Negotiate That Job Offer (And Get What You Want)
It has finally happened. After weeks of investing your time and energy into the job application process, you managed to secure an offer that aligns excellently with both your work culture needs and your professional goals. It should be smooth sailing from here on out, right?
If you are serious about pursuing an upwards career trajectory, then no, not quite. Receiving the offer of employment is, in many ways, just the beginning of an equally important conversation about compensation.
Negotiating your job offer is crucial for setting yourself up for not just a short-term salary bump, but long-term professional success. In many ways, where you begin can seriously inform where you can go. Your starting salary and career trajectory are intricately linked. When you disregard this reality in order to avoid potential discomfort or extending the application process any longer, you are ultimately only doing a disservice to yourself. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to more comfortably and successfully navigate negotiations for your next offer.
Recognize And Embrace Your Equal Footing
Too many people are deeply intimidated by the notion of responding to an offer with anything less than a resounding, “Yes!” This reflex is rooted in the assumption that the hiring manager is approaching your negotiation with all of the power. Finding a job can be stressful, time-consuming, and difficult in so many ways. It is understandable to worry that just one wrong word might make the company yank away the offer that they are dangling in front of you.
That narrow view just could not be less accurate. Employers do not hire people as charity. If you had a problem, would you offer a job to the most needy person who applied? No, you would hire someone who you were most certain knew how to resolve the issue.
If you receive an offer, it is because your potential new employer needs something and concluded you are the best person to help them meet that need. You are intimately aware of all the reasons you might need this job, but that is not reason to forget that the company likely needs to fill the position just as badly. Approach your negotiation accordingly. Be appreciative of the offer, but there is certainly no need to grovel. A job offer is not a personal favor; it is an invitation. Now, it is up to you to confirm that this invitation is actually worth accepting.
See It From Their Side
As with any winning chess strategy, successful negotiations demand substantial consideration of the other side’s perspective. So, when negotiating your job offer, remember to keep the company’s priorities foremost in your mind. An employer cares very little about what you think you deserve, but very much about the value you could bring to the organization.
If you set out a salary requirement based on nothing but your own greed, prepare to be disappointed. Making the mistake of asking for too much in the counteroffer can end the negotiation prematurely. Instead, dig in and do some research. What benefits will the company reap from your presence, and can you tie those directly to the dollar amount for which you are asking? Hiring you will be an investment on the employer’s part. Put simply, if you want to ask for a larger investment, be prepared to heavily emphasize the returns they can expect on this improved compensation package and why.
Give Them Every Reason To Say Yes
It is exciting to consider a professional venture with a new team, especially if the organization is one that you deeply respect. However, do not lose sight of that fact that you are not negotiating with the company – you are negotiating with a person.
This is good news. You can connect with a person, and the truth is that when people like you, they will fight for you. As such, it is especially important during negotiations that you remain polite and professional. Hopefully, over the course of the application process, you have built a solid, positive relationship with your point-of-contact. Moreover, make a special effort to manage some of the tensions of a negotiation sensitively. If the offer sincerely interests you, communicate the fact that you would like to accept it clearly to the hiring manager. If you make it obvious they can get you to come aboard with the right compensation package, you are incentivizing them to work harder to put one together.