Salary Negotiation is a Sticky Subject

Peter Fisher

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After you have received the job offer you might feel that the package needs improving in order for you to accept the position.

So what could you do to improve the situation?

Wherever possible, don't try to negotiate immediately after an offer. Make sure you ask for the offer to be put in writing and then try to delay any negotiations for the longest possible time.

When you've got the job offer in writing you can respond by acknowledging receipt of the offer and making it clear that you will confirm your acceptance within (say) 7 days. This could be longer if necessary but better to let them know if you are going on holiday for instance.

Now you have gained yourself some time, use it constructively to investigate the average salary of people in similar positions.

You could even contact other companies in your area if they are advertising similar vacancies. Use the internet - a search will quickly throw up various websites and salary calculators you can use.

Break down the full package you have been offered and make sure you have clearly identified which areas of the package you would like to see improved.

Refrain from making strong demands, but contact the employer and say that whilst you would really like to accept the offer, you were expecting the [basic salary or holiday paid days or car benefit or insurance] to be a little better and if it could be improved you will give your immediate acceptance and agree a start date.

If you are having to relocate you could mention this in your negotiations and ask for some assistance with the costs.

You should never show an employer that you need the money as this could make you look desperate and decrease your chances of successful negotiation.

If the starting salary turns out not to be negotiable you could try asking for an early review “when you've proved yourself" after perhaps 3 months. Always remember that you don't have to accept anything - you can walk away, but if you do accept you may have the opportunity to improve things later.

Peter Fisher is Managing Director of Career Consulting Limited and has coached thousands of people to Career Success.


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