Career Woman

How to negotiate job offers: 7 questions to ask yourself first


It can be tempting to accept a job offer without considering the consequences. The salary might seem reasonable, the company may seem prestigious, and it’s hard to say no in how to negotiate job offers when you’re looking for work. But before you take that leap of faith, there are some essential things to consider. Asking a few questions of yourself can confirm that the job of your dreams is as good as it sounds and set you up for how to negotiate job offers.

How to negotiate job offers: 7 questions to ask yourself first

Am I willing to move if asked?

If you don’t want to leave your location, it might not be the right time to accept a job offer in a new city or state. You don’t want to settle just because you need a job.

Can I afford to relocate?

Moving is no joke when it comes to making a dent in your savings. If you can’t afford to relocate, it may be up to you in how to negotiate job offers to request a comprehensive relocation package that includes perks like:

  • long- or short-term rental facilities
  • moving boxes and other moving supplies
  • a rental car while your car is shipped

Speaking of shipping, one of the items you should request is auto transportation services from reputable car shipping companies, such as Guardian Auto Transport. Relocation stipends might also include provisions for things like paying off your lease and providing your plane ticket.

What does this offer mean for my career goals?

If you have been on an interview spree and looking for a job at many places, it’s essential to know which opportunity will most benefit your long-term goals. You might accept a job offer that seems like the perfect fit, but it may not be the best choice for your long-term career goals if you’re looking at a different industry.

What does this mean for my life?

The new job is an incredible opportunity if you’re ready to embrace its challenges. However, don’t just focus on work when weighing how to negotiate job offers. You should also consider how it impacts your entire life. If you have financial obligations, significant others, family members, and children, all of these things should factor into your decision.

What type of support will be available to me?

This support is essential for anyone, but especially for new employees. You should know as a step in how to negotiate job offers, if you’ll have a ‘buddy’ or mentor who can help you transition into the company. Some companies offer formal mentorship programs that pair new hires with seasoned professionals for a set amount of time.

Can I work from home occasionally?

If working from home is something you’re not allowed to do, it may be worth negotiating this perk in how to negotiate job offers. It’s not always possible, but when you can secure WFH perks, it’s often a boost to your productivity.

What’s the turnover rate at the new job?

In some industries, the success rate of new hires is significantly lower than average. In those cases, you may want to consider whether or not your company will invest in your success and training or if they expect you to hit the ground running from day one. If a high turnover rate doesn’t work for you, then look elsewhere.

How to negotiate job offers: negotation checklist

So what should you always negotiate – or at least take a closer look at the employment contract and examine it critically – before you sign it? We have put together the five most important points for you in how to negotiate job offers:

Point 1: salary

Salary is a deciding factor when choosing your job. It largely decides whether or not you are satisfied in your job in the long term. Although a good salary cannot usually make up for an otherwise lousy working day in the long term, you will not be happy if you go to work every day with fun and enjoyment, but can barely afford enough to eat. Especially the young skilled workers, the so-called Generation Y, are actually considered to be particularly undemanding – at least in a material sense. You tend to despair employers with the desire for a lot of free time or a purpose in their work. This reputation precedes them.

However, surveys produce a completely different picture: Even for Generation Y, salary is one of the most important decision-making factors for or against a job offer – for many it is even the most important (source: Welt ). In many cases, salary negotiations take place during the interview. If you have already come to an agreement in this context, you are of course not allowed to suddenly renegotiate again before signing the employment contract. The end of the probationary period or other times are more suitable for this, as described in the following article:

If, on the other hand, no wage negotiations have taken place, the time before the contract is signed is the right one. As mentioned earlier, salary negotiation can be worthwhile even if you are actually happy with your future earnings. A bit of tact is required here: If the salary is already appropriate or even above average, attempts to negotiate are not absolutely necessary. On the other hand, if your future income is (not even) average, you should grab the opportunity to trade it high. But not only the salary offers room for negotiation in a new employment contract. You should therefore compare your demands with the following points.

