Imagine the situation – You get a call from a hiring manager confirming that you have been offered a role in his/her company. You are excited and eagerly await the company’s offer letter. You open your email and see the offer that has been extended to you. Instead of feeling happy, you feel disappointed! The offer seems less than what you expected. What do you do?

Sometimes, as college graduates, we might get offers that we are not happy with. The compensation might seem less. The profile isn’t what you expected it to be. You are expected to work 6 days a week, but weren’t told this during the interview. What do you do? Do you resign to your fate or negotiate your job offer? A lot of us would prefer negotiating.

That said, negotiating a job offer at a fresher-level can be tricky. On one end, you want the recruiting manager to understand and fulfil your ask. On the other, you are afraid of how the recruiting manager might perceive you – What if the organization refuses or finds you too demanding? In such scenarios, it makes sense to weigh the pros and cons before negotiating.

Consider negotiating your job offer when:

  1. Your ask is credible – If you are relocating to a different city, moving within the city, or commuting to work on your own, and feel your compensation doesn’t account for these additional expenses.
  2. You have relevant experience & skills – If you have relevant skills and experience to excel at your role (because of internships, courses, or freelance work that you did).
  3. You have other offers for a similar role – If you have other offers in hand to work for an industry peer for a similar role, you can consider negotiating your offer.

Avoid negotiating your job offer when:

  1. You feel you deserve better – Your negotiation asks needs to be based on credible arguments, and not just your feelings of what you deserve or don’t deserve.
  2. Your friends or seniors are getting more – Ideally, you are not supposed to be aware of another candidate’s compensation. Quoting someone else’s salary as a benchmark to get a hike can backfire.
  3. Your ask requires a policy change – An ask that requires a company to change its policies or be favorable towards you versus existing employees will most likely be turned down. For instance, if a company works six days a week and you want to work five days (at the same compensation), it’s highly unlikely they will agree.
  4. You don’t have other offers in hand – If you don’t have other job offers in hand and need a job desperately, it’s best not to negotiate it.

So, what’s the final verdict? Should you or should you not negotiate your offer? That depends on how dearly you want the job and what your alternatives are. It’s best to consider the pros and cons of negotiating before deciding.
If you have decided to negotiate your job offer and need help in preparing for the conversation, refer to Aon CoCubes’ Job Offer Negotiation worksheet.

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