How to Negotiate for What You Want in Your Next Job

The time has finally come. You’ve been offered the position you want and you’re ready to accept! Time to celebrate and give your notice, right? Not quite.

Before you jump to accept your next job offer, take the time to negotiate for what you want. Why? Studies have shown that people who don’t ask for more money in their first job stand to lose more than $500,000 by the time they turn 60.

Unless the employer clearly specifies that they’re not able to negotiate, there’s often some wiggle room. I’ve seen it firsthand. This year, one of my clients negotiated for a 10% increase in salary. Another received an additional $3,000 toward salary and $5,000 to cover relocation.

So how do you go about asking for more?

First, you’ve got to know your market value.

What are other people in your location and industry earning? Conduct in-depth online research to get a solid understanding of the going rate in your market. Of course, you’ll want to be sure you take cost of living comparison into consideration as well.

Second, reflect on the value you will bring to the organization.

Beyond being able to obtain a potentially higher offer elsewhere, you’ll need to make a case for why you’re worth more. Consider your additional experience, knowledge, or skills beyond the minimum job qualifications.

Third, decide what it is you’d like to ask for exactly.

What’s most important to you? For some, it may be salary. For others, it may be vacation time, flexibility in work schedule, job title, stock options, signing bonus, or relocation.

Use my Job Offer Negotiation Worksheet to work through these steps in more detail so that you’re fully prepared for your negotiation conversation. You’ll also find a list of useful resources to help you know your market value and a sample negotiation dialogue there.