Negotiating an Offer

There have been several posts about salary in the past week, it got me thinking about negotiations pertaining to salary and job offers.

  • Timing: Negotiating should occur once you have an offer, whether verbal or written.  Do not get pulled into haggling over money or vacation days prior to knowing where you stand with your future employer.  Also, if an employer is giving you 72 hours to decide on the job offer, don’t start negotiations at hour one or seventy-one.  Take some time to evaluate the offer, ask follow-up questions, but don’t wait until the last-minute to counter.  This leads to creating…
  • Win-Win: Try to go into the negotiations looking for a “win-win” scenario.  Nothing good can come from creating bad feelings on either side – remember, you have to work with these individuals.
  • Information: The most powerful position to negotiate an offer is from a position of information.  The more research you can do to understand the landscape – average salary, vacation, benefit packages, etc. – of the industry and position will help your negotiations.  When one asks for a greater salary or benefits package from an employer, it helps if it is in the ballpark of the industry norms.
  • Situational: How hard you negotiate will depend upon your personal situation.  How much do you want or need this new job?  Will this job allow you to accomplish steps to your overall goals?  Are there alternate candidates waiting in the wings for this position?
  • Big Picture: When considering an offer and deciding to negotiate, be sure to get all the details from the employer and not just salary.  Health care coverage, opportunity for advancement, retirement contributions, and other benefits could make a lower paid job a better overall package in the long run.
  • Performance Incentives: Why not offer to prove yourself to your future employer in order to reap the benefits?  Ask for a review with a chance for advancement/raise at 6 months instead of a year.  Set certain performance goals with the hiring manager – if achieved, you get the higher salary you desired?  Your employer may be willing to pay more once he/she has seen the value you can add to the organization.
  • Positioning: Does the employer have a number of alternate candidates or are you the first promising candidate they have had in 6 months of searching?  Knowing the competitive landscape for you job helps you understand your range of how aggressively you can negotiate.

For more information about negotiating an offer, including a guide to how to begin/counter/close the negotiations, see:


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Interview, Job Search, Salary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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