Salary negotiation is a tricky subject

After receiving the job offer, you may feel that the package needs improvement before accepting the position.

So what could you do to improve the situation?

Whenever possible, try not to negotiate immediately after an offer. Be sure to ask for the offer to be in writing, then try to delay any negotiations for as long as possible.

Once you have received 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 may be longer, but it is better to let us know if you are going on holiday, for example.

Now that you’ve gained some time, use it constructively to research the average salary of people in similar positions.

You can even contact other companies in your area if they offer similar job opportunities. Use the internet – a search will quickly yield several websites and salary calculators for you to use.

Break down the entire package you’ve been offered and make sure you’ve clearly identified which parts of the package you’d like to see improved.

Do not set high standards, but contact the employer and say that although you would very much like to accept the offer, you do not [basic salary or holiday paid days or car benefit or insurance] to be a little better and if it can be better, you give your immediate acceptance and agree on a start date.

If you need to move, you can mention this in your negotiations and ask for help with the costs.

You should never show an employer that you need the money, as this can make you look desperate and reduce your chances of a successful negotiation.

If the starting salary turns out to be non-negotiable, you can try asking for an early assessment “when you’ve proven yourself” after maybe 3 months. Always remember that you don’t have to accept anything – you can walk away, but if you accept you might have a chance to improve things later.

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