HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management


In job negotiations, professionals too often focus on pay and benefits and fail to think more broadly about how the opportunity will fit into their long-term career goals. A better strategy involves working backward from your career objectives to define the next steps you want to take. In addition, you may be more successful if you're mindful of whether you’re proposing something standard, an unusual arrangement for yourself, or an idea that will change the organization. For the best outcomes, make sure you have all the necessary information and aren’t operating under false assumptions. Explain why your request is also in the other party’s interest. Lastly, seek input and feedback from people who could be helpful, and enlist allies to support your proposal.


Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Bobbi Thomason. "Negotiating Your Next Job: Focus on Your Role, Responsibilities, and Career Trajectory, not Salary." Harvard Business Review 99.1 (January-February 2021): 68-75.