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Larry Finkelstein – Don’t Burn Down Bridges

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Just spoke to a client who was given an offer for a three-month consulting assignment but considered the offer too low. Her question was, what to do? She thinks that she will really enjoy the work but it pays much less than her normal rate.

I suggested the following:

First, was there a minimum salary that she would consider doable? If she would resent taking less than that figure she should probably say no. Was she prepared to walk away?

Were there any kinds of benefits associated with the offer that made it more attractive / could make it more attractive.

What kind of evidence could she provide that would support her request for a higher salary. I suggested using Glassdoor, CareerBuilder or other sites that supply income information.

What kinds of evidence could she provide that her personal skills merited an amount above their offer. After all, they did think she was a good candidate and had chosen her out of a competitive field.

After providing the employer with this information, wait. See if they would increase the offer at this point. If not, make a counter offer. Give them a range where the bottom of the range would be acceptable to her.

Negotiations often have multiple steps. Don’t react too quickly and don’t burn bridges.

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