Got a Job Offer? Negotiating Your Contract & Surviving the 1st Year

Obtain information about your market value before your first interview:

Step 1. Talk to friends and acquaintances in the business, contact liason, and consult career Web sites that include information such as salary ranges and benefits packages.
Step2 Assess the company’s approach, noting whether it invites negotiations or makes an offer first.
Step3 Listen to the way an offer is presented. A negotiation-minded manager will ask what figure you had in mind to get the process moving.
Step4 Delineate the different aspects of the job offer: money, benefits, responsibilities, stock options, schedules.  You must define your requirements and state how the employer will meet them.
Step5 If the offer appears set, be creative in negotiating for alternative perks such as time off, relocation expenses or a transportation allowance.
Step6 Repeat the offer out loud after you hear it, then don’t say anything until the employer does. Often, your silence will be misinterpreted as hesitation and the employer will sweeten the pot.

Step 7. Never Negotiate Alone
When it comes to negotiating a large or long-term contract, a legal adviser is crucial. In large organizations, a member of the legal department may be available to participate in the negotiations. The legal counsel can identify potential problems in the fine print and ensure that you have clearly stated what’s expected of the vendor/service/etc.

Step 8. Don’t Trust–Verify

Many bad experiences in negotiations can be traced to the buyer’s inability to verify service or vendor claims prior to making a deal. Every negotiation should include “a letter of intent outlining exactly how you intend to use the products/services, along with a vendor response that the stated contract will meet those needs.
Step9  Speak your mind if you have any concerns.

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