Now that you’ve gotten the offer...

Here are some guidelines for negotiating the job offer.

  1. Remain enthusiastic… except about the financial package. You don’t want to risk losing a job offer to another candidate, just because he or she seems more enthused about the job itself.
  2. Know what you’re bargaining for. Get an exact understanding of the job, its responsibilities and reporting relationships.
  3. Expect to negotiate. People rarely state the best offer at the start.
  4. Never refuse an initial offer as being too low. Think about it overnight, and, if the salary is simply not enough, state your compensatory minimum.
  5. Have all the elements of the financial package on the table before you negotiate.
  6. Don’t accept the job offer on the spot. Although you may have already been considering the possible offer, you need time to evaluate all the factors involved in this decision. Remember not to get caught up in the excitement of the offer. Be prepared to negotiate when you will let the employer know of your decision.
  7. Weigh your salary against your own needs. Do you like the work? Are these responsibilities likely to stimulate and challenge you? Is the opportunity for growth in the job compatible with your needs and desires?
  8. Think in terms of standard of living. Will this salary afford you the type of lifestyle you are used to? This is particularly important if the position requires relocating to an area with a higher cost of living.
  9. Be prepared for a negative response. Also, be prepared to accept or decline the original offer in the event that your requests are turned down.
  10. Don’t feel like you have to keep talking. The employer will let you know when he or she has reached the limits of negotiation. One rule of the negotiation process is that he or she who talks the most usually gives up the most.
  11. Stall if you have to. If you expect offers from multiple companies, you will want to delay accepting any one of the jobs. Make sure to negotiate for adequate amounts of time to consider whatever offers are on the table. …Last Resort: Go out of town, and explain to an employer that you’ll have made your final decision by the time you return.
  12. Commit fully. Whether it was a hard decision or not, let your employer know that you’re with him or her 100% and willing to put forth your all in getting the job done.