How to Negotiate a Job Offer

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

It's scary and exciting and promising all at the same time. You have been given the chance at a job that you would absolutely love to try your luck and skills at. But there are a few things you should consider before jumping at it. Although you are given an intro on what you have to do, you never truly know what's on the other side without a few days on the actual job. So, the best way to accept the offer is to know if the package is what you want because a job is a commitment and you only get one shot at negotiating things. Here are a few tips.

1. Know the particulars. Salary, bonus, leave, working hours, location of where you will have to work can influence your decision. Sometimes it's not always about a big salary but other small things like distance from office to home or having the weekend off.

2. Ask for time to decide. It looks great from the outside, but don't be star-struck by its coverto accept it immediately. Ask them for some time to decide. They can't expect you to accept it at once. An employer that really wants you will give you as much time - within reason - as is necessary to decide. (Usually the duration will be something from a day till about a week. An employer that makes an offer and wants to retract it before you've made a decision is likely to be inconsiderate)

3. Do your homework. Before you sign up, you need a little background research. Go the extra mile of referring their financial history to see if it's the type of company you'd want to be associated with. Check if it aligns with your career goals and whether you have a future there.

If you have friends and business connections with the company, talk to them to find out about what it feels like to work for the company. Talking to a random employee who you don't personally know might not be very helpful, but ask around from people you know, if they know people who have worked for them.

4. Think rationally. Your needs and goals matter. Weigh the disadvantages and advantages of the potential job with your current situation. If you are desperate for a job, maybe try this one out for a sometime. If you have more breathing space, you don't have to let your standards down by accepting something that you feel that won't suit you. A salary and a brand name are not the only measures of a career. Finding a good personal and professional fit is very important too. Some questions you can ask yourself in three main areas would be ...

i) Your individual needs such as intellectual needs, creativity and natural curiosity - can they be met here? Does the company culture fit you? Would you be motivated and excited to work?

ii) Is the job compatible with your family duties and interests? Managing work and personal time is your responsibility, but does the new place give you that freedom?

iii) Is there growth within the organization for you? Is there job security? Is it a 'step up' from your previous place?


When it comes to the actual negotiations, you need to know what kind of leverage that you have for this job. Know your minimum and target salary in line with the industry salary rates. The minimum offer is the absolute lowest salary you'll take. The target salary is what you'd like your salary to be.When discussing salary, it's always good to not give a specific value to them, but say that you would like something 'higher' if you think you are worth more than what they offer.  If you show that you have done your homework properly and that you are aware of what jobs in similar fields offer, you have a winning foot here.

Be understanding. They like what you have to offer, and they like you. But sometimes they are just not capable of giving the number you want. Work on a compensation. If you like the work environment, and if you think it will add value to you, go for it.

Don't play the pity card and explain to them about your difficulties and how your mother has a lot of medical bills. Your potential employer is not a charity and does not care. Instead, show them your skills and what you have to offer to the company. This will add more value to why you should be paid more and show them your worth.

5. Trust your gut. The interview process will both parties a feel of one another. If you feel that the employer is trying to wiggle out of firm commitment, tell untruths and or intimidate you into accepting a lower salary, consider if you want to go ahead with working for them. If this is what they are willing to do at this stage - the primary stages of the potential job - it might not be pleasant to work with them for a long period of time.

6. Do your part. Be courteous even if you get a little flustered, annoyed or even afraid, maintain your calm and civility. Even if the negotiations stall, and you end up taking a different job, circumstances might change. Being courteous and keeping those connections alive will help you later on. Being confident will help you win them over too.