How To Negotiate a Job Offer for the Best Salary, Benefits, + WFH Perks

Remote Job Hunting

How To Negotiate A Job Offer

When should you negotiate a job offer? Always! Learn how to negotiate a job offer to get what you deserve + ensure the perfect fit now.

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Kudos on landing that sweet remote job offer! Your resume was on point, you aced your interviews, and you impressed the hiring team. Now there's one more crucial step you must complete before accepting the role: negotiation.

Negotiating a job offer isn't some high-pressure Shark Tank situation. It's standard practice that ensures the position perfectly aligns with your needs and sets you up for success.

This guide will equip you with everything you need to know to negotiate job offers and gain the confidence to ask for what you deserve.

πŸ€” Why Should You Negotiate a Job Offer?

Negotiating allows you to build a tailored job offer that fuels your career happiness and success. It's less of a showdown and more like having an open conversation that ensures everyone wins.

Here's the reality: organizations often have wiggle room in their offers because all candidates are different. By politely advocating for yourself, you can secure a package that reflects your unique skills and worth and satisfies your needs.

βœ”οΈ What Can You Actually Negotiate?

Though salary is undeniably important, it's not the only element up for grabs during a job offer negotiation. There's a treasure chest of things you can potentially negotiate to craft a well-rounded offer, such as:

πŸ’° Salary + Bonus Structure

Let's be honest: salary negotiation is pretty high on the list of priorities. Negotiation can bridge the gap between what they initially offer and your target number.

To negotiate for a higher salary, look at industry standards for similar roles with your experience level first. Comparison websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and Salary.com can be helpful tools when performing salary research for job offers.

Then, come up with a target number slightly above what the company offered so there's room to negotiate a higher salary without hitting your absolute minimum.

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What about a bonus or commission structure? Is there a bonus program to incentivize stellar work? Can you negotiate a higher percentage or specific bonus targets?

Stock options or profit sharing? For some companies, especially startups, stock options can be a valuable long-term benefit in addition to compensation or instead of a higher starting salary.Β 

Negotiating for a higher salary isn't about being greedy. It's about getting a compensation package that reflects the value you'll bring to the organization.

πŸ‘‰ Read this next: How To Negotiate Salary For the Remote Job of Your Dreams (+ Email Template)

πŸ’Ÿ Benefits

Health insurance, dental, vision, parental leave, and retirement plans are crucial for your engagement and retention.

So during your benefits negotiation, see if there's room for better coverage or additional perks like gym memberships or wellness programs. Ask about things that matter to you and your family, like childcare stipends or family planning resources.

Psst! Use this checklist of the best company benefits during your negotiation!

πŸ–οΈ Paid Time Off (PTO)

Remote work can sometimes blur the lines between your "on" and "off" time, so establishing clear PTO is essential. Even though you may be able to work remotely while traveling, you still deserve a vacation away from your emails and work duties.

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You may be able to negotiate a benefits package with more vacation days, sick leave, and personal days to recharge, avoid burnout, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

🧘 Deep dive:Why it’s Important To Take Time Off from Work (+ Template To Ask for It)

⏰ Schedule

Remote work is all about flexibility, so you may be able to negotiate a schedule that better fits your life. After all, the company will want you to work whenever you're most productive.Β 

Take a minute to think about what creating your personal work-from-home schedule looks like.

Do you want to work asynchronous hours? What about a 4-day workweek? How about a split schedule within a specific timezone?Β 

These are all potentials when you negotiate remote job offers.

πŸ’» Equipment and Technology

Working remotely requires having the right tools for an effective, ergonomic, comfortable remote workspace.

Consider negotiating for a new computer, laptop, second monitor, ergonomic chair, standing desk, software subscriptions, and anything else you need to be a productivity powerhouse.

πŸͺœ Professional Development

Though more organizations are committed to career advancement for their employees than ever, professional development negotiation can help you score opportunities to keep building your career remotely.

A professional development budget or stipend can accommodate tuition reimbursement, online courses, and the ability to attend conferences, workshops, and webinars to upskill and continually sharpen your skillset.

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Remember: the squeaky wheel always gets the grease. Negotiation is a conversation about what matters most to you. Your potential employer won't know what it will take for you to thrive in this role long-term unless you tell them.

πŸ‘ Negotiation Do's and Don'ts: Mastering the Art of the Ask

Negotiation is a Bridgerton-esque dance, and you want to avoid any missteps or faux pas. Here are a few negotiation tips for job offer success:

βœ… Do This:

  • Be prepared. Research salary ranges and benefits similar companies offer to get a clear idea of what you want to negotiate.

  • Have confidence! Your skills and experience are valuable. Go into the negotiation believing you deserve a great offer, and you'll be well on your way to securing it.

  • Focus on value. Highlight the skills and experience you bring to the table and how you'll contribute to the company's success.

  • Be specific. Don't make vague requests. State the exact number you have in mind for salary or the particular benefit you'd like to discuss.

  • Be polite and professional. Maintain a positive and respectful tone throughout the conversation.

  • Have fallback options. If the company pushes back on your initial request, be prepared with other ideas. For example, suggest a slightly lower salary in exchange for more PTO or a higher equipment budget.

