You’ve been looking for a job for the past 3 months, your hard work finally paid off! You’ve received a job offer! Your first spontaneous reaction is to accept the offer, right?
Don’t be so quick to accept!
This reaction is not uncommon
In reality, you have 3 options: 1) accept 2) reject or 3) negotiate. It’s best to create a list of “wants” before you ever receive an offer, and then select your non-negotiable items. These items are yours to choose, of course. However, let me share with you those items you really need to pay attention to:
- Position offered compared to your ideal position.
- The total compensation package and all of its financial components.
- The costs or benefits associated to relocation (if applicable).
Job offers are often first made verbally, and are then followed by a written offer. So you need to weigh the pros and cons of the new position and evaluate this list of criteria. Thoroughly consider each when analyzing the position, its challenges and responsibilities.
Prepare to Negotiate
If you are truly excited about the opportunity and would like to accept the offer, examine the terms and prepare for what you would like to negotiate. Many people don’t know what should be part of an offer. But you should establish targets to meet your needs and goals. If you’ve made that list at the beginning of your search, compare that list to your offer. There’s nothing wrong with not sticking to your non-negotiable items. Often times, my clients get too caught up in the offer itself and forget what is the most important thing to them. Now that you have a job offer, your original preferences might not apply anymore, so go ahead and revisit them if you want.
Remember, you are considering both the tangibles and intangibles of the job offer. By reviewing your list, you’ll be able to keep the full package in mind and not put too much emphasis on just the salary.
Most people aren’t born negotiators, but you can learn the skill. Here are some quick tips:
- Your value doesn’t rely on the title you hold or the money you make.
- You need to know how much the job is worth. You can’t–and shouldn’t–avoid talking money.
- Never accept the offer on the spot. Why is that? Because you want the employer to see you as a prudent decision maker; one does not make hasty decisions. You also want to make sure that you are not selling yourself short. If you accept the offer as soon as it’s being made to you, you might be leaving money on the table!
- It’s ok to walk away after a negotiation if you feel the job is still not a good fit for you.
Before you accept a job offer, think it through. Prioritize your value and your non-negotiables. After all, you’ll be spending most of your time at that job. You have to make sure it’s worth it!