Decision made — I'm quitting my job. How do I refresh my negotiation skills?

The backstory: 

I've been at my job for almost a year now and I'm starting to think that, rather than ask for a raise, I should change jobs completely. I just don't find the nature of my job interesting anymore, and while I love my team members, I don't feel that my intellect and abilities are respected. My heart is set on changing careers completely. But I haven't searched for job, let alone negotiated for job, in over a year. 

I haven't negotiated a job offer in over a year, how do I go about refreshing my skills to prepare? The jobs I'm currently looking into may have a commission component, and that is unfamiliar territory to me. Would it be wrong of me to negotiate salary and a commission or bonus percentage?

— June, Los Angeles

Alex's Advice

You've got two related questions here. It's interesting, but not surprising, that you led with the fact that you're reluctant to negotiate at your current job since you are ready to move on. This is a hesitation I hear often, and I've written about how to handle it. I like to say 'practice makes permanent': the more opportunities you have to practice negotiation, the more naturally it will come to you. So I would encourage you to consider negotiating your current salary.

If you're unfamiliar with how commission or bonuses work in your future industry, start with some informational interviews. Make sure to speak with both men and women as you're doing your research. My gut says it's not wrong to negotiate both — it's never wrong to negotiate, as long as you're reasonable and respectful — but if you're unsure, ask others what they did and how it went for them. Good luck!

— Alexandra Dickinson
CEO + founder

Ask Alex is our monthly advice series. CEO + Founder Alexandra Dickinson answers your most burning negotiation questions. Subscribe to our email list for more advice and content. We'd also love to hear from you! Submit your questions to


Alexandra Dickinson

Alexandra Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Ask For It, a boutique consulting company working to close the gender wage gap by effecting change at both the institutional and individual level. We work with companies, schools, organizations and individuals through a combination of trainings, workshops and consulting. Our goal is for women and men to be paid based on their talents and skills, regardless of gender, and for our company to have been an important part of that change.