By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23
The act of negotiating is a skill that can be applied to many different aspects of life. In fact, it is more than just bargaining – it involves finding common ground/interest by promoting productive discourse between two or more parties.
In the world of work, negotiation can happen when a prospective employee is not fully satisfied with the terms of their work contract, and so they try to “negotiate” with their employer.
In reality, however, people often have the tendency to accept job offers without truly knowing what they are getting themselves into. They fear that if they don’t accept the position right away, the recruiter will pass them up for another applicant. They choose to prioritize securing the opportunity over securing their benefits and perks as an employee.
Below are some practical tips on how you can effectively negotiate a job offer:
Do Your Research
If you want to effectively negotiate a job offer, you need to know what is on the table.
You probably have done some research already about the job for your interview – now you need to do a bit more. Consider doing some research into past and current employees with similar work experience and what type of job offer they got. For example, you may want to look into how much people were offered in terms of their starting salary.
Knowing how other people fared when they received their job offers is extremely helpful and can help you negotiate more effectively – you don’t want to propose a counteroffer that is outrageous and not within reason.
Focus on Your Value, Not the Negotiation
One of the reasons why you may be negotiating is because you feel you are being undervalued by the job offer itself.
When negotiating a job offer, it’s important that you stay focused on what’s truly important to the company/organization that’s hiring you: your value to them. Negotiating is less about what you’re asking for and more about why you are negotiating in the first place. It means making sure you justify your counteroffer by stating the research you’ve collected as well as emphasizing your potential as an employee.
Be Confident, Yet Flexible
When negotiating a job offer, you want to have the mindset that you are capable of persuading your employer why you deserve what you’re asking for.
You need to be confident that you can effectively negotiate with them without turning the discussion into an unproductive and heated argument. Additionally, consider treating the negotiation as a conversation rather than a confrontation, but you still want to keep it professional though.
At the same time, be prepared to face pushback from your employer, because not every negotiation ends up being in your favor.
Consider the Entire Package
People often conflate negotiating a job offer with merely negotiating one’s salary.
Although the salary is one aspect to a job offer, it isn’t the only thing that’s negotiable. In fact, negotiating just your salary can arguably put a negative image in your employer’s mind. They may start to think that you’re only working for them for the money and don’t care about other attributes of the job.
Effective negotiation, therefore, isn’t just about getting a raise – it’s about trying to secure other perks and benefits that you may currently not have access to. Some perks and benefits that are often negotiable include work-schedule flexibility, travel compensation, insurance plans, and opportunities for growth and promotion.
For additional information on how to negotiate job offers, check out the following links:
- The Muse: A Much Smarter Approach Than Negotiating “What You’re Worth”
- The Balance Careers: How to Negotiate, Accept, or Decline a Job Offer
- Indeed: 13 Tips to Negotiate Your Salary and Job Offer
- Harvard Business Review: 15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.