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How to handle a job offer

Negotiating the salary you deserve.

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Luke Hannon

“We’d like to make you an offer.”

These seven words are like music to your ears at the end of a recruitment process that has lasted weeks, or for some, even months. You’ve loved every second of the recruitment process and you’re already imagining updating your Linkedin profile. Now it’s just a small matter of your salary.

I’ll show you have to negotiate the salary you deserve.

Know your value

When entering into any negotiation, it’s vital to know your value.

What is the average salary for this job in your industry, location and level of experience? Without knowing this information it’s very difficult to enter into a successful negotiation. A key advantage of being a member of a union (or fagforening) is that they provide their members with information on salaries, so it’s a great way to learn how your offer measures up. It’s essential to be honest with yourself when assessing the skills and experience and what you can bring to the company. This step will also make it far easier for you to justify your salary requirements in the negotiations. Now you have your number it’s important to communicate this early in the recruitment process to avoid any nasty surprises later on.

Be prepared to negotiate

In any negotiation there’s always a give and take.

The majority of companies will have salary ranges for jobs based on experience, skills and budget. Some companies may be able to make exceptions but not others. If this is the case there are many things you can negotiate on beyond base salary.

These can include:

  • Additional vacation days or feriefridage

  • Additional pension contributions

  • Company shares

When considering an offer, it’s advantageous to consider ALL parts of the offer.

If you want to get the salary you deserve, be prepared to negotiate.

"Not every job offer gets accepted. It’s crucial that if you accept the offer you feel comfortable in doing so."

Provide a salary range

Providing a salary range can be one of the best ways to get the salary you desire

You’re probably wondering now why you shouldn’t just tell them the amount you want, right? Providing a salary range has many benefits in salary negotiations. First and foremost, it shows that you’re open to negotiate in the first place. Imagine receiving a “take it or leave it” offer from the company, it wouldn’t feel right would it? But surely, if you give the company a range, they’ll just offer me the bottom of that bracket? It’s important to have your desired salary at, or near, the lower end of the range to prevent yourself from being lowballed. This will also have the benefit of making your desired salary seem far more reasonable in comparison to the top end of the range, a technique called the anchoring effect. The final benefit from offering a range is to start a discussion and gives you the opportunity to justify your salary demands.

If you want to get the salary you deserve then give them a range.

Don’t be afraid to walk away

You win some, you lose some.

At a certain point it may become clear that the company offering you the position is either unwilling or incapable of offering you the salary you need. At this point you need to be comfortable walking away. And guess what? That’s okay!

Not every job offer gets accepted. It’s crucial that if you accept the offer you feel comfortable in doing so. It’s important that you have boundaries for how much you can negotiate on salary-wise. It’s far better to politely decline the offer than to accept and then leave within a few months for something else. Despite many people thinking the contrary, recruiters and hiring managers are professionals, you won’t hurt their feelings by telling them the truth and that the offer was not acceptable to you.

In any negotiation you might not get what you need - so don’t be afraid to walk away. There you have it! Use these tips to negotiate your next job offer and get the job (and salary!) your talent deserves! Stay tuned for next month!

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