Salary Negotiation: The Art of Turning a Job Offer Into the Perfect Job

 In Blog

By: Jill Thompson

41% of job seekers do not negotiate their offer. Are you among their ranks?

The word negotiation is defined by Mirriam-Webster Dictionary as this: A mutual discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. Add the word salary in front of negotiation – and suddenly the words mutual and agreement don’t seem possible. Today I’m here to help you develop a well thought out, researched way to begin the negotiation process.

Congratulations on getting the offer! Here are 5 tips to get you to that win-win solution.

  1. First of all – Take a minute to realize you have successfully sold yourself to this company. As hard as it may seem – do not feel obligated to answer on the spot and do not be afraid to ask for enough time (over the weekend, until Friday, etc.) to make an informed decision. You need time and distance to review what’s on the table.
  2. Review your entire compensation package because often times there are non-monetary components you could over look. Consider the following:
    1. Responsibilities, title, reporting structure
    2. Location
    3. Travel
    4. Flexibility in work hours
    5. Start Date
    6. Opportunities for growth and promotion
    7. Perks – sign on bonuses, relocation packages
    8. Support for continued education
    9. Insurance plans (medical, accident, life and disability)
    10. Professional memberships
    11. Vacation and PTO
  3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: the more you know about yourself, the company and the industry – the better you’ll be able to position yourself. Research, talk to people in the industry, and if possible current or former employees.
    1. What is the current demand for your expertise?
    2. What is the company’s urgency in filling this role?
    3. What is the size and financial strength of the company – can they afford to go higher?
    4. There are several online sites for comparing ranges or talk with a career coach and ask for their advice.
  4. Think Win- Win – this isn’t a “take it or leave it” situation. It is about likability, respect, being prepared, assertive and tactful. How can you ask for what you deserve without seeming greedy? Can you explain precisely why you are asking for more – while making it clear that you are serious about working here? Work with a career coach or ask a friend to evaluate how you will be perceived. Practice makes perfect.
  5. Negotiate all at once: You’re better off proposing all your changes at once. Don’t come back for more after they’ve already agreed to a higher salary. If you have more than one request, signal the relative importance to you and present them that way.

Remember, employers are not out to get you. If you’re this far along in the process- they like you and want to make something work. Stay in touch and be patient. Ultimately, your happiness resides less on getting the negotiation right and more on getting the job right. Job satisfaction comes from being in the right career, at the right company on the right trajectory – not how much money you end up making.

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