Despite the time and energy you spend researching and evaluating, the hardest part is yet to come: deciding whether to accept the offer. Begin by assembling the facts, data, and information you have gathered. Think back to the interview, paying close attention to your feelings and intuition about the company and/or the position. Consider not only the salary offered to you but also what future you can expect with the company, and think about whether you believe you would be happy and excited working there. If you’re having trouble making a decision, try writing down the pros and cons of accepting the job; it may then become clear whether the positives outweigh the negatives. Sometimes, you may really want the job, but you’re unhappy with the salary or the benefits offered to you. If so, it’s time for negotiation.
Making the job offer acceptable through negotiation
Some people are afraid to negotiate a job offer because they really want the job and are afraid that the company will rescind the offer or respond badly if they attempt to negotiate. However, if you truly want the job but find the salary, benefits, or hours unacceptable, it’s better to face rejection than turn down what otherwise would be a great opportunity. The first step in negotiating is to tell your potential employer what it is that you want. Make it clear that you are immediately willing and able to accept the offer if this aspect of the offer could be changed. Be specific. Name the amount of money it would take or the exact hours you would like to work. However, don’t threaten the company, and if you really want the job, don’t imply that you’ll walk if the offer remains unacceptable. Stay neutral.
What will happen? The company may refuse your request, either because company policy does not allow negotiation or because the company is not willing to move from its original offer. Or, the company may make you a second offer, perhaps offering you more money but not as much as you requested or offering to make up to you in benefits what they can’t give you in salary.
In either case, the ball is back in your court. If the offer is still unacceptable, you may have to turn the job down. However, if the offer is better but not exactly what you want, ask for a day or two to think about it.
It’s also possible that the company will accept your counteroffer outright, especially if you have unique talents or experience. At this point, there isn’t much else to say except, “Thank you, I look forward to working here.”