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Shaking Hands

7 Tips When Negotiating a Job Offer

By Rachel Jackson

March 6 2018 - You finally got the offer. Now what are you going to do about it? A job that seems great on the surface may not actually be so great if you aren't getting a salary that you feel is fair. If you've already paid your dues in your industry and you feel that there's no reason to settle for less, you might want to brush up on your negotiating skills so you can effectively be your best advocate.

1. Wait Before You Talk

The worst thing you can do is put your foot in your mouth. If the salary you request turns out to be a little lower that what they were actually prepared to offer you, they're going to give it to you. You sold yourself short, and they happily bought you up. Let them give you a number before you give them a number. When you hear that first offer, never act like it's wonderful. Keep a straight face if you'd like to push it higher.

2. Consider What Else You're Getting

Sometimes, the perks of working for a place will be more than enough to justify a salary that's slightly below what you would have wanted. If they have something like an employee wellness program where they cater healthy lunches weekly and get together for a yoga class, participating can actually save you money. If you get discounts for products and services you ordinarily would pay full price for, that's another sweet bonus.

3. Ask About Opportunities for Advancement

If you really want to move up within the company, make sure they know while you're getting your offer. It shows that you're more valuable than someone who might not work out for the long term. You're worth their time and resources, and you're willing and eager to work towards promotion. That promotion will likely come with a salary bump, and if you know you can get there within a year, you'll want to keep that in mind.

4. Counter Higher Than You Want

It's human nature to want to meet somewhere in the middle. If you're looking for $100,000, ask for $150,000. They're going to counter you somewhere closer to what you want. If they're really interested in you, they might even offer slightly above what you want. Even if your offer seems absurd, back it up with some truth about your experience and the results you've proven that you can deliver. It will seem more reasonable with that information in mind.

5. Be a Little Cryptic

If you don't like the offer you got, neither accept nor decline it. Instead, ask for some time to discuss it and get back to them. You don't necessarily have to discuss it with anyone, and it would be inappropriate for them to ask you who you were discussing it with. They don't know you haven't received another job offer. They don't know if you're married and you need to discuss it with your family. They also don't know that you might just want to call your mom and ask for her opinion. Keep it vague.

6. Keep a Polite Attitude

There's a difference betweenbeing assertive and aggressive. It's possible to hold onto your position while posturing yourself in a gentle way. It looks cool when people slam their fists on the table and shout a bunch of technical jargon to get their way in movies, but in real life, that gets security called. Be firm, but treat the others with kid gloves.

7. Talk About Value

You can reasonably ask for almost anything if you have the skillset and work experience to back up your request. Talk about how much you want, but also talk about how much you do. You can't realistically offer to paint the Sistine Chapel for the company, but you could provide some other kind of unique ability that would drastically optimize the way they run their business.

If it turns out you can't accept the offer that they gave you, two positive things came out of the situation: you have more experience with negotiating, and you have the opportunity to find someone who might offer you more. If it does work, it's time to buy a power outfit for your great new job.

About the author

Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at - an online resource of relevant business information.

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