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Consider an offer

[Music plays. Words appear on screen: Understanding Your Offer. Announcer, dressed in suit and tie, appears on screen]

Announcer: If you’ve gotten a job offer, congrats! All your work has paid off and you should be really excited. This is the time when you need to really dig into details and make sure you totally understand the offer. And that it’s the right move forward for you. You’ll want to read all the fine print so you understand exactly what that offer means. And if there’s anything that isn’t clear, now’s the time to ask lots of questions. First, you want to be totally clear on the job responsibilities. Does the title accurately reflect what you’ll be doing? Are you and the hiring manager clear on what you will do? Once you receive the employment contract, take a look at that too. Do you have a non-compete? Are you eligible to freelance or not? If there’s anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter or benefit specialist.

When it comes to your compensation package, you’ll want to understand —what is your base salary and how often will you be paid? Are employees eligible for bonuses, stock options, or profit sharing? What do your benefits include, and when do they go into effect? How often will your performances be reviewed and what does that process look like?

Now, you’re probably thinking about this question.  Is the number on the paper negotiable and it could be. But let’s take a step back. Companies like ours have compensation teams that put together defined ranges for each role. We’re not just pulling a number out of thin air. With that said, in many cases the number won’t be what you’re expecting, in which case you can, and should, ask questions to make sure you, and the hiring team, are on the same page. And negotiate when it makes sense.

There are a few rules of negotiation to keep in mind. First, do your research. Get data for the pay ranges for the position, location, and company on sites like or payscale. You can also talk to some trusted friends or mentors to get additional info. But in any case, you want to go into the negotiation conversations with data that you can compare to the number coming from the company.

Second, remember that an offer is more about just a salary and number. There are all kinds of factors to consider — such as the skills you gain, the team you’ll work on, and the benefits you’ll receive both tangible and intangible. Compare the whole package to decide if the job is right for you.

And finally, remember that the company is on your side. It’s easy to think that the negotiations are a me-versus-them situation, but remember that if they’ve offered you the job, they’re hoping it works out just as much as you are. Keeping that in mind can help you stay positive throughout the whole process.

[Music plays. Words appear on screen: The Muse]