Job Interview Tips Professional Development

6 Things You Must Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

Written by Peter Jones

Got the job? Great. Now you need a crash course in negotiating. Don’t be too difficult or demanding, but do ask for what you want and need—respectfully and professionally.

Here are 6 things to make sure you discuss before you sign the contract.

1. The Money You Want

Salary is the number one negotiated term for any new position. Do your research into the industry standards for your position, taking into account any extra expertise you might have—or any missing links. If you’re going to ask for more money, be prepared to explain why you deserve it. And why it would be in their best interests to spend the extra cash to get you on board.

2. Sweeteners

If you’re lucky enough to be in a field that typically offers signing bonuses, that can help mitigate a slightly lower salary offer. Again, do your research. Don’t ask for anything extortionate or too far out of the ordinary. But do use it as leverage if the hiring manager says they’d really like to offer you a higher salary, but they just don’t have the authorization. Maybe they can get the authorization for a signing bonus.

3. Vacay Days

Time off is important to most of us. It might even be more important to you than your annual salary. If this is your main demand, you can ease up on the money talk and ask for compensation in more vacation days. Don’t forget to mention that your productivity increases exponentially when you have time off to reset. 

4. Regular Reviews

Hungry to get up the ladder? Not totally jazzed by your new job title? Make sure to formally request performance reviews. If you’re doing your job well, this is the surest way to title bumps and increased compensation. Show ‘em what you’ve got!

5. Moving Money

If you need to uproot and go halfway across the country, be sure to ask for relocation assistance. Most companies have a separate budget for this. Be sure to go into the negotiation with a clear idea of how much your move is going to cost so you know how much you’ll need to ask for. 

6. The Opportunity for Flexibility

This can be a tough one, since the company doesn’t know your work style yet. They don’t know how productive and fabulous you are, because you haven’t shown them. But if schedule freedom is that important to you, or to your work, it’s okay to mention it in these initial negotiations.

Remember: negotiating isn’t easy. And salary is just one piece of the puzzle. Make sure you know what your needs and wishes are, then rank them in order of importance. You can’t ask for everything right out of the gate, but you can (and should) ask for the most important.

About the author

Peter Jones