Congratulations – you’ve got an offer for your dream job, and a new life is almost in reach. Before you make the move concrete, however, you’ll need to discuss your new salary. It’s not a topic that many people are comfortable with, but you should be ready to negotiate.
Decide what salary you’d be willing to accept, and stick to it. Do your research – look at salary scales for similar jobs and role levels, and consider factors such as the cost of living if a move is on the cards, your experience, and whether you really want the job. Be realistic, but don’t sell yourself short – they wouldn’t have made an offer if they weren’t interested in having you onboard.
If you haven’t been made an offer beyond your wildest imagination, be prepared to negotiate, but also to justify the increase. Do you have a skillset that takes years to develop? Can you provide mentoring, or a fresh perspective? Do you have any major successes in your portfolio? Always have several strong reasons prepared beforehand.
If money is tight, ask about other incentives to round out your package – it’s not all about the cold hard cash, and improving the work life balance can be priceless. Options such as flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, health insurance, pension schemes, opportunities for professional development, or additional annual leave days can help make an offer much more attractive.
Consider other factors too. If the new job is closer to home, you could save money on transportation, and even boost your fitness levels by walking or cycling to work.
If an offer is unacceptable, and you feel you have to decline, do so on the best terms possible. Explain why you’re declining in a courteous and professional manner – you don’t want to burn any bridges!