the long-term impact of the salary you negotiate in your current position. If 401K matching funds and annual raises are figured as a percentage of your salary, then your current salary could determine how soon you retire or how quickly you pay off student loans.
Don’t underestimate the importance of negotiation, and don’t underestimate the importance of having someone to help you through the process.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you should simply be happy to have an offer. Let the team at The Happy PharmD prepare you for the best negotiation experience you’ve ever had.
Shilpa Durbal, PharmD
This Guide took away my fears on how to negotiate my next salary. Thank you so much for sharing this wealth of knowledge. I feel as though I am more equipped going into a salary negotiation situation.
A Pharmacist’s Guide To Salary and Benefit Negotiation