Finding a job and going through multiple rounds of interviews can be stressful enough, but your work still isn’t over once you finally receive the written offer. Before you accept, take some time and reflect on it. You should determine if the position is the right fit and if the salary and/or benefits are acceptable. If you feel the compensation is low, you shouldn’t have to either accept or decline. This is the time to negotiate. If you’re uncomfortable with the negotiation process that comes after a job offer has been extended, use the following tips to help get the compensation you deserve.
1 - Come Prepared
Preparation is key to any part of the job search and the negotiation phase is no different. Before discussing the job offer, consider your needs and wants. Figure out how to balance them in a way where you won't be tempted to accept an offer that doesn't meet your requirements. For example, if you’re looking for a little more money, bring market data that shows what other companies in the area are paying. Simply stating that information won’t be enough though. You’ll have to show your worth and the value that you will bring to the company in your explanation for a higher salary.
Another option to use, in partnership with market data, is leveraging another offer from a different company. The company that offered you the job is aware that you likely have been interviewing at other places as well. If you happen to have a couple offers, don’t be afraid to mention of it. However, bring it up only if you’re considering those other offers seriously and are willing to walk away from the current one. The worst thing you could do is talk up the other offers, resulting in the one you’re negotiating being pulled.
2 - Look Beyond Salary
While salary is the largest portion in the compensation you receive, it shouldn’t be your only focus. When negotiating, assume that everything is on the table. You clearly won’t get your way on everything, but by thinking that nothing is off limits, you’ll soon know where the actual give is. A few things worth considering beyond salary include job title, schedule flexibility, vacation, travel and growth/learning opportunities.
3 - Be Likeable
A smile and a positive attitude can go a long way. Your chances of getting what you ask for can only be diminished if you’re arrogant and demanding. It is inevitable that some tension will arise in negotiations but it is crucial to stay polite and consider how the manager across from you is taking your communication. If you can handle the stress of a job offer negotiation, it may also reflect well on your potential when you get on the actual job.
It is important to only negotiate what is really important to you. You’ll give the impression of being greedy if you’re negotiating on every little thing. Once again, consider your most important needs and wants.
4 - Remain Confident
They may like you, but they won’t give you everything you ask for because they have certain constraints that no amount of negotiation can loosen. Once again, your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not. Dealing with constraints isn’t the only area where your confidence will have to remain strong. You’ll also have to deal with difficult questions throughout the process. By preparing for questions about why you deserve more and answering them honestly, you’ll maintain your leverage and being in a better position to get what you want. Remember to remain confident in your value. They’ve invested a lot in this process and don’t want to start over if they don’t have to.
When negotiating before a new job, your bargaining power is at its peak after the offer is made and before you accept it. At this point, the company is convinced you’re the one for the job. By being prepared, likeable and confident, you’ll have a higher chance of receiving the compensation you want.
Want to know more about how to deal with job offers? Read this blog on when you should accept a job offer!