The key to choosing the right job is knowing what is most
important to you and determining which organization offers the most
of what you are looking for in an employer. The negotiation
process is an opportunity to define, communicate and achieve what
you want. Every new job, in fact every performance review, is
an opportunity to negotiate base salary, various kinds of bonuses,
benefits, stock options and other incentives that add to job
satisfaction and provide financial security. However,
negotiation requires gathering information, planning your approach,
considering different alternatives, communicating clearly and
making decisions to reach your goal. Consider the
What is the current state of the economy?
What is the unemployment rate?
What is the overall demand in your desired industry or for your
specific skills and knowledge?
How does the organization compare to others in the industry?
What is the future outlook for the industry?
How critical is this job to the organization's core business?
What are the organization's greatest competitive challenges?
Has the organization gone through recent changes, or is a future
What is its reputation in the marketplace?
Does it have a strong management team?
How committed is the organization to workforce diversity?
How prominent is the organization's commitment to its values and
code of professional conduct?
Does the organization contribute to the community?
Is the organization known for promoting from within?
Nature of Work
What will be the primary responsibilities of the job?
How well will this job meet your need for challenge?
How much variety will the job involve?
What is the level of personal accountability in your
What is the atmosphere of the work environment?
How comfortable will you be working in an organization of this
What is the dress code?
What is the quality of the facility and surrounding area?
What types of formal and on-the-job training will you
How much coaching and mentoring can you expect?
What career growth opportunities are available?
What types of training are available to prepare you for future
What level of tuition reimbursement is provided?
How well are career paths documented?
How effective is the performance management program?
How many hours per week do people in your position typically
How much travel does the job require?
How convenient is the location?
How much flexibility will you have in your work schedule?
How committed is the organization in providing technology support
for employees who work at home or travel?
What dependent care assistance does the organization offer?
What is the starting salary?
How often will you be reviewed or considered for a raise?
How much will individual development and performance influence your
What types of variable pay programs does the organization offer
(i.e. bonuses, profit sharing)?
What is the variable pay expectation of this job?
How have recent variable pay awards compared to targeted payout
How soon does coverage begin?
How much will the company cover for benefits?
How much time off will you have (i.e. holidays, vacation, sick
time, personal days)?
What types of retirement programs does the organization offer (i.e.
pension, savings, other)?
How does the organization support employee wellness?
What are the opportunities for stock options and other ownership in
Note: Avoid discussing compensation packages during the
Negotiation should begin only after you have been offered the