You’ve recently graduated and nailed the job interview. 👊

You’re optimistic and hopeful for a job offer, but start to feel uneasy as you consider your next task: pay negotiations.

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Why Negotiate?

Negotiating your pay can seem intimidating, but consider it another opportunity to convey your value and professionalism to your hiring manager.

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There’s no harm in asking, but there may be harm in NOT asking. You’ll do better over the course of your career if you negotiate a good starting salary.

Do Your Homework

Before entering negotiation conversations, research competitive salary ranges for similar positions in your region. Check out salary resources like Glassdoor.

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Next, determine the lowest amount you desire or could comfortably live with - also called your walkaway rate.

Your First Response

Receiving your first job offer is huge! But even if the offer is generous, don’t take the leap just yet.

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Take a deep breath and be thoughtful and thorough in your response.

Your Phone Is Ringing

It’s the hiring manager calling with an offer. They've offered a lower salary than you'd hoped. How do you respond?

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A. Accept the offer on the spot.

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B. Seize the moment! Present a counter offer right away.

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C. Ask for the offer in writing and say you'd like a few days to think it over.

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D. Walk away from the offer.


How should you first respond to the hiring manager's low offer?

What's Next?

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Review the full compensation package. Take note of questions that come up for you.

Salaries Aren't The Only Things To Negotiate

If the salary is set in stone or lower than you had hoped, you still may be able to negotiate for:

  • extra vacation time

  • a sign-on bonus

  • company equity

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What of the following items may also be negotiated?

Your Counter Offer

By demonstrating your value and understanding of the job, you gain more negotiating power (and confidence).

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Your counter offer should include:

  • Your interest in the job

  • Item(s) you'd like to negotiate

  • Reminder of the reasons to hire you

  • Your counter offer, backed by research

  • Request for next steps

Take Action

This is unlikely to be your last job offer. By confidently negotiating your first offer you’ll be setting yourself up for career and financial success for years to come and prove your worth!

Next time you approach a salary negotiation:

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