Archive for October, 2007

Negotiating a Salary Offer

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Since raises are based on current earnings, the salary you accept will determine your salary for the rest of your history with the company. If you accept something that is $5,000 below what you should receive, you’ll be $5,000 or more behind in raises, promotions, and bonuses for your entire tenure with an organization.

If you receive an offer that interests you, don’t be afraid to negotiate. A company invests a lot of time and money selecting a candidate. They don’t want to lose you now, so you have some leverage at this point that you will probably never have again.

You might begin a negotiation by saying, “Thank you for the offer. I’m very interested and would like a day to consider it. Is the salary fixed, or is it negotiable?” If the interviewer indicates that there is room to negotiate, say that you will think about it and call back the following day with an response and possible counter-offer. If they say the offer is not negotiable, I also recommend that you say you’ll think about it and call back later. I’ve known many a job seeker who lived to regret a hasty response, pro or con.

You can also negotiate paid leave, benefits, and other perks. I have a client who is a well-qualified nonprofit executive, and she gladly accepted a very low paying position with an agency that could ill afford to offer her any more money. Fortunately for them, she didn’t care about the money. She wanted more time off, and so she accepted the offer with the caveat that she receive six weeks of paid vacation a year. The company agreed, and everybody was happy.

As every sales representative in the world will tell you, all they can say is no. In fact, many employers expect job applicants to negotiate salary and other benefits, and deliberately make offers a little (and sometimes more than a little) low. I have actually had hiring executives tell me they are disappointed when a candidate accepts a position with no attempt to negotiate a better offer. So keep that in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask for more.

~ Anne Follis, CPRW

© Copyright 2010, Anne Follis. All rights reserved.

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Deciding Whether or Not to Accept a Job Offer

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

No matter how desperate you may feel, don’t rush to accept an offer if it’s not what you want. Accepting a job offer is a little bit like getting married. Once you take the plunge, you determine your course for many years, possibly the rest of your life. If you decide you hate the position, or the company, you can either bail out or hang in there, but neither is good for your long term career — or your emotional well being!

Consider any offer very carefully, and make sure it’s what you want before you accept. In fact, I recommend that you never say yes the day you receive an offer. Tell the employer that you’re interested, but you’d like to think about it and return the call the next morning with your answer. That gives you the chance to consider the job opportunities, decide if this is what you really want, and also about what you would like to negotiate (salary, vacation days, paid leave, benefits, or all of the above) prior to saying “yes.”

~ Anne Follis, CPRW

© Copyright 2010, Anne Follis. All rights reserved.

We invite your comments and questions relating to this entry or the entire blog. However, please note that off-topic posts, as well as all spam, will be deleted.