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Negotiating your way to better job satisfaction

Well done! That's excellent news... You've beaten 85 other candidates and gone through the challenging recruitment and interview process, and come out on top. No mean feat in today's tough job market. The job is yours.

Once the excitement of a new job prospect has sunk in, there may still be things that you can do to negotiate a better deal for yourself, transforming this great job to THE greatest job! Here are a few tips and some guidance on negotiating your way to the perfect position;

  • Most importantly, and contrary to what your initial feelings may be, don't say yes right away. Ask for a couple of days to think over the offer, evaluate the job, the offer and how it relates to your requirements - be certain you want the job.
  • Evaluate the entire offer; the job description, responsibilities, culture of the company, salary, benefits or indeed any other factors that you deem to be important to your satisfaction within a job.
  • Measure your salary expectations against the industry norm and what other employers are offering for the same responsibilities. How does the salary on offer measure up?
  • Beyond the take-home salary, what are the values you place on any of the additional benefits such as pension scheme, healthcare, share options, flexible working, subsidised staff canteen etc - consider these in monetary terms as well as lifestyle benefits; flexible working for example may mean that you save on the cost of after-school childcare or makes it much easier to fit in the school run around your work commitments.
  • Once you have identified the key points of the offer, make a list of the pro's and cons. If there are things that you are less happy with, consider whether there might be room for negotiation.

How to negotiate the offer;

So you've been offered the job, you've done your homework on the offer and package available and know what you are worth and want for the best job satisfaction; now it's time to negotiate the offer.

In all likelihood your prospective employer will already have a firm idea of a package in mind, but do not dismiss this out of hand. In the first instance identify how your experience, qualifications and professional knowledge positions you within the industry, with a particular emphasis on the benefits you can bring to the company.

You should identify whether there is any flexibility in the package offered; will it come with regular salary reviews, if flexi working is not offered is there an opportunity to balance your working hours with childcare needs or the school-run?

In making these negotiations it is important to remember that you have passed the initial test, they like you and want you within their team, and they clearly think you have something to offer the business. With that in mind, it makes sense to negotiate to establish an environment that will lead to better job satisfaction for you, which will in turn give your prospective employer a more productive and engaging employee.