Should I be negotiating?

We were in a panel discussion the other day when someone asked the question – “Should I be negotiating my salary as I head to my first job after graduate school?”

We shared two notes.

(1) It depends on the context. But, as a rule, is a good idea to bias toward asking – no ask, no get after all.

(2) The challenge, however, isn’t in asking for something. It is in answering the more important question – do I know what I want?

Operating with clarity about what we need makes it both easier to ask and paves the way for a more productive conversation.