Negotiating the terms of the job

Everything is negotiable, job content, hours, compensation, perks.

However, you can’t negotiate until you realise that the first person to put a figure on the table usually loses! And the time NOT to negotiate is during the interview.

That’s not to say the interviewer might try to open negotiations with you. To handle that look at the notes about interviews.

When is the best time to negotiate?

When you have the job offer, preferably in writing.  This will be sent to you, in advance of you starting the job, asking for your formal acceptance.

Now, it may well be you are totally happy with the terms and conditions of employment, if so, sign the acceptance and send it back.

You might, however, want to improve things.  Pick up the phone and ask to talk to the manager who interviewed you.

You do know, as the company have offered you the job, they really want you working for them, so you are now in a position of some power.

Start the conversation politely, “Thanks for offering me the job. I’m really happy to come and work for you. I just wondered how flexible you were on some of the detail in the offer letter.”

You might be angling for an increase in the starting salary. Perhaps the company will move on this. On the basis of not wanting to put a figure on the table, you could approach the subject by saying, “You know, at my last employer paid me about the same as your current offer and I did think, because of the extra responsibilities you’re asking me to take on, you might consider an extra payment.”

If the company aren’t prepared to make an immediate increase, you could go down this road, “Well, in that case, could you tell me when the first review of my performance would be and what I would need to accomplish to show you that I am more than capable of doing this job?”

When you are negotiating, always make the case that you are bringing more benefit to the company rather than simply asking for what you think you deserve.

Don’t forget you can negotiate around just about everything. 
A client recently took on a part time job and renegotiated five half days per week to two full days, much better from her point of view of transport and interrupted days, the benefit to the company was to have her there for complete days so she would see the total work flow pattern.
Another client was able to arrange to work from home and attend meetings “on-line”. The company realised the benefit of this and now runs most of its meetings this way, cutting down on costs and lost time moving staff around the country. 

Other items which can be negotiated range from job content, flexible working time and holidays to match child care.

All you have to do is ask!

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