To Negotiate or Not Negotiate?

Salary Negotiation
Salary Negotiation

Although the majority of your time and energy during your job search and interview process is focused on getting an offer, it is a good idea to think about the your ideal work situation and the type of offer you would accept, negotiate, or decline BEFORE an offer is on the table. Having thought about your priorities and needs in advance to actually receiving an offer will allow you to ask the right questions during the latter stages of the interview process and will also make the process of accepting or declining an offer less stressful.


When people hear “evaluating job offer” they usually think only about the salary. First, review the factors that you should definitely weigh no matter how attractive your salary offer may look. As you read through the list, try to evaluate how important each of the factors will be to you and your preferred lifestyle:


The Organization

  • Type and size of business
  • Financial condition, stability, and future
  • Location(s)
  • Philosophy, value system, and mission
  • Company or organization reputation

Your Job

  • Typical daily routine
  • Typical work hours; anticipated overtime
  • Room for advancement and professional development opportunities
  • Supervisor, co-workers and colleagues
  • Required and desired skills
  • Size of department
  • Travel


  • Salary, signing bonus or other perks
  • Relocation budget
  • Vacation time (i.e., paid time off)
  • Savings plan (e.g., 401K or 403B)
  • Health benefits (e.g., medical, dental, and vision)
  • Tuition reimbursement (for self and family)
  • Pension or retirement plan
  • Vesting time (i.e., when a company’s contributions fully belong to you)
  • Commuting expenses
  • Pre-tax options (e.g., commuting, childcare, etc.)

Additional Resources:

  • America’s Career InfoNet
  • Glassdoor