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Negotiating that Job Offer

You have finally secured that job offer! But the details are different from what you expected. Or maybe you need more time to decide if the organization is the right fit for you. Panic sets in and you don’t know where to start!

Negotiating with an employer is a delicate subject and it is important to know that an organization's flexibility with negotiation varies among industries and functions.

What can I negotiate about my offer?

The most obvious aspects students find worth negotiating is; salary, signing bonus, start date, tuition reimbursement, and insurance benefits. However, there are a plethora of other aspects to consider, especially when applying for full time positions, such as; work location, relocation expenses, maternity/paternity leave, telecommuting, and flexible work schedules.

These are just a few additional aspects and each person has job preferences that may be specific to a certain industry. If something is important to your success in that role, but that aspect is missing from your job offer, it doesn’t hurt to ask about it.

How do I know what to negotiate?

When deciding what is most important for you in your compensation package you must first, identify your expectations and research the job market to ensure your expectations are aligned with the market standards. You can check out Purdue's Post Graduation Data Dashboard, to see what the salary ranges are for your specific field.

You should avoid asking your employer for something that is completely out of the ballpark when negotiating. You could come across as unprepared and arrogant if you aren’t careful with what you are asking for. Before approaching an employer prepare your requests and compile information to back up your requests. Lastly, to make your case compelling, identify how your requests will benefit the organization and what you will bring to the table.

Your approach to negotiating is KEY!

Firstly, ask and understand when timing is best to negotiate the offer with your potential employer. Then in a timely manner, approach your potential employer with enthusiasm. Be sure to credit the recruitment manager's time and effort in establishing your offer with a sense of genuine appreciation. You do not want to come across as insensitive or ungrateful for the offer, this could compromise your negotiating position and potentially jeopardize your job offer.

When negotiating, be sure to exude professionalism within your persuasion. Focus on how the changes to your job offer will result in a win-win situation for both you and the employer. Remember to remain flexible in your requests but stand strong in what matters most to you without being rude.

After the negotiation meeting, it is a good idea to follow up on a definitive answer from the employer, if you didn’t already reach one in the meeting. Once you and the employer have arrived at a settlement that you are both satisfied with, be sure to create a message trail. Documentation of the expected standards are very important and must be trackable.

The results from negotiating can go one of four ways…

1. All of your preferences are approved and your job offer is revised.

2. One or some of your preferences are approved and your job offer is revised.

3. Employers are supportive of your negotiation efforts, but preferences are not immediately granted.

4. None of your preferences are approve and the job offer was withdrawn.

These four results are distributed on a bell curve with most likely outcomes to be 2 and 3, and the least likely outcomes being 1 and 4. This goes to show that employers are trying their best to meet potential candidate needs, but limits such as budget constraints and policy standards can get in the way.

Remain understanding throughout the negotiation process and be COMPETENT and CONFIDENT in your efforts. The final stages of the job search can be especially stressful and intense. Remember to put your best foot forward and if you have further questions, there are several resources available.

Visit the Salary Negotiation Tab on the CCO Website or check out the FREE CCO Handbook for more negotiation information.

Also, I encourage you to schedule a quick chat with the CCO through Boiler Connect, to discuss your negotiation strategy.

As always, Boiler up!

Elizabeth Vernier

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