3 Reasons Not to Negotiate Salary After Accepting an Offer

Posted December 26, 2013 by
Jim Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson, Salary.com contributing writer

A common misconception about negotiation is that it is all about winning — always asking for more money at every opportunity, always getting the largest possible salary, always getting the highest possible job title.

While devising intricate strategies, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent, and determining a plan of attack can make the process of negotiation seem very much like going to war, the reality is that it is a series of battles throughout your working life. As the general in charge of your own career, sometimes it is wise to pick your battles and know when not to negotiate. Especially after you’ve already accepted the offer.

Opportunity Knocks

“John” recently wrote to me with an interesting story of his job search, and his new dilemma. As a Senior Manager at a large company a few years ago, he was making $85,000 before finally getting promoted to Director, which included a base salary bump to $100,000 and a generous bonus program.

Things were going great for almost a year before the economy caught up with him and he was laid off. Fortunately, his spouse also earned a good living and he took the opportunity to take a break and spend more time with his children. While enjoying this life for nearly two years, an opportunity came out of the blue (he wasn’t even sending out resumes). A former co-worker set him up on an interview and after several meetings, he landed an offer and the topic of salary came up.

Do the Math

John did his research on Salary.com and other sites for the new position, which was at an even higher level, Senior Director. When asked how much he was earning the last time he was employed, he told them $115,000, bumping up the number to account for bonuses and to compensate for salary increases while he was out of work.

When the actual offer came, he was armed with research and ready to negotiate, so imagine his surprise and delight when they called with an offer of $135,000.  He was so stunned that he immediately accepted on the phone.

But was he premature?  Continue reading . . .

Article by Jim Hopkinson and courtesy of Salary.com

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