You don’t need to negotiate better

Satyajit Rout
1 min readDec 22, 2022


Most people wish they could negotiate better. This feeling peaks around the time of job interviews and pay discussions.

Most common advice also circles the same path: Quote a number higher than your target.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

That’s a very hammer-and-nail solution. The advice assumes everyone will be happy with more money, everything else remaining the same.

But not all outcomes improve with money.

There are two variables to consider in any discussion on what you will get in exchange for renting your time. Only one is payoff.

💡The other is currency–how you want to be paid.

Your payoff should be in the currency you most value. Most don’t bother to match payoff and currency. They end up fighting for a bigger payoff in a worse currency.

Early on in your career, your best payoff may be growth opportunities. Once those EMIs start, money may matter more. Later on, it could be flexibility.

Forget negotiation books if you don’t know what currency you want. Building negotiation chops without knowing what matters to you is gathering speed without direction.

Better decision-making can lay the foundation to know yourself better. Negotiation skills are what will help you build on top of that foundation.



Satyajit Rout

I write about decision-making, mental models, and better thinking and things in between