To Negotiate Or Not To Negotiate?
(And if so, how?)
You get the call and the offer for the job. It is tempting to say “I’ll take it!” immediately, but with a gracious thank you and an, “I am excited about this opportunity,” step back and think, “Is this the right offer for me?”
Let the employer know that as it is an important decision, you want to make the right one for both yourself and the organization. It is not inappropriate to request the details of the offer in writing With further information, you will be able to make a better decision so you do in fact find a fit and an offer that will work for you. To determine if you want to negotiate the offer, and if so, how, here are a few guidelines:
Determine your own financial needs as well as the typical salary range for the position, all relative to the cost of living for the area in which you will be living and working. Housing, transportation, and student loan payments are only a few of your expenses to calculate. To research salaries, tools such as the UNL Career Service Salary Report, NACE salary calculator and Glassdoor can help.
Evaluate too, the complete offer. Keep in mind that your annual compensation is more than just your salary. It can include other benefits, such as health, vision, and dental insurance and retirement plan contributions.
Consider also your employer. Non-profit and government organizations are often not able to negotiate beyond the original offer. Your research will help you determine if negotiating is typically not an option with the offering employer.
If you determine you want to negotiate salary or other aspects of the offer, know what you will accept and not accept. You can pitch a reasonable ideal, but be prepared for a counter proposal and ready to respond.
At this point, you need to develop your proposal. While online tools can be useful, you must also consider your unique qualifications for the position. You may want to seek advice from faculty, career counselors, or alumni for insight beyond online resources. Keep in mind also, that salary may just be one negotiable part of an offer. For example, you could request an early review with the possibility of an increase at that point if your performance indicates such would be appropriate.
In beginning the negotiation, again thank the employer for the offer and reiterate your interest in the position. You may want to introduce the question of negotiation by introducing your research, “Based on my research of similar positions in this location an offer closer to (your identified proposed figure) seems appropriate to me. Is there any room for negotiation in your offer?” Approach negotiating a job offer as a professional conversation en route to a win-win situation. When you decide the offer is acceptable, whether it has changed or not, you may at that point verbally accept it, but request for the details in writing again.
For assistance on evaluating and preparing to present a negotiation, contact Career Services:
230 Nebraska Union
20 Minute Walk-Ins M-F, 10 AM-4PM
By appointment, M-F, 8 AM-4 PM
402.472.3145 or through MyPlan
Career Services at CBA
Career Services East
303 Nebraska East Union