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How to Negotiate a Job Offer and make thousands more

The how to salary negotiation series


I get it. You have been pounding the pavement, recovering from rejection after rejection. Your resilience has been tested. Your confidence is shaky. And you are ready to jump on a job offer - like a drowning woman who has been thrown a life jacket. But hear me out. At job offer time, you have the maximum leverage. So, if possible, hold on for a bit longer.


Three female executives
How to negotiate a job offer

How to Negotiate a Job Offer - First, Escape the Desperation Trap

  • Scenario: It is not uncommon for job seekers to find themselves in desperation mode, feeling compelled to accept any offer that comes their way. And as I acknowledged, this is absolutely human! However, remember this mindset can significantly undermine your negotiation power.

  • Execution: Implement the 1-2 Strategy, a concept we've previously discussed in previous blog posts. In short, the strategy is this - secure a job to alleviate immediate financial pressure, while continuing your search for the ideal role. This approach provides breathing room and bargaining power, as you're no longer negotiating from a position of necessity.

  • Outcome: By adopting this strategy, you position yourself to negotiate not out of desperation, but from a place of strength and choice.

How to Negotiate a Job Offer - Prepare the 'Want' Portfolio

  • Strategy: Prepare a 'Want Portfolio'. This comprehensive list should include everything you value - from salary and bonuses to professional development opportunities, work flexibility, and vacation time.

    • Key here - if you are employing the 1-2 strategy as mentioned in the previous section, make sure and ask for professional development opportunities that will amplify your skills for the next role.

  • Execution: Start the negotiation with financial aspects, then progressively advocate for other elements in your portfolio. Remember, negotiation is an art of balance - it's not just about what you get, but also about how you make your employer feel about the agreement.

  • Outcome: A well-negotiated package that reflects your worth and meets your professional and personal needs.

How to Negotiate a Job Offer - Using Competing Offers Strategically

  • Scenario: If you have another job offer or you believe another offer is coming, keep this information at hand. This is powerful.

  • Strategy: Mention the competing offer subtly, without being overly aggressive. The goal is to inform, not to threaten. Use this information to underscore your market value.

  • Execution: Quickly pivot back to the job at hand. Express that while you have options, this particular role aligns best with your career aspirations and you're keen to make it work. You can say something along these lines, "Oh yes, I have been fortunate that several opportunities have opened up lately, however, I am very keen on this company and the results you are driving towards. I am positive we can find a mutually beneficial solution."

  • Outcome: This approach demonstrates your desirability in the market (using the scarcity principle of influence), yet reinforces your genuine interest in the role, creating a sense of urgency for the employer to make an attractive offer.

Conclusion - Know your worth and Fight for it


It is very normal and human to feel a sense of panic when you are in the job market and are in job hunting fatigue. Journaling, affirmations, and working on strengthening your network are key things to focus on during this time. When you get that coveted job offer, take a moment. Remind yourself that you bring tremendous value to any workplace. Then get into strategy mode - get a quick refresh on how to negotiate a job offer with this training and then negotiate for all your worth.

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