The Career Coach is In

Negotiating a job offer (Pt. I)

I am in Africa, so my colleague, Alan De Back of Alan De Back Learning and Communications of Burke, agreed to share some job search tips. MB

Is it true that I can negotiate the job offer I receive from an employer? What is your advice on negotiating?

I have several pieces of advice related to the negotiation process.

1. Don't accept on the spot. Any ethical organization is going to understand that you need time to evaluate their offer. After all, this is a huge decision with a big impact on your life and your future. You may also have a spouse or significant other with whom you need to discuss the offer. If you are pressured to accept on the spot, be suspicious. The organization may be trying to "low-ball" you and they don't want to give you adequate time to think about the offer and do some research.

2. Ask for the offer in writing. The first offer you get may very well be verbal, but be sure that you get an offer in writing. It's critical that both you and the employer have exactly the same understanding of all of the elements of the offer and this can be confusing if everything is done verbally. One candidate accepted a verbal offer and arrived for his first day of work to find that the person who had made him the offer was no longer with the organization. No one else knew about some unique aspects of the offer, including an extra week of vacation, and he had no proof.

3. Remember that "negotiate" is not a bad word. Many people associate the idea of negotiating with the experience of buying a used car, typically not a very pleasant experience. Most organizations will expect there to be some negotiation before a final offer is accepted. You need to go through the negotiating process with a positive, upbeat attitude. Although it may sound trite, the negotiation should end in a "win-win" situation. Both you and the organization need to be comfortable and happy with the final outcome.


Marshall Brown

 |  November 9, 2010; 6:16 AM ET  |  Category:  Career Change , Interviewing , Job Offers , Job Search , Salary Negotiations Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Transferable skills, great possibilites | Next: Negotiating a job offer--Pt. 2

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