Negotiating an Offer

I facilitated a roundtable at Boston SPIN last night, and one of the questions that arose was “How do I negotiate salary?”Compensation is not just your salary. This is your opportunity to think about how you make your life. Do you want more time off? Money for books? Training time and/or money? A different title? Something else?Employers may not have a lot of wiggle room for pay. But they all have much more wiggle room on other things. In previous jobs, I’ve negotiated:

  • Ability to leave at 5pm (because you can’t be late for day care)
  • A book allowance (at one company, the company owned the books. At another company, I did.)
  • More tuition assistance (especially helpful when I left a job and started another one in the middle of a semester)
  • More time off without pay
  • More time off with pay

Hiring managers: My advice is to learn early about what a candidate wants in an offer. Candidates: When it’s time to start talking about an offer, think about what would make you say yes. Ask for it. You won’t get what you want unless you ask.Remember that negotiating an offer is a two-way street with long-term consequences. Make sure you understand your principles around the negotiation, so whether you’re an employer or a candidate, you’re satisfied with the outcome.

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