Negotiating a Job Offer: Scenarios and Secrets 3 of 3

By Simon Ward

To wrap up this series of posts focusing on Negotiating a Job Offer, we take a moment to pin down secrets 9 through 15 in detail.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our previous two posts on this subject, we encourage you to do so in order to gain the maximum benefit from this insight. >>> POST ONE >>> POST TWO

Let’s start where we left off, at Secret #9

Secret #9: Learn To Negotiate Everything Together
Just like looking at the job offer as a whole, you also want to look at negotiating everything together as a whole. For example, a company makes you an offer, but you think that the salary is a bit lower than it should be, you ask them about raising the salary. Once they come back with a better salary, you then tell them there are two other things that you would like to talk about. This is a big no no. The company will assume that since you only asked for one thing, i.e. salary, then you’re ready to take the position after they work on the salary. If you keep on asking for one more thing, they are going to assume that you are either stalling or greedy or simply quit trying to work with you and offer the position to someone else. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that you go through the importance of each of the items that you want to negotiate on. Otherwise, you can end up with two of the least important things being fixed and the other major things being the same. The person on the other end feels like they were able to do a couple of the things on your list and that you are now just being difficult. Make sure that you negotiate everything together and that you list the importance of each one.

Secret #10: Negotiating For The Sake Of Negotiating
Once you learn that you can negotiate on things in a job interview, it can be something you really like to do. Also, some people are natural negotiators and enjoy haggling with someone to get what they want. The key here is to not negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Keep in mind that not everything is an argument that you have to win. If there are certain things that you insist on, by all means, negotiate on them. However, if you start to negotiate over everything small aspect of the job, you’re going to be looked at in a different light than you would if you are reasonable and only worry about a few small details. Wanting to haggle over everything can also take away your ability to negotiate on the things that are really important to you.

Secret #11: Carefully Consider The Timing Of Offers That Come In
When you are at the very beginning of your job search, it can feel really good to get an offer quickly. However, this can have its own drawbacks. A job offer really early in your search can hamper your efforts if you want to be considered with several different companies. Weigh your options carefully and don’t hesitate to slow things down with one employer or speed them up with another. For example, if you want to slow down things with one employer, you can ask for a later interview for the second or third round. You do have to learn how to balance this, as you don’t want to seem like you’re pulling back too much or pushing too hard, which can also throw off any offers that might come your way. You know what you truly want when it comes to a job, so consider everything when you’re interviewing and being offered positions.

Secret #12: No Ultimatums At All
Do you like to be told that you have to do something “or else”? Of course not, no one does. The same is true of companies and hiring managers that you will come in contact with. You want to avoid giving any type of ultimatum at all, even if you do it without realizing that you’re doing it, as it can give off the wrong signals. Instead of saying something to the effect of “I’ll never do this/that”, consider saying things like “I can see how that might be a problem at this point in time, but I’m sure that we can discuss it later down the road”, or something similar. It can be very easy to switch up words just a small amount so that you don’t come across as demanding or ruin any likability that you have with an ultimatum that won’t be received well on the other end.

Secret #13: No One Is Out To Get You
When it comes to tough negotiations or long delays in an offer with a potential employer, it can seem like someone may be out to get you or that they don’t like you at all. In fact, the opposite is true. If the employer liked you enough to go this far, and to work hard negotiating an offer that you both will like, then they truly like you and want you to work for them. Their stand on an issue that they can’t seem to budge off of isn’t a reflection on you or mean that they don’t want you to work for them, it may simply mean that you aren’t the only one that they are considering or that they have constraints that are keeping them from offering you what you want. Instead, be patient and allow them time to work on things. Follow up with the hiring manager, but don’t nag them and call continuously. If there is something that is bothering you with their offer or with their negotiations, call and ask for clarification on that issue. Chances are that the person on the other end may be confused as well, but either way, they should be happy to speak with you more about something.

Secret #14: Don’t Walk Away
Just because you get frustrated with negotiating with an employer doesn’t mean that you should just walk away. Stay at the table and see what they counter with. Just because the issue isn’t something they can negotiate on today, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be ready to talk about it tomorrow. Make sure that you stay at the table and that you are always willing to continue to talk through issues or revisit issues down the road.

Secret #15: Keep Your Perspective
Even though this is the last secret in this list, it’s the most important one of all. Keep this in mind: you can negotiate like a professional yet still lose in the end if the negotiation you’re in is not the right one. Keep in perspective that the overall reason for the negotiation is to get the job right as well. The experience you’ll gain, the career path that you’ll be on, and other day-to-day issues that will influence you (such as your coworkers and your boss), are all more important than the specifics of a job offer. If you are not going to be happy in the job, there is no need to waste time negotiating on it.

No matter what career path you are moving down, these 15 secrets can help you to find and negotiate the best possible job offers to get you the job that you have been dreaming of. Don’t get discouraged if your first few interviews or negotiations don’t always go the way that you wish, keep in mind that they may have just been practice for that dream job around the corner.