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How do I know if I should negotiate a job offer?

Negotiating The Offer

Debra Davenport (Executive Professional Mentor, Licensed Career Counselor & Employment Agent) gives expert video advice on: Does an employer normally expect you to negotiate a job offer?; How do I negotiate a job offer, but not lose the job? and more...

Does an employer normally expect you to negotiate a job offer?

Employers typically expect candidates to negotiate job offers, and it's a common practice; everybody does it. Negotiation is a part of business. And so learning to become an expert negotiator is a key component of being a good job seeker. And knowing what you want, what your expectations are, knowing what the market is bearing in your industry and the level or position you're applying for -- those are all key things to help you become a strong, powerful negotiator. Obviously, if your industry is paying $30-$36, for the position you're applying for, and you're trying to negotiate $75, chances are you're not going to get it, and you're probably going to end up losing the offer. So go in there armed with information. Information is power, and use that to your advantage in the negotiation process.

Should I negotiate a job offer myself?

99.9% of the time, the candidate will directly negotiate his or her position with the company. There are certainly circumstances where third parties will intervene. For example, someone who's in the entertainment industry who may have an agent, a manager or an entertainment attorney negotiate some part of the deal or job for that client. But most of the time, you need to be prepared to negotiate on your own behalf.

Can I re-negotiate if I discover I "lowballed" my salary?

If you discover that you've lowballed your salary, unfortunately, the chances of you re-negotiating after you've accepted a position are going to be just about impossible. Remember that the only time you really have negotiating power on your salary is between the time the job is offered to you, and the time you accept. So, make sure you use that time to research salaries, check around with family, friends, other people who are working in similar types of positions, so that you know what is a fair salary for the position you're applying for. Once you've accepted that job offer with its salary, it's pretty much too late to go back and change things.