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Job Offers: Negotiating Salary

Salary Negotiation Part II: How-to Guide

We've covered the reasons someone might consider negotiating. Now let’s discuss when, what, and how.

When do you negotiate? After you receive the offer, but before you accept the job. This may seem obvious, but just remember that if you have accepted the offer under the specified conditions, the employer is likely to either laugh or withdraw the offer if you come back later to ask for more.
You negotiate after you’ve carefully reviewed the written offer, including all conditions of employment and the benefits package. Never wait until the day of – or even the day before – the acceptance deadline.

What can be negotiated? Here are the main factors: Acceptance deadline. Starting salary. A sign-on bonus. Relocation assistance. Your start date. Time off [without pay] for personal needs [for example, you’re in a wedding—maybe even your own-- before you’re eligible for vacation time]. Maybe a mid-year performance review … 

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Salary Negotiation Part I: Circumstances for Negotiating

It’s easy to find books and websites (maybe friends and relatives!) that say, “always negotiate!” But is it true?

No, it’s not. Sometimes you have no basis for negotiation. But how can you tell?

Once you have an offer (or several, if you’re lucky), start by asking yourself “what do I like about this job offer?” Look at the whole package: is the work interesting? Do you like the company, the location, the co-workers or supervisors you’ve met? Is this a good launching point for your career? What about non-salary aspects, like benefits, vacation, working hours? Take a look at the Offer Comparison Chart in your copy of the Career Services Handbook for a longer list of factors to consider. Above all, remember one thing: no one can pay you enough to make you happy doing a job you don’t like.

If you have only one offer, keep in mind … 

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