When one thinks of negotiating offers, salary is the first thing that typically comes to mind; however, non-salary items like training, benefits, or relocation expenses are also often negotiable. To prepare for negotiations:
- Identify what you want from the job: negotiating for salary is different from negotiating for benefits, and each will require you do conduct different research.
- Learn about the position. If you can, speak to current employees about how that position fits within the organizational hierarchy.
- Research the industry. Know what you are worth relative to the specific job, but also to the industry in general.
What do you want to negotiate?
Depending on the industry, the position, and your level of experience, benefits packages including bonuses, stock options, health care, paid parental leave may be available, so do your research. For many, these benefits are as important or more important than salary. Anything that will give you satisfaction are potentially negotiable items.
What is important to you? Prioritizing these items can help determine your values and clarify your long term career goals. Use the following list to identify what matters most to you in a career.
Step 1: Put a check mark (√) beside your 10 most important items.
Step 2: Out of your 10 choices, select your top 5 items and prioritize them.
- Quality of work
- Ability to use skills, training, and experience
- Work or “corporate” culture
- Length of commute
- Type of organization
- Opportunity to grow professionally
- Job title
- Work environment e.g. entrepreneurial, team-oriented
- Work in a large corporation
- Have the opportunity to work with new project requirements
- Have a nice work space
- Be able to take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits
- Increase base salary and overall good to above average compensation package
- Receive a signing or annual bonus
- Be in an open and friendly environment
- Experience a fair amount of autonomy
- Be able to grow with the company without relocating
- Have a mentor or good career coach
The priority items you have identified can be used in negotiating your offer.
Where can you find salary information?
Don't overestimate what you're worth, but don't sell yourself short either. Carefully research what similar jobs in that industry pay. Identify the minimum increase you will settle for. Take the time to research other options if you feel it is time to make a career move. For information on this topic, see http://www.careers.utoronto.ca/myCareer/resumeInterview/salNegotiate.aspx?tr=
Determine what you’re worth
To better estimate what you should be getting paid, you need to factor in
- Your skills (developed through employment, academic and extra curricular activities)
- Your educational qualifications
- Any other relevant experiences and accomplishments
Your skills include those directly related to your disciplinary training and expertise, but also those more generally related to completing higher level academic studies (often called "transferable" skills). For more information on these and other skills developed by graduate students see: http://www.careercenter.umich.edu/students/gradservices/nonacademic/transfer.htm