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Discussing Salary

January 31, 2008 0 comments

Here's an ideal scenario:

You impressed someone who offers you a job of your dreams, you're again meeting this person again and he or she gives you the job offer, with a salary below what you had expected. But what if the offer is unacceptable to you? If it really is one of your dream jobs -- or even simply a job you really want -- you should consider moving into the negotiation phase by making a counter proposal to the employer.

Discussing salary

Handle this poorly and you'll not only negatively impact the offer you get, but could actually knock yourself out of the running altogether!

You were called for the offer, you will never know exactly what the manager is thinking about offering you.

So don't guess or try to be overly involved in this process. Set things up for them to do all the work so that you can avoid the following traps.

If you say you want more than what they are thinking about offering , you will turn them off.

If you say you want substantially less than what they are considering. They may think you are desperate (or worse...they may actually offer you that!)

What I'm looking for is the most competitive offer. I'm hesitant to give you an exact # because I'm not sure what you think I'm worth and how I'd fit in with the compensation structure of the rest of the team. So, I guess this is a better question to ask of you.....What do you think I might be worth to your organization?"

"While money is very important, the opportunity within the position is really my #1 consideration. If we agree there's a match, I'm confident that you'd offer me the most you felt that I was worth."

What do you think I might be worth to your company?"

If every company just made their BEST offer the first time, we wouldn’t see so many “bidding wars” (which are headache for everyone).

You'll have your greatest negotiation leverage between the time the employer makes the original offer and the time you accept the final offer. Once you accept an offer, you have little to no room to negotiate

You’ll have more power to negotiate when the field of candidates has been reduced to just you -- when the employer is completely sold on you as the best candidate for the position.


  1. Don't negotiate at the time the initial job offer is made. Thank the employer for the offer and express your strong interest and enthusiasm in the job, but state that you'll need time to evaluate the entire compensation package.

Most employers are willing to give you a fair amount of time to review -- and if you run across an employer who wants a decision immediately, consider long and hard whether you want to work for such a company.

  1. Do your research. The greatest tool in any negotiation is information. Make sure you have done a thorough job of determining your fair market value for the job you are seeking, the salary range of the job for this specific employer, and geographic, economic, industry, and company-specific factors that might affect the given salary. Also try to obtain information on the employer's standard benefits package so that you have information beyond salary.

It is very important how the position is called and your line of responsibilities. If you a Director, so you have more room to make decisions, and your salary will be decent. If you have some manager over you, you have much less room for negotiations because you will be given tasks, but someone else will to decide and you are to follow.

  1. Negotiate to your strength. If you are a smooth talker (an extravert), call the employer and ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss a counter proposal. If you communicate better in writing, follow our guidelines for writing a counter proposal letter (below).

To me, I am very good at writing as every writing takes time and thoughts to put things in a nice way. I also am a very good speaker, but in person. I cannot do any negotiations by phone because this freaks me out. Money and the title are the most important things - at least to me. The higher the title the better. So I feel miserable when someone offering me any Executive Assistant title. And people may not even know it.

I remind myself of a Sun Wukong, Handsome Monkey King when we are talking about titles.

His first title on heavens was a head of the Heavenly Stables when he first went to Heaven. But when he found out that it had no rank whatsoever, he left the post in anger. From then on, he always hated it when anyone called him. When he returned to Flower Fruit Mountain after leaving his post as Bi Ma Wen, two single-horned demon kings came to him and suggested that he take the title of Great Sage Equal of Heaven. Wu Kong was very receptive of this idea and called himself by that title from then on. Afterwards, when he defeated all the Heavenly generals sent to capture him, the Jade Emperor (ruler of Heaven) gave him the post of Great Sage Equal of Heaven to placate. Anyway we are not arguing whether Money King actually has any job to do, but he was anyway very rich and agreed to work for free for the title.

  1. Always ask for a higher salary (within acceptable limits) than you are willing to accept so that when the employer counters your proposal, the salary should be near your original goal. And when possible, try and show how your actions (once on board) will recoup the extra amount (or more) that you are seeking -- through cost savings or increased sales revenue, productivity, efficiencies.

I will ask a salary for 10% higher then they propose, and then move on to other elements of the job offer.

To me, I personally prefer contracts. You never know what kind of opportunity may arrive. If I am a manager and get an offer as a director, I will not think a second. I will take an offer with more responsibilities. So if I have a contract, I feel that my employment is at will and based on the project. This way I feel I can request more money later when my project is successfully implemented.

When presenting a counter proposal to the employer, be sure and include a few benefits that are expendable so that you can drop them in a concession to the employer as negotiations continue.

I also think that counter proposal is a great tool because sometimes you can offer something in addition of your skills and ask for more responsibilities.

