How to Negotiate a Job Offer

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Job offer negotiations are an essential and expected part of finding a job because this process allows you to demonstrate the worth your expertise provides to a company. Knowing your worth can help you accurately present your qualifications and secure the compensation, benefits and other elements of a job offer that best match the value of your education and experience. If you are considering a job offer and you would like to negotiate pay or benefits, it may be helpful to review this article about how to negotiate job offers.

What is a job offer negotiation?

A job offer negotiation is a process of negotiating benefits, salary or other aspects of a potential job that you are interested in taking. Job offers are extended when a company wants you to become a member of their team. They tend to offer you a salary and benefits that they believe is fair. However, you may decide that you would like higher pay or different benefits. In this case, you would try to negotiate with the employer to meet your needs as well as theirs.

What is part of a job offer?

The part of a job offer is when you negotiate with a company for a good position, benefits and salary. The employment and role details are negotiating for pay or position appropriate for your skills and education or for more money or a more senior position. Other forms of compensation such as benefits can be a part of the negotiation during a Job offer. These negotiations are important to your career because they can give you a better salary or more seniority.  To be successful in a job negotiation, you must know when to leverage your skills, education and experience for a better position and salary.

How to negotiate during a job offer

Consider these steps to help you to negotiate your job offer successfully:

1. First, decide how much money you need in a job offer negotiation

Assess how much money you need to live on and how much money you will need for retirement. Be realistic about a sustainable budget for your job offer negotiations, assessing how much you need for your current life requirements and retirement savings.

2. Second, determine how far you want to go in your career

Your final goal may be to learn enough from your career that you can start your own business or even become a CEO at the company. Having a clear idea of your career goals can put you in a strong position to negotiate a start to your career and the salary you earn. Having a good idea of where you want to go in your career and how much salary you need can give you a better career trajectory and a higher salary.

3. Third, assess what benefits you need and want

Some benefits you may want or need include medical, dental and vision insurance. Family leave and work from home flexibility are also benefits some companies offer. Some companies offer vacation, sick days and paid time off (PTO). Remember the importance of learning opportunities for your career and the effect it can have on your professional advancement. Tuition reimbursement is a benefit that some companies offer to give employees a career boost and create skilled workers for the company.

4. Fourth, research the average salary and benefits for your position

Research benefits in the context of the position, industry and area where you live. Your leadership experience, education level, years of industry experience, license or certifications, skills and current career level should make a difference in how you negotiate when discussing your salary and position. Asking other people working in your chosen industry for information can also be useful. Many companies don’t have salary or benefits information posted, so industry research is essential. Research can give you a stronger stance to negotiate for a better career start and salary.

5. Fifth, focus on position and salary

An employer wants to know what value you will bring in exchange for the career opportunity and the salary they offer. Focus on position and salary rather than your personal reasons for a particular stance in job offer negotiations.

6. Next, present value to your employer

When talking to the hiring manager, you can show your value to an employer by coming to a job offer negotiation with a list of knowledge and skills you have as well as previous work experience related to the position. Relate your knowledge, experience and skills to the job and the company culture when you are discussing a job negotiation with a hiring manager. Showing that your knowledge, experience and skills relate to the job and to the company can give you an edge in negotiations.

7. Then, accept the offer, make a counteroffer or reject the offer

When you accept an offer, ask what the next steps are to be hired. With making a counteroffer, be realistic about how much you can counteroffer based on the salary and benefits offered. Show the hiring manager why you are making the counteroffer based on your skills, knowledge and experience. Be firm and polite about how you can add value but be realistic when you reach an impasse because of an offer that does not meet your expectations, goals or needs. It is acceptable to walk away from a job offer negotiation that does not meet your criteria, does not follow industry standards in general or geographical-specific standards for the area, or that does not reflect your hard work to improve your education, knowledge and skills.

8. Finally, send a polite thank-you note or email to the hiring manager

Thank the manager for their consideration of the counteroffer. Keeping on good terms with hiring managers is essential to establish your credibility in your chosen industry.

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