As of June this year, I will have finished university and joined the ever growing pool of graduates. It is a daunting thought but one I am relishing. However, like most people, I feel the first job offer that I receive I will accept, purely because it is a way into the Public Relations sector.
However, whatever sector you may be interested/skilled in, it is important not to just accept this offer but try to negotiate the job offer that leads to a win-win situation for you and your employer. I will show you how this is possible by using Stark and Flaherty’s (2012) four key points to successfully create a win-win outcome and how it can be applied to negotiating your first job offer
1. Do not narrow your negotiation down to one issue. As important as your first salary may be, it is not the be all and end all during negotiations. Do not just focus on one issue, such as salary, but think about what else you may need during this job role. For example, a travel allowance to help with travelling to work each day, extra holiday or personal development that will enhance your career skills.
2. Realise your counterpart does not have the same needs and wants as you do. When you are negotiation your first job offer, it is also important to not just focus on yourself. The company/person you will be negotiating with need to know how they would benefit from this. If you do not consider the other party when negotiating you will NEVER achieve a win-win outcome.
3. Don’t assume the other parties needs. Another key aspect when negotiation your first job offer is don’t assume that what your are saying is what the company wants to hear. This will be the same for the person who is negotiating with you. They may not know what you want so it is important for both parties to ask questions to understand what you want, which will lead to more room to negotiate.
4. Believe point number two in your heart. I cannot reinforce enough about realising the company/person you are negotiating with will have different needs to yours. This can easily be forgotten as soon as you begin negotiations as you are just looking for the best outcome for yourself. STAY CALM and practice for when you are negotiating by having a set of questions that you may want to ask. In addition. be clear in explaining how your needs in negotiation can also benefit the company i.e. professional development training can see you work your way up the company in the future.
Hear it from the man himself
Using these steps will help you achieve a win-win outcome for your first time job offer. It will also leave you and the company happy with the outcome and when it is time for your performance review 3, 6 or 9 months down the line, you may realise that you will be able to have a successful negotiation for improved terms once again.
Let me know your thoughts and any examples from graduates who have negotiated their first job offer.