  1. Never stop selling yourself throughout the negotiation process. Keep reminding the employer of the impact you will make, the problems you will solve, the revenue you will generate. And continue expressing interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company.
If you have no intention of accepting the company's offer, don't waste your time or the company's by entering into negotiation. Negotiation is a process designed to find common ground between two or more parties.

If you have multiple job offers, don't put the companies into a bidding war for your services; it rarely works out.

  1. Don't enter negotiations with the wrong attitude. Always have in the back of your mind that your goal with these negotiations is a win-win situation. You want to get a better deal, but you also need to let the employer feel as though they got a good deal as well.

I think it is natural to have a wrong attitude. It is one thing that you are working with a friend, then yes. People get together discuss strengthens and weaknesses and agree on a compensation.

You need to make someone who hires you to be sure not as a money-saving asses, but as a liability. And I always think that life is not perfect, but is fair. God created universe and made good things for good people and bad things for some people who like to suffer. However, life is not perfect and things get messed up. So I believe I need to really fight to make people give me what I am worse.

I was always surprised how people with less abilities ad strength make more then other very talented individuals. So the secret is that these people could not survive if they were not users. They will always find someone more capable to do a job. So I think if you are capable, then you need to prove t and fight for it. Nobody will never get you anything as a gift - no matter how smart you are, how marketable your skills are. Keep in mind, one day this may all change once you open your business. Then you really can apply your talents and you will have nobody to blame if something goes the way you have not expected.

7. Never make demands. Instead, raise questions and make requests during negotiations. Keep the tone conversational, not confrontational.

Another thing to overcome is how employer will accept your counter proposal. Be prepared for any of a number of possible reactions to your counter proposal, from complete acceptance to agreeing to some concessions to refusal to negotiate.

You have to be willing to walk away from negotiations. If you don't have a strong position (a good current job or one or more current or potential job offers), it will be harder for you to negotiate. If you really need or want the job, be more careful in your negotiations. But in my opinion is better to show who you really are then play a role who you are not. The situation is to come. I tried to get positions when I just came to US to do some supporting role. In this case if you find a problem, you are the problem. No matter how good you play, people will see that you do not belong to this position. And another thing if you are a doer and you really stuck when you cannot make decision because somebody from a chain of authority is higher and stuck at the level of his/her incompetency, you fucked. Sooner or later you will feel so miserable, so you will just decide to leave. No matter how you love this business, no matter how many friends you have in the company So this is very dangerous to accept something that you much above. Besides, people actually respect you better when they pay you more money and you can work smart, not hard.

Once the employer agrees to your compensation requests, the negotiations are over. You cannot ask for anything more -- or risk appearing immature or greedy and having the employer's offer withdrawn or rescinded.

8. Always be sure to get the final offer in writing. Be extremely wary of companies that are not willing to do so.

Note: one advantage of writing a counter proposal letter is that you list the terms of the offer in your letter.

Wishing you luck and being positive!

Posted by lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio Hire Me

Successful Expatriate Manager/Business Development Officer - Target Resume

November 25, 2018 0 comments

Lisa Smirnova


Dedicated professional with 20 year’s successful project management expertise. Seeking a position of a business development manager where she can utilize her consulting experience, business sensibilities, advanced degree, and enthusiasm.


Market-savvy, entrepreneurial individual who thrives on risk and a brilliant analyst. Result-oriented self-starter who handles multiple projects and manages conflicting priorities.

Dynamic leader – motivates employees to contribute toward effectiveness and success of an organization. Exceptional ability to make sound decisions in critical situations.

Possesses high energy, strong work ethic and unquestioned reputation for honesty and integrity. Committed to overall client satisfaction; Ability to learn and transfer knowledge in an organization. Excellent communication skills: an attentive listener, articulate speaker and persuasive negotiator with fluency in English, Russian and Ukrainian


Project Management – led teams of 35 people and managed projects up to $2,000,000.

Business Development – managed Market Research & Analysis for a variety of industries and established business plans. Identified new business opportunities - new markets, partnerships with other businesses, ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings - to bring in more revenue. Created marketing strategies.

Account Management – proactively found new ways to build clients business and grow accounts. Mastered and maintained vast knowledge of customers business, competition, and latest industry. Negotiated and closed deals having a face-to-face meeting with clients or partners. Advised on Business Formation of an international company including registration overseas.

Visionary Leadership, Team Building, and Coaching – Developed and coordinated training programs in both academic and industrial environments. Training included International business management, International negotiations, Cultural issues in International Business, Development and Operations in Joint Venture Companies, and Entrepreneurship strategies.

