Don’t be afraid to negotiate

If you are like most recent graduates or job seekers, you’re thrilled to get a job offer. So thrilled you barely read through the details before becoming giddy. Then you get to the salary and it’s a little lower than you’d hoped and the benefits could be better.

Don’t fret, you are expected to negotiate. “Even in tough times, most companies expect you to negotiate,” according to The Galima Group, a partner of The Berkeley Center for Executive Development at UC Berkeley. Not to mention, when you respectfully negotiate, you demonstrate the business skills the company want you to employ on the job, this article from Forbes states.

As noted in The Galima Group post, look for subtle hints that the hiring manager is open to negotiation. “For example, many managers may say, ‘why don’t you look over the offer and call me if you have any questions’.”

An offer typically includes more than just the paycheck. Including:

  • Signing bonus
  • Vacation, sick days, personal days
  • Maternity / family leave
  • Flex-time or ability to telecommute
  • Professional training (continuing education, conference attendance, etc.)
  • Job sharing
  • Start date
  • Stock options
  • Performance bonuses
  • Accelerated review time with potential salary increase
  • Job duties
  • Company car
  • Company credit card
  • Expense accounts

You’ll want to first ask yourself what are the top three or five things to you. It’s ok if money is at the top or on the list!

“As long as you act respectfully, you have nothing to lose by asking what the company can do to bring you closer to your desired salary,” according to this Career Builder article.

Sick Days


Image from:

I was out with a touch of the flu the other day. Despite a fever and general flu symptoms, I still tried to get some work done from home. At one point, I e-mailed my boss to try to get a quick answer for someone else’s question.


That’s when I got an answer that surprised me. She told me to stop working. Imagine that! In today’s economy when people go to work with strep throat because they’re afraid to take just one day off for fear of getting fired, my boss told me to stop working. She said if I continued to try to work through the illness, I was only going to get sicker.

I’ve never felt more valued as an employee than I did reading that e-mail.

What have your bosses done to make you feel appreciated?