Negotiating for a job in science

Often negotiating a new job offer can seem daunting. Most online resources offer guidance for CV writing and interview questions but not many offer guidance in negotiation. There are a few tactics you can pursue that keep both parties happy, always keep in mind the following:

  1. It is almost always appropriate to negotiate and you may gain more respect for doing so.
  2. IF you are offered a job over the phone try not to respond impulsively instead ask for as much detailed info as you can. After listening to the proposed offer ask for some time to think it over.
  3. Think about any leverage you may have over the employer. What is the criteria in the job description?  If you can meet and exceed this criteria you may be in a very good position to negotiate.
  4. Use this opportunity to ask for things you may regret not asking for further down the road. For example things like research equipment, professional development and computer equipment may be more important than salary. Make sure you have done your research as far as average salary for the same position is in and around your area.  This will give you a good base for salary and if benefits are needed to exceed it.
  5. If you can try to talk to current employees about how they are finding the work. If you happen to talk to them make sure you ask about the work environment and interaction between staff. Often this is best done by asking more than 1 members of staff, some may be biased ect.
  6. You shouldn’t expect more than 2 meetings about negotiations. Remember to show all your cards and clearly state what it is you want or expect. Try to reinforce the expertise and skills you can bring to the table. Try to not be arrogant in this process and remember that these are your likely future boss or colleges you are talking with.

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