Should I negotiate the job offer?

You have an offer. It’s your dream job. Would you dare negotiate for more than the first offer? There is a voice in your head saying “don’t be a fool, what if they retract the offer?”. Challenge that voice. That voice is the voice of assumptions.

Think about your assumptions in the past. Do you remember a moment in time when you were convinced you were at the height of fashion? Which one was it for you? The bell-bottoms, platform shoes or miniskirts . You thought you were smashing. Now you look at the photograph and laugh, cringe or cry a little. Those cringeworthy moments should teach you something.  The next time you are certain about something  remember your assumption might be wrong. Apply this to the next negotiation. Guaranteed you will have a more successful outcome. Consider the example of the job offer.

Your have just been offered your dream job. If you don’t accept the offer as given they could withdraw it. That is an assumption you need to challenge. Think about the time and effort put into setting up the rounds of interviews and getting the management team to agree on the ideal candidate.  Do you believe asking a couple questions will cause the withdrawal of the offer? How would that conversation go?

“I am excited to let you know the management team has come to a decision and are ready to offer you the position at $60,000 annually, with benefits and 2 weeks annual vacation pay.”

“Thank you! I am so happy to hear from you. I am excited to use by background in social media to address the marketing challenges and the 401K Matching is great! There are a couple questions I have about the offer.”

“Questions? Certainly not!  Do you want the job or not!

Does this sound a bit ridiculous? Of course it does. Yet that is what happens when you make assumptions. Rule #1 the answer is ‘NO”  if you don’t ask. Rule #2 there is a roadmap, a negotiation process to follow. Professional negotiators know this and apply to every negotiation. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Be prepared – Identify your market value
  • Identify compensation goals and your walk away point -write them down
  • Don’t be afraid to ask – be gracious and be prepared with questions when the offer is made
  • Remember Rule #1  The answer is NO if you don’t ask

Do you believe asking clarifying questions would be grounds to withdraw an offer? Of course not. It is possible, however that  if you don’t negotiate the hiring manager may question their decision to hire you.