❌ Don't Do This:

  • Wing it or go in with unrealistic expectations. Preparation is key! Negotiating without a plan weakens your position. Research the company, position, and your worth beforehand, and be reasonable with your requests.

  • Be demanding or give ultimatums. Negotiation is a two-way street. Be open to compromise and finding a mutually beneficial agreement.

  • Focus only on salary. Remember that well-rounded benefits package we talked about? Consider how much those perks and work-life balance are worth to you too.

  • Weaponize other job offers. When it comes to what not to say when negotiating a job offer, bragging about your other job offers is one of them. While you can mention that you're considering other opportunities that pay $X, you shouldn't leverage one to get a higher number at the other.

  • Get emotional or angry. Keep your cool and maintain a professional demeanor, even if the negotiation isn't necessarily going your way.

πŸ‘ How To Negotiate a Job Offer

Now for the fun part β€” putting your negotiation skills into action! Follow this blueprint:

1. Review the Job Offer Carefully

Try not to accept the first job offer. Companies expect a bit of negotiation. But before you reach out, understand every aspect of the offer.Β 

Look at how the salary structure works, compare your potential benefits to your current ones, and highlight any areas that differ from your expectations.

2. Decide What Matters Most

Your prior research should reveal a range of average salaries, benefits packages, and other employee perks for people with your experience level and position.

So consider which aspects of the offer are most important to you and prioritize them. Is it salary, benefits, or flexibility?

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Knowing your must-haves will guide your negotiation strategy.

3. Schedule a (Phone or Video) Call To Discuss

While emails are okay for initial contact, schedule a call to discuss a few aspects of the offer in more detail. This shows respect, allows for a more personal conversation, and ensures better back-and-forth communication.

4. Craft Your Script

Prepare what you'll say beforehand.

  • Express gratitude. Thank the company for the offer and express your enthusiasm about the opportunity.

  • State your request clearly. Briefly outline what you'd like to negotiate and present your negotiation points.

  • Frame your requests around the value you bring to the company. Highlight your skills and experience, and how you'll contribute to their success.

  • Add urgency. Show your eagerness to join the team and speed up the job offer negotiation process.

Here's a job offer negotiation template to get you started:

"Thank you so much for the offer! I'm very excited about the opportunity to work at [Company Name]. I've carefully reviewed the offer, and while I'm very interested, I would like to discuss [mention specific point you want to negotiate, e.g., salary, benefits, etc.]. Β 

Based on my research and experience, a [state your target number/request] would better align with [explain your reasoning]. If we could make that happen, I'd be ready to sign immediately."

Don't be afraid to practice your negotiation skills with friends or family before the big talk.

5. Be Open To Compromise, But Don’t Rule Out Walking Away

Negotiation is a conversation, not a confrontation. Try to find common ground during any job offer negotiation or counteroffer negotiation.

However, if the company isn't willing to budge on your priorities, you can politely decline and thank them for their time.

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Entering with the mindset that this offer isn't the only option empowers your decision-making. Remember, We Work Remotely will always be here with the best remote work opportunities!

πŸ‘€ So You Negotiated... Now What?

After you've discussed your requests with the company, it's their turn to respond. Here's how to handle different scenarios:

πŸ₯³ Yes! You Got the Offer You Deserve!

Congratulations! You've secured a fantastic offer that aligns perfectly with your expectations.

Once you reach an agreement, review the details carefully, thank the company for their time, and get everything in writing before you accept the job offer.

Requesting a revised offer letter outlining the finalized details and agreed-upon terms ensures clarity and avoids misunderstandings later on.

😬 You Got the Counteroffer β€” Don't Worry

After your negotiation, the company might come back with a counteroffer negotiation. Here are your next steps:

  • Carefully consider the revised offer. Does it meet most of your needs and priorities? Don't feel pressured to accept right away. Take time to think it through, weigh the offer, and discuss it with trusted advisors if needed.

  • Negotiate further (optional). If the counteroffer isn't quite there yet, you can submit a counteroffer to solidify the deal. However, be mindful of going back and forth too many times when countering a job offer, as the company can always walk away.

  • Make the decision (yes!). Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you're happy with the offer, express your enthusiasm and get everything in writing before accepting.

  • Make the decision (no). If it's still not a good fit, check out this guide to decline the role without burning bridges: Thanks, But No Thanks: How To Turn Down a Job Offer.

✨ Now You're Ready To Become a Negotiation Ninja!

Negotiation is a valuable skill that empowers you to advocate for yourself throughout your career. But it also takes practice! The more you do it, the better you'll become.

So use this guide when you receive a job offer to conquer those negotiations and land the remote work package that makes you feel like a superhero.

PS: Don't be discouraged if it doesn't go perfectly the first time. Even if you negotiate with confidence, you may not land your dream remote work situation on the first go, and that’s ok.Β 

Keep your options open by saving plenty of dynamite remote jobs on We Work Remotely! Sign up for a free Job Seeker account to follow your favorite remote companies hiring, save jobs, and tailor your job listings feed. Or accelerate your job search with the benefits of a Pro Job Seeker account! πŸš€You got this!

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