Q+A: Negotiating Salary

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

“What should I do when offered a salary? If its within my range do I immediately accept or should I negotiate and if so, how?”

I would first say thank you, and tell them that you are excited and honored that they are considering hiring you. I am assuming that you are a good match for the position and they are really interested in you, so then it is not unreasonable to ask politely if they can go to a somewhat higher number. Name the number: say 10% or 15% higher than their offer. If they say okay, then okay. If they say “No this is all we have,” you can ask them if there are perks available instead: gym membership, or education allowance or whatever interests you, and see if they can do something which might come out of a different budget. You don’ t even have to give them a reason. They are not interested in your personal situation or your housing costs or your need to buy your spouse a new car. The only thing they are considering is their need to fill the spot with the best person that they can afford with their budget.

Do it respectfully. I do not encourage you to play hardball in this market, unless you are absolutely convinced that you have a better rock solid offer elsewhere, or else you are the only person in the world who could fill that spot, and they absolutely have to have you.

And here is a response from a Cynopsis reader:
“I’m in the midst of re-negotiating my salary/position with my company, as I’ve come up on a yearly review, so I found your entry today from Cynopsis about salary negotiations extremely helpful! I’m having a big meeting tomorrow”