Job Negotiations

Congratulations, you have a job offer, but now you need to negotiate some of the terms. Professor Merideth Thompson has the following tips for you. Use this Job Offer Worksheet to formulate your negotiation strategy. 

  1. Figure out what you want versus need in the job offer (i.e., your interests).  
  2. Rank those items in Item 1 from your highest priority to your lowest priority.
  3. Determine what issues are on the bargaining table. Salary? Vacation days/PTO?  Start date? Commission? Training or certifications? The list could be endless.
  4. Figure out what the organization wants out of the negotiation (i.e., their interests).  
  5. Rank what you think the priority is of the issues you identified in Item 4.
  6. Consider how you can help the organization get more of what’s really important to them in exchange for you getting more of what’s important to you. Negotiating a job offer is NOT a one-way street. There should be give-and-take. Finding out what the organization wants and highly values may take WORK on your part – don’t be afraid to ask questions that help you identify their highest priority issues.
  7. Do your due diligence on salary figures. Research comparable positions on sites like,,, and (ONET). Consider sharing your research with the organization making you a job offer (if doing so is to your benefit!).
  8. Talk through your preparation for the negotiation with a trusted mentor, family member, or friend.
  9. Remember that you can ask for almost anything if you ask professionally and with a smile.
  10. If you have another job offer in hand (in writing!), consider sharing this with the other organization making you an offer. Don’t share details (i.e., salary, start date, etc.) but simply the fact that you have another offer. You are never more attractive to an organization then when another organization wants you!

Credit: Merideth J. Thompson, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Management

Navigating Offers and Negotiation