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Salary negotiation: You’ve got the offer, do you accept, decline or negotiate?

After several interviews, you’re expecting a job offer but you don’t know the salary. Do you need to do anything to prepare for the offer? Yes, you do!

First, research salaries for comparable jobs in your location so you’ll know what competitors pay. One resource is Second, when you get the job offer, if the salary is lower than what you think the job is worth, state your gratitude for the job offer, and ask if the salary is negotiable.  If you are asked how much you were expecting, be ready to state a specific amount.

If you provide a specific amount, state that your answer is based on the responsibilities of the job. Some companies have a classification system and each job within it already has a range with a minimum, midpoint, and maximum. You may be able to negotiate within the range. Other jobs that are not in a classification system may have more room for negotiation.

If the employer will not negotiate the salary and you’re not sure you want to accept the job for the salary offered, you can ask if you could have some time to think about your final decision and ask by what date you need to provide it.  Notice that asking instead of telling is the best way to handle not only negotiations, but asking for time to think about the job offer as well.

Next, choose whether or not you want the job. To help you make your decision, make a list of the pros and cons, talk about your concerns with family or friends, or ask your prospective employer for the names of employees either already working in the same department where you will work or employees who are already performing the same job you would perform and ask their level of job satisfaction.  Salary is not the only criteria to use to decide whether to accept or decline a job offer.  Other factors include benefits, commute time, stress levels, overtime required, and job satisfaction.

If you need help with negotiation skills or decision-making, contact us. We can help you make decisions that affect your job satisfaction, and in turn, your quality of life.

Hallie Crawford and Terry Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Career Coaches

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.