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Accepting a Job Offer: Don't Let These Negotiation Mistakes Cost You!

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Congratulations on receiving a job offer! This is such an exciting milestone in your career journey and it's natural to want to accept the offer as soon as possible. However, before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to remember that you have the power to negotiate the terms of your offer to ensure that it aligns with your personal and professional goals. We know that negotiating a job offer can be intimidating, especially if you're new to the process or don't feel confident in your negotiation skills. But don't worry - we're here to help! With a little preparation and some insider tips, you can feel more confident and prepared as you navigate this important step in the job search process.

In this article, we'll cover:

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, these tips will help you feel more confident and prepared as you navigate this important step in the job search process. So grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let's dive in!

Preparing To Negotiate

Before you start negotiating with your potential employer, you need to do your research. It's important to have a good understanding of the company's culture and values, as well as the market rate for the position you're being offered. This will help you determine what you should ask for and what is reasonable to expect.

To get a general idea of what you should be making, check out sites like Seek, Indeed or Glassdoor. This can help you determine your worth so you can negotiate confidently. You can also talk to connections in your professional network who are in similar positions as you. They may have insights into the salary range for your industry or type of job that you don’t have access to online.

Be flexible and open to compromise: It's unlikely that you'll get everything you want in the negotiation. Be prepared to be flexible and open to compromise. Remember that the goal of the negotiation is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Negotiation can be intimidating, especially if you're new to it. To help you feel more confident and prepared, practice your negotiation skills with a friend or mentor. This will help you get a sense of what to expect and how to effectively communicate your needs and wants.

How To Ask For What You Want

Don't be afraid to ask for what you want! It's natural to feel hesitant about negotiating, especially if you're worried about jeopardising the offer. However, it's important to remember that the company expects you to negotiate and is likely willing to make some concessions. Don't just focus on salary: While salary is an important factor, it's not the only thing to consider when negotiating a job offer. Other items such as benefits, vacation time, flexible work schedule, and professional development opportunities can also be negotiated. Think about what is most important to you and make sure to address those items in the negotiation.

Asking for a Higher Salary

If you’re confident you can make a good case for why you should be making more than the initial offer, then you should absolutely ask for a higher salary.

You might be nervous to make such a bold request, but remember: the employer wants you to accept the job offer. They don’t want this to be a stressful process for you. What’s more, they want to give you the salary you deserve.

If they’ve offered you a salary below what you think you’re worth, then now is the best time to open a discussion about the salary you want. If you think you can negotiate a higher salary and still be grateful for the job offer, then do it!

Asking for More Flexibility or Vacation Time

If you’re applying for a job and you know you want more flexibility or vacation time than the initial offer, then you should absolutely make this request. Flexibility is increasingly an expectation in most workplaces. However, if you need specific requirements regarding flexibility regarding times, days or location, negotiate that as part of your offer.

If you’re applying for a job at a large corporation, asking for more vacation time might not make a huge difference. But keep in mind, if you’re applying for a job at a small company with few staff to cover essential tasks, or even a large company that is busy during standard vacation times (eg: retail), this could be difficult for the employer to negotiate.

Asking for Professional Development Options

If you know that you’re going to be really happy with the job offer, but are ambitious and want to pave the way for further growth in your career, then consider asking for professional development opportunities.

You can say something like, “I’m excited to join the company and really appreciate the job offer. I’m looking forward to contributing my skills and experience to the team. In the future, I’d like to pursue certification in [X profession]. Can we negotiate this as part of the offer?”

This is something that an employer might be more willing to negotiate than vacation time or salary, especially if you’re already excited about the job and ready to dive in.

Asking for a Signing Bonus

If you’ve been interviewing for jobs in a competitive market and everything has come down to two offers, then you may want to throw a negotiating tactic out that might be more unique to you. If you’re having trouble deciding which job offer to accept, you could ask for equity or a signing bonus from both companies. Whichever company is willing to give you what you want, that’s the job you should accept. This could be a bold move, but it might be exactly what you need to stand out from the competition.

Negotiation Tips for New Graduates

New graduates should focus on showing gratitude for the job offer and expressing their excitement to join the company. You can do so while also making a case for a higher salary or more vacation time.

For example, you could say something like, “Thank you for the offer, I’m excited to join the team! With my extensive training in this industry and the skills I’ll be bringing to the table, I’d like to request a salary at the upper end of the range for someone with my experience.”

You also have the option of negotiating for more benefits, like more paid time off or professional development training opportunities, instead of a higher salary. Some employers might be more willing to negotiate things like vacation time or benefits than they are salary, especially if they need to fill the position as soon as possible.


We hope these tips will help you feel more confident and prepared as you negotiate your job offer. Remember, it's okay to advocate for yourself and ask for what you want. With a little preparation and know-how, you can negotiate a job offer that aligns with your personal and professional goals.

If you're ready for some extra support in negotiating your job offer, we are here to help! Book your session here:

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