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
- How established is the company or is it a start up?
- What is the future outlook for the industry?
- What are the organization's greatest competitive
- Has the organization gone through recent changes, or is a
future change likely?
- Has the organization recently downsized or laid off
- What is its reputation in the marketplace?
- Does it have a strong management team?
- Is the organization a privately or publicly held company?
- 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?
- Does the organization match your interests and beliefs?
Nature of Work
- What will be the primary responsibilities of the job?
- How well will this job meet your need for intellectual
- What will be the pressures and pace of work?
- What is the atmosphere of the physical work
- How will the size of the organization affect you?
- What is the quality of the facility and the surrounding
- What career growth opportunities are available?
- What types of training are available to prepare you for future
- How well are career paths documented?
- How effective is the performance management program?
- How many hours per week are required and are you comfortable
with the hours?
- How much travel does the job require?
- How convenient is the location?
- What is the possibility of re-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
- 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 salary growth?
- 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 will you
be responsible for per month?
- What is the difference between HMO, PPO and POS insurance
- Does the company's insurance plan have a pre-existing condition
clause? For how long?
- How much time off will you have (i.e. holidays, vacation, sick
time, personal days)?
- When do you start to accumulate vacation time? How much
do you acquire after one year?
- Are personal/sick days allowed?
- Will you have to spend a vacation day to observe a religious
- How much will the company pay for tuition assistance? Do
courses have to be specifically related to the job? How long do you
have to be with the company before you can take advantage of this
benefit? Do you have to repay assistance if you leave company
within a year? Two years? Does it require manager's approval? Does
tuition assistance apply to your dependents?
- What types of retirement programs does the organization offer
(i.e. pension, 401(k), savings, other)?
- What are the opportunities for stock options and other
ownership in the organization?
- What is the stock plan? Is there a minimum or maximum number
you can purchase?
- Can you purchase below market value? Are transaction fees
- What does it mean to be "vested" in the 401(K) plan? How long
do you have to be vested? What happens if you leave the company
before you are vested? What is the minimum you have to contribute
to participate? What is the maximum you can contribute? How much
does your company match? Do you have to rollover account upon
leaving the company?
Cost of Living Adjustments
- Will your cost of living increase or decrease if you are moving
to a new geographic location?
- What costs will you take on in the future that you are not
currently incurring? (rent, utilities, transportation, income taxes
- How much can day care subsidies/discounts add to your
- How much can a company car add to your salary?
- Does the company offer on-site fitness centers or a discount to
local athletic clubs?
- Is flextime available?
- Are there Employee Assistance Programs?
- Does the company host social activities or outings?