Contract Negotiations – negotiated the terms and conditions in contracts ensuring compliance, documenting any changes that arose during its implementation

Other Functions – People Management, Recruiting, Business Planning, Market Intelligence, Marketing, Product Representation, Business Cases and Presentations, Facilitation, Market & Social Research, Public Speaking. Deal sourcing, company analysis, and evaluation undertaking due diligence evaluating technology advantages and sustainability, assessing technology commercialization potential, preparing industry and country studies, providing market analyzes.

Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation and psychological research methods.

Government Relations Management and Expertise – Represented international companies before local and state governmental entities in the Ukraine, Russia and the former USSR countries. Expedited high-level negotiations between government and private industry sector.


  • Web: HTML, XML, CSS
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, Project, PowerPoint, Acrobat Professional, OpenOffice 2.0, Serena TeamTrack, EPR Epicor Vantage
  • Python, Django
  • Social Media Skills: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Software: Omnigraffle, Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Project; IOS.
  • DjangoCMS, WordPress, Magento
  • Web Design: HTML, CSS
  • Project Management: Trello, Pivotal Tracker, GitLab, GitHub and Jira


Kharkov State Academy of Municipal Economy Post-graduate work GPA: 4 (on a 4.0 scale)

Conducted feasibility studies and investigated environmental problems of nuclear power, hydroelectric power, and alternative energy sources in the Ukraine September 1999 – Jan 2002

Kharkov Civil Engineering University

Master of Business Administration

Kharkov State Academy of Municipal Economy

Bachelor Degree of Science in Engineering, Minor: Hotel Management


MarpaSoft LLC, Los Angeles, CA 2009 - Present

Founder - Business Development

MarpaSoft LLC is a Los Angeles based full-service agency specializing in creative design, custom web & iOS application development. Major clients included UCLA & CCAPP (the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals).

  • Acquired 23 customers and manage the development of 17 complex database driven websites & 225 mobile applications.
  • Negotiate contracts and project budgets. Translate contracts into statements of work, and turn them into project requirements.
  • Manage requirements and proactively track deliverables.
  • Lead and deliver multiple projects and releases simultaneously.
  • Continuously assess project risks and plan actions to mitigate.
  • Analyze and research market trends and competitors, provide ideas to enhance customers’ businesses.
  • Led the development of a multi-app Local Research platform for building and hosting iPhone apps using SEO-optimized small business profiles.
  • Oversaw the automated app submission process and maintained multiple productions of apps simultaneously securing jobs for over 100 students at UCLA Associated Student Media and releasing 225 apps through the Apple App Store for student groups, newspapers, sports, and EPKs for local businesses.

Director, Business Development

02/08 – Present

Share Now, Beverly Hills, CA

IT/Media Sharing/Social Networking

  • Oversee SDLC making sure that each phase of development is delivered on schedule and with high-quality results. Lead IT recruiting activities.
  • Define and communicate specifications, manage resources, coordinate cross-functional teams and manage an on-time implementation
  • Develop product from strategic planning to implementation to post-launch analysis based on strategic priorities, industry experience, idea generation, site, and marketplace research.
  • Analyze every aspect of the user experience, putting users' needs and expectations first in the definition of requirements. Cultivate and constantly improve the user experience. Create usability surveys.
  • Optimize and analyze product performance. Facilitate site acquisition and build networking communities; participate in the development and implementation of grassroots and traditional marketing plans.

Management Consultant - 04.94 - 04.02 - Ukraine; 05/02 – Present, USA

Perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of customers business, conduct a functional analysis of every aspect of clients business to recognize the problem affecting profit, providing perspective on operations. Examine marketing, management, and operations of the clients business. Analyze operational review; conduct employee interviews and questionnaires.

  • Suggest organization re-engineering. Help with settings goals and creating plans; organizing structured framework within the organization; putting right people in the right jobs; directing and monitoring process.

Managing Director, - 03/07 - Present

Elicited requirements of new software development using interviews, surveys, tasks and workflow analysis for medical non-emergency transportation services and rehabilitation centers; worked with a software developer to create an application using open source technologies. Conceptualized business plan; Next step is to patent the technology.

  • Conducted market research of Commercial Real estate development in Ukraine (2004-2005)

List of Consulting Projects: from 04.1986 until 02.2008

Elixir, Los Angeles - 03/07- 05/07

Conducted business analysis and research on herbal health care needs of Americans; Proposed to create Elixir kiosks at the airports and promote a new brand. The business was sold to a competitor.

Long Tale, Los Angeles, CA

Intellectual Property (IP) Asset Management Services

A key member of the executive team; set Company strategic directions. Manage multiple business initiatives in a start-up environment. Analyze lender proposals and investment scenarios. Build and manage a business development team. Lead recruiting activities.

