Program management jobs

How to Negotiate Program Manager Jobs

Hello, my name is Rashmi Texidor and I’m a mentor at Pathrise. I specialize in Program, Project Management, and Strategy/Operations at Technical companies. Working over 3 decades, I’ve held numerous positions starting out as a software engineer, product owner, technical lead, project manager, program manager, and founder of my own consulting firm.

Today I’d like to share my experience with salary negotiation in a program manager job and why it is an important part of job satisfaction. I negotiated a higher salary and you can too.

A photo of program manager salary negotiation

Salary Negotiation in Program Manager jobs

I left a great job at a Fortune 500 Company after 15+ years of service primarily due to minimum growth potential. The reason to leave was clear. I was excelling at work–but my salary was below average for my experience, role, and location. My peers working in similar roles with higher compensation and bonus eligibility. While I was grateful for all the years of work and accumulated experience, I knew it was time to move on.

I found a great new job. I pivoted to consulting and my job focused 100% on Technical Programs and Project Management. It was an exciting opportunity for me because I was shifting to consulting–I was making a career change and an even bigger industry shift. Everything was new and it was time to do additional due diligence on compensation.

Preparing to negotiate your program manager job salary

I knew why I was selected for this role – and to prepare for program management salary negotiation I made my list of highlights:

  • My deep experience in technology per my software engineering background
  • My client/business-facing skills working with business teams to define and scope viable solutions (advocate/trusted partner to the Business)
  • My in-demand technical skills and leadership skills I leveraged to build and run high-performing teams to deliver the end product consistently
  • My platform experience – listed all the key platforms and systems I worked on and my business acumen on each
  • My general leadership skills (involved writing business cases and presenting to the CEO/CFO)
  • Overall depth of experience is Technical Project management and Program Management from the structured delivery point of view

This exercise helped me to further understand and articulate what I was bringing to my new role and my value.

I was ready for the program manager job salary negotiation. At first, I indicated how excited I was to begin the new job using effective body language and interview etiquette so that they knew I was ‘in’. While the salary offered was appealing, I really wanted to be bonus eligible.

Salary negotiation in program management depends on knowing your worth and communicating it clearly. That’s why I highlighted my skills and talent for the Program Manager  job. I shared why it was important for me to have bonus eligibility. As the conversation continued, I was told that bonuses were not customary in their business. However, I did not give up. My focus was to understand how star performers were rewarded, so I continued to inquire.  I kept calm and confident while articulating my thoughts well. I shared my experience (value to the organization) by referencing key accomplishments from my highlights list.

During the conversation, I remember how what I was saying resonated with the VP that I was speaking to, she was nodding her head (which was a sign that we understood my position). The outcome for me was not a bonus (because bonuses were not a part of the compensation) but an increase in salary of 10%. That was a perfect start for me.

Now it’s your turn

Come prepared to negotiate your salary in a program manager job – show your worth.

Know your minimum offer.

Be flexible – currency is more than baseline salary – think of the package mindset.

  • Salary
  • Overtime
  • Bonus (understand terms well)
  • Equity (when and how much)
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (profit sharing, 401K matching, vacation)
  • Growth opportunities

Don’t leave money on the table. Connect with an expert salary negotiation consultant like Rashmi when you sign up for Pathrise.

Apply today.

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