How to negotiate a job offer

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Congratulations, you have received a job offer! You may be caught up in the moment and want to shout “Yes!” loudly and accepts the offer. However, resist that urge and face your game, even if the fit seems perfect. Why? In many cases, you can ask for more money or benefits when you close the deal.

“While the idea of ​​negotiating may seem difficult, it’s normal and expected,” said Brandon Bramley, founder of The Salary Negotiator, a Seattle-based company that helps professionals coach professionals through the negotiation process. negotiation of job offers. “You have leverage once you’re selected as the right candidate.”

Accounting is an in-demand skill, so any salary package should reflect the specialization you bring to the table. “We process sensitive and complex data to make sense of the financial situation of individuals, businesses and businesses so they can make critical financial decisions,” said Mark Stewart, accountant for Step By Step Business, a resource for those starting a business. . “You can negotiate a job offer if you feel it doesn’t compare to the value you will give.”

If the thought of asking for more makes you nervous, here’s a game plan you can follow:

Time well. Wait until you have a firm job offer, said John Ricco, CPA (inactive), co-founder of Manhattan-based Atlantic Group, a staffing and temp placement firm that places accountants and finance professionals. “There’s no point in negotiating the terms of a job you’ve only interviewed for because it will give your potential employer the wrong impression,” he said.

In fact, Bramley warned, trying to negotiate too early could “damage the interview process and cause you to miss a potential offer.”

Do your research. To find out what’s fair, gather compensation data to understand the role’s pay range and what peers earn at other companies, Bramley said. “Companies vary widely in their compensation structures and benefits,” he said. “It’s worth shopping around to find out what this role should pay.”

You can seek advice from mentors or trusted peers. Additionally, “individuals can use several online resources, such as Payscale, Glassdoor, and Salary.com,” Bramley said. Keep in mind that while these sites are helpful, the information is submitted anonymously, so there is no guarantee that it is accurate. Also, “they provide compensation reported by current or past employees, so salary may differ from what [companies] offer new employees,” he pointed out.

Specifically, ask about the employer and their salary structure, Stewart said. “That’s how you would know what pay range your experience falls into,” he said.

Understand the whole offer. Don’t get stuck on the salary number. Instead, understand the whole package, including paid time off, retirement matching, health care, bonuses, and other perks, which can be invaluable. For example, if an employer covers the entire health care premium, it could add thousands of dollars to your take home pay each year. (Several online tools can help you figure this out easily.) “Understand and review total compensation,” Bramley said. “It’s important because it allows you to calculate actual annual income and compare compensation between companies.”

Sell ​​yourself. Justification is key, said New York-based Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit: Essential Skills for Success No One Taught You. “Just saying ‘I want x dollars more’ isn’t helpful. You want more, the company wants to give less,” he said. “Provide a reason why you deserve the money. Now the company has to answer the rationale, and you can see if you’re on the same page about it.”

Treat the negotiation as if you were asking for an investment, “which your potential employer should also think about,” Ricco says. “An employee is hired to bring financial value to the company, so they want to be confident that you will provide a substantial return for their investment in you,” he explained. Present a clear idea of ​​what you will bring and the financial impact you can have.

Confidently list your accomplishments and how you can help the employer achieve their goals faster or receive better-than-expected results and be prepared to answer follow-up questions, Stewart said. When making your point, avoid words such as “maybe” or “I think” “because they make you appear uncertain about your skills, expertise and worth,” he added.

Stand firm. According to Bramley, he was able to negotiate more compensation for clients almost 95% of the time. But if the employer doesn’t increase their offer, don’t be afraid to move on, he said. “Interviews can be tough and time-consuming, but just because you land a job offer doesn’t mean you have to take it and it will be the only opportunity for you.”

Negotiation is a key skill that can be used over and over again as you climb the corporate ladder. “Everyone needs to learn how to trade, and it will help them throughout their careers,” Herschberg said.

Dawn Wotapka is a Georgia-based freelance writer. To comment on this article or suggest an idea for another article, contact Courtney Vien at [email protected]

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