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The salary and benefit negotiation of a new job offer can be intimidating. It can feel like a confrontation or argument. That is not the case in the professional market. These things should be considered obligatory, but important. A hiring company should be expecting a possible refusal of an offer and a possible counter offer. In a case where the hiring manager has an issue with this, that job might be a good one to pass on. Here are some tips for staying professional in the salary negotiation and keeping both parties happy.

Know What the Salary Should Be

You don’t want to begin the salary negotiation without knowing what the salary should be. Part of knowing what the salary should be is knowing your own worth in the job market regarding the position applied for. Take inventory of your experience, education, and accomplishments. These three things will help measure what the salary should be. Keep in mind that you may want to use this information to effectively sell yourself to the prospective employer. If you only meet the job requirements and not exceed them, you might still have an opportunity to present value in your traits while making a counter offer.

How to Find Salary Expectations

You shouldn’t have to look past your monitor for this information. During your job search, you should be keeping record of the advertised wage ranges for the positions that you’re interested in. How do those figures relate to the offer that you receive? That could be data you can present when you make a counter offer. Using data in the salary and benefit negotiation is tremendously important. Facts and evidence allow you to remain objective and professional here. Research similar positions on the local job boards. Compare your data with national numbers for a comprehensive idea of what you should be asking for in the negotiations.

Acknowledge the Initial Offer

There’s a good chance that the initial offer will not be the best possible offer, in fact, it could be pure garbage. You still want to be grateful for it and express that to the prospective employer. This is both a professional thing to do and it allows the relationship to remain positive when you reject the offer. Just like in the interview, you should show enthusiasm for the initial offer. That positive relationship is key for helping both employer and employee stay content. If you receive the initial offer over the phone, I suggest enthusiastically acknowledging the offer before asking for some time to respond. You should then get the contact information for the corresponding person. You will want to act quickly to assess your value, the position’s value, decide how to respond, and respond professionally with data.


If given the opportunity of choosing between accepting a bad offer and rejecting a bad offer, you will always feel better about the rejection. If you know that the offer is below your worth, be prepared to professionally decline. Knowing this is key before the negotiation happens. As a prospective employee, you only have three possible failure scenarios. One is accepting a bad offer or rejecting a good offer. The last possible failure is losing your professionalism. Acting confrontational or being disrespectful will bar you from any chance of repairing the professional relationship. If the negotiations fail, yet you remain professional and courteous, there is a chance that the employer would reconsider an offer in the future. Be enthusiastic and only demand what you are worth regarding the position. When you make a counter offer, first describe your value and why you deserve what you’re asking for. After this, you should make the actual offer.