Negotiating your job offer —even in these uncertain times

Finally, you were invited to a company of your choice – after months of searching another better job – and offered a contract!

And now, what a mess – the financial offer is considerably below your expectations!

A real dilemma – accepting this interesting position in this well renowned company at a lower salary – or risking losing this job opportunity by insisting on a higher payment?!?

What to do – 3 steps Martina Ernst, Founder of SalaryNegotiations. recommends:

  • The company is not your enemy – they want you on board as much as you want to join them
  • Emphasize the added value you will bring to the company and therefore are worth being paid more than the average market value of the position
  • Establish a win-win attitude and signal, that together you will find a solution which fits both parties

According to Alexandra Carter – Columbia law professor and author of the recently published Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything – by the time you get to an offer, you have already made sure the company wants you on board.

5 steps to succeeding in your next negotiation

Do your research
Prepare, know the market value of the position at hand.

Focus on your goal
“Make transparent for them what your goals are and invite them to participate and help you,” says Carter. The clearer your goals, the better equipped you’ll be to handle whatever they say.

Ask open-ended questions
Don’t ask questions that only require a yes or no answer – Carter recommends instead using questions that start with “What” or “How”, e.g. “What can we do instead to get there?”

Use Carter’s I/we approach
Carter encourages women to use the I/We format, which looks like this: Here’s what I’m asking for, here’s what I’ve achieved, and here’s how we all benefit. This approach shows them that you value others on your team (and the company itself) but also value yourself.

Always ask
“My attitude is that I am always, tactfully, going to ask,” says Carter – even if you are currently unemployed and desperate to get back to work. “Ask, because when you teach them how to value you, you teach them how to value all of us. So, if you’re not going to go in to do it for yourself, do it for the sisterhood.’”