Haggling for a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly in America. The workplace can be pretty cripplingly stressful as is, but now you have to talk about proper compensation? What if you get nervous and just request to be paid in marbles? Now that would be a real comedy of errors.
But actually, comedy may be the best way to avoid said errors, at least when it comes to negotiating your salary. According to Lifehacker, a proven tactic to leave your salary negotiations with better pay is to severely highball your worth, in a joking fashion. “Mr. Upperman, I want to be paid one million marbles.”
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology can be thanked for this tactic. Todd J. Thorsteinson, a University of Idaho professor, conducted a series of negotiations with a group of participants, and found that the group that the “joke” group, who would ask for a salary astronomically higher than the actual projected compensation, would always end up leaving the discussion more financially well off than the control group.
The difference wasn’t negligible: the control group left negotiations with an average starting salary of $32,463, while the “joke” group left negotiations with an average starting salary of $35,385. That’s a pay bump of roughly nine percent, which is, statistically speaking, a larger pay bump than seven percent.
So, for the love of marbles, ask for something ridiculous next time you’re negotiating your salary. It also couldn’t hurt to make sure you have this one thing on your resume.