You Got a Job Offer: What Should You Negotiate for?

You Got a Job Offer: What Should You Negotiate for?

by Madison Hughes, Payroll Coordinator, Acclivity Healthcare

Getting a job offer is an extremely exciting time in a person’s life for a variety of different reasons. For some, it’s the first step on a greater journey towards the career that they’ve always dreamed of. For others, it’s a way to make a change from a current situation that they’re unhappy with. Maybe they no longer like working for their current employer, or maybe they’ve been previously unemployed for an extended period of time. Regardless of the reason, the job offer itself is only the beginning part of a much larger negotiation process. As you enter into the negotiation phase of obtaining employment, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Salary Might Not Be the Most Important Factor

While the amount of money that you’re making is certainly important, it isn’t necessarily the hill you want to die on (metaphorically speaking) during a job offer negotiation. If you’ve already done your research on what people with similar backgrounds in similar positions are making, you may not actually have much leverage regarding a salary increase over the current number on the table. What you do have leverage over, however, is nearly every other part of the process.

Vacation Time

Believe it or not, vacation time is actually one of the easier benefits to get during the job offer negotiation process. While an employer may not necessarily have the power to be as flexible as you’d like with regards to your salary, they may have the ability to grant you a few extra days or even a week of vacation time built into each year. You can even consider this paid vacation an additional financial “perk” and factor the value of each day off into the overall amount of money that you’re making for the “true” value of the offer in question.


Beyond vacation time, the job offer negotiation process is an excellent opportunity to make a position even more attractive by negotiating for some of the other benefits that you think may apply to your situation. Does your job require you to be available to do work at home via the Internet if need be? See if you can negotiate to have your employer pay for some or all of your Internet services bill as part of the hiring process. Maybe you’ll be required to use your personal cell phone to make and receive calls from clients whenever the need arises? See if you can get your employer to pay for a portion of that bill, too. Things like these along with health insurance plans, gym memberships, tuition reimbursement and others, are all negotiable during this part of the process.

Other Incentives

All of the other types of incentives that may not necessarily be official “benefits” are also things that you can negotiate for during the job offer process. Maybe you really want access to the company credit card for you to use when you take clients to lunch, for example, or you’d really like to be able to pick those clients up in a company car. Depending on the type of business that you’re applying for, now would be a great opportunity to ask for these types of things before you actually sign your employment contract on the dotted line.

Be Cautious

Although many professionals try, and succeed, to sweeten their new offer of employment, there are definitely some potential pitfalls that should be understood before attempting any counter-offer. Before attempting any offer negotiation, you should carefully weigh out the risks of doing so. Many Hiring Managers, particularly at larger companies, do not have much, or any, sway over the offer amount, benefits, or other incentives offered by their company as part of the employment relationship. In addition, you should expect that there are other candidates also being considered for the same position. If you play too hard to get, you may risk that your offer goes to someone else. For this reason, you should be very careful about what you ask for, and how you ask for it. In addition, you should back up your request for more with a justification about why you believe it is appropriate in your case.