It’s easy for a job seeker to immediately be afflicted with a case of blurred vision once receiving a job offer. While you may feel like you’re crossing the finish line of a very long race, it’s important to realize there’s still work to be done.
Rather than accepting immediately, it’s beneficial to take a day to understand what has been presented. This will give you time to weigh your options, including your potential salary and benefits package. Once prepared, you will then have the chance to negotiate what has been offered to you — this can often be intimidating, but it’s absolutely essential to the hiring process.
While salary negotiation is necessary prior to accepting any potential job offer, a candidate must know when to stop negotiating and either accept or deny an offer completely.
Understanding Your Negotiation
Prior to and during your negotiation, continually refer back to your initial reasoning for wanting to negotiate. While negotiation is beneficial to success on your career path, don’t just negotiate because you feel it’s expected of you. Do your research and gain as much knowledge as possible about the salary ranges for this position in your industry. This will allow you completely understand what you are negotiating for and why you are doing so. Was the offer just slightly out of your range or way off? No one is going to accept an unreasonable offer.
Keep in mind these negotiations don’t have to be limited solely to money. Many individuals choose to negotiate other benefits that are important to them, in place of a salary increase. This may mean negotiating your schedule to telecommute once a week, or your paid time off. Whatever your needs may be, your negotiation should be based on research, not on simply demanding the salary you think you deserve.
When To Accept An Offer
Accepting an offer comes easy to those who have clearly defined their needs to their potential employer. There isn’t a sounding bell for the perfect opportunity to stop negotiating and accept a potential employer’s offer, but you will feel more confident in accepting an offer when you’ve taken the necessary time to prepare, consider and negotiate.
Calling off your negotiation and settling on an offer should involve a lot more than a keen assessment of your potential salary and benefits. Their package might be great, but it’s your job to tie up any loose ends before sealing the deal. Make a final assessment of the position by taking a deeper look into the job’s value, as well your needs. Your acceptance of the offer should ultimately be based on your judgement.
When To Reject An Offer
The possibility of rejecting an offer might be hard to swallow for many job seekers. After all of the hard work and a potentially long hiring process, no one wants to start again. But there’s no reason to accept a low-ball offer or an offer for a position you’re less than thrilled about.
It’s common for job seekers to reject offers that don’t directly meet their needs. Even if you’ve done your research and crafted an appropriate negotiation, an employer doesn’t have to change their offer. Your decision to decline should come when your needs aren’t being met. Be sure to do this promptly, confidently and respectfully. There isn’t any reason to burn a bridge with this employer.
During your salary negotiation, it’s important to completely understand why and what you are negotiating based on research and your needs. Accepting or rejecting the offer completely should be based on your confidence that your needs are being met. Never settle for less.
Have you ever declined a job offer because an employer wasn’t willing to negotiate salary? Tell us in the comments section.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.