  • Wrote a business plan for Digital Software for Intellectual property management (music, independent film, photography) (May 2006)

Quackers Entertainment, LLC

Brought parties together and collected investment money for pre-production independent film project; have a title as Associate producer (11/04 – Present)

Cranium Film Works LA, Hollywood, CA

Analyzed existing business plan and investment scenarios; conducted market research for Digital media on pricing, competitors and services available. Suggested a client not to look for an investor, but ask for money from his clients to purchase needed equipment. My idea worked within a week. The client gave the owner $200,000.00. The company currently operates renting office space in Raleigh Studios. (2004)

Innovative Computer Concepts, Pasadena, CA - (08.03-03.08)

Made recommendations for the existing business plan. Conducted market research on structure and needs of Veterinary industry in California and Los Angeles area. Elicited requirements of a software development using interviews, surveys, tasks and workflow analysis – project in a process of being funded.

Fulbright International Center, Arlington, Washington DC - 08/03-02/04

Business development efforts to create a new Fulbright International Center providing support and grants for creative people and artists

Hustler Club/424 Club, Beverly Hills, CA - 04/03-08/03

Wrote a business plan for a restaurant; the restaurant was opened in 424 Beverly Hills, CA and operated until was sold to the other party.

Project/Product Manager - 09/06 – 07/07

LRN, Los Angeles, CA

E-Learning industry

Planed, deployed, and managed successful web-based legal and ethics training solutions for several Global 1000 companies. As a product manager for building Knowledge management created product vision. Initially was brought to the company by Rick Vita.

  • Analyzed description of features, functions, and benefits of products. Evaluated, recommended and implemented product enhancements and new product concepts based on market demand, sales abilities, and operational feasibility.
  • Researched on improvements of education solutions to reinforce corporate culture and integrity.

Business Analyst/Procurement Administration/Contract - 02/05 - 08/06

Marvin Engineering Company, Inglewood, CA

Responsible for international negotiations with Eastern Europe to develop a subsidiary of Marvin Engineering; Managed relations with top airspace companies and numbers of machining houses negotiating the best value by means of a long-term agreement

  • Elicited requirements of new software development using interviews, surveys, tasks and workflow analysis. Coordinated implementation of proprietary integrated software (C#, ADO.NET).
  • Implementation of a new integrated system saved 40% time and increased buyers’ performance 30%. Trained 20 of personal on system usage

Expatriate/Project Manager - 02/98 – 04/02

International Educational Project, Kharkov , Ukraine

Managed a $550,000 project from the writing and submission of a grant proposal to final implementation. Supervised 30 members of academic staff. Successfully exceeded department expectations in achieving project milestones, resulting in significant time (50%) and cost savings (est. $40K savings).

  • Conducted lectures to Bachelor students once a week. Oversaw curriculum development activities.
  • Facilitated the development software system for the "student-teacher" computer dialog system using Windows Forms in C# .NET and XML.
  • Oversaw library automation of all in-house activities and compiling electronic catalog (HTML, Perl).
  • Managed the certification by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine for the new curriculum (Environmental Engineering and Management), which established a new career specialization for the Ministry of Labor.
  • Discussed major issues about the Ukrainian Energy market with President of Ukraine, Kuchma and Vice Speaker of Parliament.
  • Presented project at an international educational conference: “Svit Osvity” (over 200 exhibits and over 10,000 students).
  • Presented the project to the News Media and presented all information of current funding to grant participants to establish new projects.

VP of Business Development - 04/97 – 04/02

Energy Stock Sales and Foreign Investments

EnergoFinTrust, Investment and Stock Company, Kharkov, Ukraine

Developed and directed partnerships in joint-venture companies

  • Managed the key accounts for the company amounting in $30,000 monthly corporate sales.
  • Managed a team of 8 attorneys to create sales contracts and conduct legal procedures in court. Supervised 10 sales managers.
  • Coordinated employee training and development seminars for 10 sales managers and 45 salesmen in all aspects of energy brokering in Ukraine, including strategic management, customer relations, sales and contract negotiations that increased operation productivity by 15% and reduced training costs by 50%.
  • Developed business plans and created demo presentations for prospective investors. Raised capital in excess of $8M to fund 15 science research venture start-ups.

VP of Business Development

INFOPOLIPROM, Wholesale Computer Distributor, Kharkov, Ukraine

Developed and implemented business development, sales and PR strategies to acquire new customers and retain existing accounts. Created marketing campaigns

  • Managed the development of a contact database for a wholesale electronics distributor. Implementation of the system improved customer service by 80%.

PR Manager/Tourist Guide

Kharkov Bureau of Trips and Excursions, Kharkov, Ukraine

Managed existing accounts and creating new business opportunities

  • Organized large corporate events for governmental, private and educational sectors.
  • Developed official tourist excursion plans for the City of Kharkov, Ukraine.

Posted by lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio Hire Me