Congratulations you have just received a job offer! Perhaps this is what you have been working hard to achieve for the last few months… maybe it has come out of the blue… This stage of the job hunting process is vitally important to get right as it will define your pay & benefits for the rest of your tenure with your new employers. 1. Understand where the power lies Once you have received a job offer you are in a position of power. When a firm makes a job offer, they have decided that it is ‘you’ that they want. The last thing they want to do is to start the job hunt all over again. Therefore, have the courage to explore what your new employers can or cannot offer you. 2. Think laterally and creatively The pay for your new role may be fixed by the firm’s internal pay bands. But, what your new employers may be able to negotiate is on the level and range of perks you will receive, how many days you can work from home, the type of work you will take on, training they will pay for, the hours you will work, start date, annual leave, bonus payments, golden handshake, notice period… etc, etc, etc 3. Don’t resign until contract signed Don’t presume that the job is in the bag until the contract is signed and returned. A firm is perfectly within its rights to withdraw a job offer. Not many do, but I do know of examples where the negotiation over terms and conditions has caused the firm to withdraw a job offer. 4. This may fix your pay & reward package for a long time From bitter personal experience I know how hard it is for an employer to give you a big pay rise when you are incumbent into a role. Pay rises that are not tied into a performance related pay process take delicate negotiation to bring about. Unless you change role internally or get promoted you will be paid this much + cost of living rises for the foreseeable future. 5. Know your walk away position Having clarity about your ‘best alternative to negotiated agreement’ gives you the ability to know when to walk away from a negotiation. That way, you stop yourself, in the heat of the moment, from agreeing to an unsuitable package. It is all too easy when you need a new job to get suckered into an unsuitable job – because it is a job. It is better to be out of work for slightly longer rather than take on a job you hate and leave within 3 months… 6. Look to preserve the relationship Hopefully you and your new employers will enjoy a positive and fulfilling relationship for a long time to come. Be aware that if you negotiate too hard, your job offer may be withdrawn or your sour relationships with your new employer before you start. 7. Hold your nerve Pay negotiations can be drawn out affairs, which are normally conducted via the phone. If you are not sure what you are agreeing to, ask the other side for a summary of their proposal. If your new employer is playing hardball, you have two choices – play hardball back or give the other side feedback on the impact they are making with you. Do be aware that if they are playing hardball, this is probably indicative of how they will act with you in the future.

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