When negotiating during a downturn, focus less on getting more cash today and focus more on maximizing your upside long term.
For example, companies aren’t willing to burn cash during these times. But they might be happy to extend you more equity or to commit to a larger bonus or raise when meeting certain milestones or during next year’s review cycle.
Be sure to highlight how you’re going to add value to the company, especially to the company’s priorities or to its bottom line. For example, if you’re being brought on board to work on a new project, show them you’ve done your homework and have ideas about how to hit the ground running, and how that project will be impactful to the company for weathering the recession.