How to negotiate a job offer

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You’ve aced that job interview and you’re offered that new job. It can be tempting to accept straight away, especially if it’s a dream job and you feel lucky to have got through the interview. However, there are times when you may want to negotiate the job offer. From the salary to benefits, you need to know the most effective way to make sure that you are receiving what you are worth.


Many roles are advertised either with a salary that is negotiable, dependant on experience, or given as a range.  If you’re considering negotiating your salary, the first step is to do some research into the current market rates. This will give you an idea of what sort of remuneration to expect for the role you have applied for. 

Before starting negotiations you need to work out your minimum, expected and dream salaries.  The aim is to get as near to your expected salary as possible, hopefully between your expected and dream amounts. But how do you work out these figures?

Your minimum salary will normally be enough to cover your costs and give you some spending money.  If you’re moving jobs, your minimum is likely to be what you are currently earning, although you will want to take into consideration any increased expenditure that you will incur by accepting this job offer.

Your expected salary will be driven by the going rate for similar roles. Check what other employers are offering for similar positions. Your expectations will also be driven by your experience and qualifications. When considering your dream salary stay within the realms of reality. Your dream salary should be the most you can be paid given your own experience and the job you’ve been offered. If you’re applying for a junior position and expecting the salary of a manager, you’re probably being unrealistic.

Benefits package

There is more to a job than the salary and the monthly wage you take home. Other factors to consider when negotiating a job offer are benefits such as free gym membership, holiday allowance, travel schemes, pension schemes, flexible working and so forth.  These benefits make up the whole package and need to be taken into consideration when negotiating a job offer. Think about your lifestyle and your expected work/life balance.  If your prospective employer cannot offer any more salary, they may be able to alter their benefits package to improve the overall package.

How to negotiate

Your prospective employer will have a salary figure in mind when they are recruiting. Don’t feel pressured into either accepting or declining the first offer made by them, unless you are completely happy. If you’re not happy with the offer, ask them if there’s any room for movement.  Be prepared to explain why you deserve to receive higher remuneration. Use your experience, knowledge and qualifications to try and convince the employer of your worth. If the salary is lower than you had hoped, ask if there are regular salary reviews. If it’s likely that your pay will be reviewed every six months, you might be more inclined to accept the employer’s offer.

Remember that money is not everything. Make sure you consider the whole package, including the working culture, hours and career development. If you’re not happy with the salary offered and it’s not compensated by additional benefits or career development, you should say to the employer; if they are not prepared to up their offer, be prepared to walk away and move on. This job might not be the best fit for you after all.

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