How to negotiate a salary job offer


salary job offer

Few things cause anxiety-like salary negotiation. Your ability to negotiate a salary job offer impacts your earning potential for years to come. 

So, is it always a good thing to negotiate a salary offer? 

At the end of the day, it is OK to accept an offer without negotiating. You may have been told to never accept the first offer, but this just isn’t true. While there may be room to negotiate, sometimes you are given the best salary and compensation package the hiring manager can offer. If you feel good about the salary and compensation package – and you’ve done your research to ensure you will be paid what you are worth – don’t let outside noise tell you that you need to negotiate. 

On the flip side, you should never skip salary negotiations because you are intimidated. While it can be uncomfortable – and no one is guaranteed a higher salary just by asking for it – you must ask to receive.

When countering an offer, it’s important to be confident in your approach. So before you start salary negotiations, consider the following tips.

1. Let them make the first move.

You do not have to disclose your specific salary requirements before being offered the position. If you’re asked during an interview, consider giving a range or side-step the question altogether by asking the following: 

  • What has been budgeted for the position? 
  • What is the typical range for others in the company with this job? 

If you do decide to go against traditional advice and mention a target salary first, be sure the number reflects your value as well as the market. This brings us to the second tip.

2. Know your value.

Before you begin to negotiate a salary job offer, do your research. This includes finding out about the company and the position:

  • What is the turnover rate? 
  • How urgently do they need to fill the position? 
  • What is the market salary range for the position? 

Be sure to consider your location and level of experience. You should be confident that what you are asking for is competitive compensation for your skillset and location. When considering the salary, remember that base pay isn’t your take-home pay. Consider things like taxes, public transit charges or parking fees (specifically if you have a long commute). 

Once you’ve done your research, write down your ideal salary and the lowest salary you will accept. Knowing these numbers before going into negotiations will help you feel confident in accepting – or rejecting – the hiring manager’s final offer. 

3. Think about the entire package.

When negotiating, be sure to consider the entire package, not just the salary. Start by requesting a breakdown of your job offer and compensation package. Then ask the following questions: 

  • Are you happy with the proposed bonus structure? 
  • Have they included benefits such as 401K contributions, paid time off and other incentives? 
  • What about the job conditions – leadership style, on-the-job education opportunities or mentorship? 

Don’t be afraid to ask for further clarification or additional information about the compensation package before you begin salary negotiations.

4. Be realistic.

Don’t expect to get $100,000 when you’ve been offered $50,000. And even if you feel you are asking for a reasonable increase in salary, there really are situations where the starting offer isn’t negotiable. Other times, you may be asked to compromise by meeting your prospective employer in the middle. If you really want the position, be open to alternative ways to boost your compensation packages, such as a starting bonus or additional paid time off.

5. Don’t Play Games

Ensure that you’re being respectful, open and honest. Don’t waste someone’s time by participating in salary negotiations for a positing you have no intention of accepting. 

Bottom Line Summary:

Should you always negotiate a salary offer? Is it ever OK to accept the first offer? This article offers tips for handling salary negotiations.