Point 2: Employer benefits

Sometimes it makes more sense in how to negotiate job offers to demand other benefits from the employer than more salary. As soon as you exceed a certain limit, your tax rate also rises and there is hardly anything left of the extra income in the end. Therefore, there are also so-called tax-free employer benefits, which you can negotiate in a new employment contract instead of salary negotiations. These include:

  • Benefits in kind such as goods or petrol vouchers
  • School grants
  • Private use of electronic work equipment such as a smartphone
  • Health plan
  • Bonus

A company pension, entitlement to at least one further training per year, which is paid for by the company, or numerous other individual regulations are also possible. So think about which agreements you could benefit from outside of a higher income in how to negotiate job offers and try your luck in the context of the employment contract negotiation.

Point 3: working hours

The number two of the most important factors in how to negotiate job offers with regard to your level of satisfaction are certainly your working hours. For example, if you earn $ 3,000 gross per month, it makes a big difference whether you work 40 or 35 hours a week. Overtime is also a problem for many workers if it is done too often or to a large extent. Models such as the home office or remote work are also desirable for many employees.

So look at clauses on your working hours, vacation and overtime regulations and other relevant factors that determine your work or leisure time in how to negotiate job offers. Become aware of what is more important to you in how to negotiate job offers – more free time or more money – and where you therefore want to negotiate. But also consider the impact on your career. In many companies, for example, it is difficult to achieve a management position with reduced working hours.

When negotiating shorter working hours or more vacation days, it is usually an either-or with your request for more money. Nevertheless, many employers are more flexible with regard to working hours than they are with regard to financial aspects. So it’s definitely worth a try.

Point 4: Accessibility

Due to digitalization, leisure time no longer means that you can switch off from work. In many companies it is common practice that you have to be available for your colleagues, the boss or customers outside of working hours. So the smartphone rings at the weekend and you can even check your e-mails when you are on vacation. This is not only annoying, but can become a real health burden in the long run.

So make a fixed agreement with your employer in how to negotiate job offers as to when you have to be available and how – and when you can confidently go “offline”. Record this regulation as a clause in the new employment contract so that you can refer to it again and again in your later professional life. Here too, however, you have to be careful that “switching off” doesn’t become a barrier to your career. Of course, you shouldn’t put your health at risk for your career. So you’re walking a fine line again.

Point 5: Clear job description

Last but not least, in your employment contract you can negotiate not only your rights, but also your obligations, i.e. what do you owe the employer in return for the salary & Co?

  • Which activities do you have to perform – and which not?
  • What about your area of ​​responsibility?
  • What are the limits of your manager’s authority?

So do you have to do “other” jobs that you are actually overqualified for when your boss tells you to? And if so, when can you say “No” ? Such definitions of your area of ​​activity should also be recorded in the employment contract – and of course you can negotiate existing clauses.

Tips for how to negotiate job offers

Many workers simply do not dare to negotiate an employment contract in how to negotiate job offerssimply  because they do not know how to approach the matter. You have little negotiating experience and feel overwhelmed by the “new” situation. In conclusion, we would like to give you three tips to help you negotiate your employment contract:

  1. Think in advance what you want to demand in how to negotiate job offers, whether this demand is realistic and how you justify it. The better your arguments, the higher your chance of a “yes”.
  2. Present yourself confidently, but willing to compromise in how to negotiate job offers. If you make excessive claims and do not want to move away from them, you appear snooty and under certain circumstances the “deal” – i.e. the employment contract – does not materialize. After all, it has not yet been signed. So be sure to show a sure instinct when negotiating a contract!
  3. Always set your demands a little higher than your actual goal. In this way you give yourself room in how to negotiate job offers to maneuver to meet the employer. So if you want two percent more salary, ask for five percent more and meet with the negotiating partner in the middle.


As you can see, there are several things to consider in how to negotiate job offers. You should weigh all the pros and cons before taking a new job offer so that you’re sure it is the right choice for your career goals.


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