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Negotiations following a job offer

You have been offered the job, lucky you! So how can you negotiate the best possible terms?

You have received the letter in the post and offering you the job. So what do you do next to make sure this is the right move for you?

First, consider this - you may be pleased to have received an offer but do you really want the job? Hopefully you have taken the opportunity at interview to ask questions about your potential employer. You may have been focused on impressing your interviewer but does the organisation impress you? If you have any niggling doubts, try to logically analyse your concerns. Do you have cold feet simply because the thought of a change is a little daunting or are there more significant reasons? Talk through the options with a trusted friend. If you do ultimately decide to decline the offer, do so courteously – after all, the organisation has spent a lot of time dealing with the recruitment process.

A bird in the hand..

Do you have any other offers or potential offers in the pipeline? If you do need more time to either consider more than one offer or to await the outcome of other interviews, be cautious when asking for time to consider the offer. You don’t want to lose the offer you already have. Simply indicate that you need a few days to think it over. Any longer than that and you are in dangerous territory. If you are awaiting the outcome of another interview, it is worth following this up to find out when you are likely to receive a response. You may want to mention that you have another offer, but don’t overplay your hand!


Salary – this may have been discussed at interview and your offer letter may contain details of the salary being offered. Salary isn’t purely about the numbers; you need to put it into context. Consider the following possible factors:

· How does the offer compare with your current salary? Are you making a lateral move (in which case you would not expect a large increase on your current salary) or is the position more senior? If it is a lateral move based on greater prospects at the new organisation, you may be more inclined to accept the same or slightly more than your current salary. You certainly wouldn’t usually want to accept less!

· Are there other benefits to take into account? A pension scheme, health cover, gym membership etc all have a value. Are they worth more to you? Similarly if the new organisation is offering less by way of benefits than your current employer, you need to consider the real value of your overall current package.

· Does the organisation have fixed pay scales? If so, they may be within a range and you will be aiming for the upper end of the range but take into account your level of experience. If the new job is a promotion for you but you are currently fairly junior in terms of experience, it may be unrealistic to expect to start at the top of a pay scale.

Whatever decision you make, remember to appreciate your own worth. This organisation wants you to work for them and usually there is some room for negotiation. Once terms have been agreed make sure they are set out in writing and that the contract of employment accurately reflects the agreement. Good luck!

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