You have just won that great new job. As you await the offer, you anticipate using the negotiating skills from a course you took or the book you read.

Ok, but before you back yourself into a negotiating corner, let me share several uncomfortable truths:

1. Unless you are in the C-Suite or have a mission-critical skill in short supply in the market, your salary range is already predetermined by a compensation advisory firm or diligent internal wage/salary analysts.

2. The hard-earned MBA you hoped would be the gateway to a big financial boost in the near term probably helped you get the job, but it will not afford you much-negotiating wiggle room. That includes many of the name-brand MBA programs.

Your start date, reasonable signing bonus, and relocation packages are the most common topics subject to negotiation at the executive level.