You’ve had your interviews and now have an offer or multiple offers are on the table and are a combination of excited and “what do I do now?” I’ve been there! Even if you don’t have more than one offer it’s hard to decide if you should take this one for fear that there might be something better out there. I’m a believer that there is always some wiggle room when negotiating a job offer but that its not all on the company. These 7 tricks will help you identify what’s important to you, what you can give up, and how to have the conversations.

goal setting workbook

Consider the employer’s perspective

If you’re looking at a large company, there might be opportunity for some wiggle room in your salary versus a smaller company with tighter budgets.  Take a step back and gauge where your company falls into this mix.

Look at the whole offer

If there is no wiggle room in the salary, look at the whole package.

  • Are there flexible hours
  • More vacation time
  • Rotational training programs
  • Facility with included resources (gym, meals, etc)
  • Travel options
  • Mentorship programs
  • Professional development opportunities

Your career is much more than the salary you’ll be getting and is a lot about the other opportunities they are offering.  You will be at this job for 40 plus hours a week and trust me the salary itself just isn’t going to cut it.

[ctt template=”1″ link=”bwA1V” via=”no” ]When negotiating your job offer don’t throw all the spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks[/ctt]

This isn’t the time to throw out anything and everything you want to see what sticks.  Before you ask for anything else, make sure you’ve thought carefully about what you want, why you want it, and the reality of the company being able to meet your requests.

Get creative

Remember how we talked about before that companies might not be able to increase the salary? Well, think a little creatively about what they could offer you:

  • 6-month review to increase salary
  • Relocation and sign up bonus
  • Payment for a professional organization, conference, or special event

Many companies might not be able to provide the cash as part of the salary but have different budgets for professional development and other expenses. Be a little creative with your ask.

goal setting workbook

Find the balance

When you’re negotiating, you want to find the balance of selling yourself short and being realistic.  By no means should sign an offer you’re not comfortable with but at the same time you need to be realistic about what’s possible for both you and the company.  Dig deep and figure out what’s most important to you and what you can live with or without.

Give the employer credit

For the most part, employers know that you’re looking and might receive multiple offers.  It’s not worth their time, companies time or your time to low ball you on an offer.  For them to start a whole new search costs a lot of money and takes away their employees from doing other work.  Consider the fact that they did their market research to determine a comparable package for you.

Check your resources

As alumni, you should have access to reports and other resources from your Career Services office.  This should provide some feedback on the average salary based on field for their graduates.  You can also consider using payscale.com and salary.com.

Unfortunately, you usually have to pay for more information and they are typically geared towards professionals who have been in the field for a little while.

Negotiating is not always about you and the employer but can be about making compromises with yourself.  Figure out what is important to you and think about what you can and cannot give up.  When you’re looking at your packages, look at them as a whole and think not only about your professional life but what your personal life will look like if you take this job.

What job offers do you have on the table and are trying to work through? What are some negotiating tactics you’ve used in the past?

Comment below and let us know.

Alissa Carpenter

Alissa Carpenter

Forbes Contributor, Professional Trainer, Speaker and Career Coach at Everything's Not OK and That's OK
Alissa Carpenter offers professional development and career exploration to companies, alumni groups, student advising units, and individuals across the country. She works to enhance team communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills with an upbeat personality and true passion for working with others to set and achieve goals.Alissa has an MEd in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education, is a Gallup-Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and is certified in the Strong Interest inventory.
Alissa Carpenter