You may be tempted to jump at the first job you’re offered. But, with some exceptions, employers who want to hire you also expect you to negotiate the terms of your employment. Exceptions may be for positions where you’re placed on a grid based on education and/or experience and for entry-level positions.
There are three steps to negotiating a job offer.
Step 1: Understand the offer
- Get the offer in writing.
- Make sure you understand and review the terms, e.g. employer’s expectations, salary offered and benefits.
- Discuss anything that’s unclear with the employer.
Step 2: Assess the offer
- Explore the terms of the offer, measuring them against industry standards.
- How does the salary compare?
- How do working conditions, benefits and prospects compare?
- Ask the people in your network who work in or know the field to give you feedback on the offer.
- Check out the term and conditions in ads for similar positions posted on job search websites
Step 3: Make a counter offer
- Figure out what you’ll accept and where you’re prepared to compromise.
- Be able to demonstrate why you’re worth what you’re asking.
- Write out and practice describing the terms of your counter offer.
- Always be polite and aim for a win-win.
- When you reach an agreement
- Ask for the agreement in writing.
- Send your current employer a letter of resignation giving the appropriate notice based on employment standards or your contract.
- Contact your network and thank them for their help.
- Withdraw any other applications.