Awesome day. You just got the call that the company you interviewed with is going to make an you offer. Now you’re just waiting for the call from HR. Everything is moving along just as you expected until the HR person tells you the salary. The salary range was $100 – $150K and you were expecting around $140K. Your offer is $110K. Oh really, what do you do now. That’s way below where you thought the offer was going to come in so it’s time to start negotiating. You thought interviewing was going to the hardest part of the process, but now realize that negotiating what you want for salary can be the hardest step. It’s easy when the salary is defined ahead but when there is a range for the position and you expect to be at the high end of the range, what do you do when it isn’t what you expected? What you don’t want to do is accept for less than you really feel you need to be happy. You want to start a new job with a positive attitude not regretting you didn’t try to negotiate. You have to negotiate, which makes it difficult for you. The employer knows what they can pay you but you don’t. It’s a guessing game that makes it hard to determine who comes out the winner. Great employees are worth more than just the paycheck they get, so as an employer, pay whatever you can to get the best people. Don’t make them guess how high you can go. You get what you pay for so remember that in the long run. When you’re contemplating what to do, remember the reason you were interested in the job in the first place. That needs to add value to your offer. A question to ask yourself is, “Will accepting this offer be a positive move for your career?” It is not always about the money after all. If taking this position provides a better work environment, better benefits, more opportunity, or whatever brought you to your job search in the first place, you should strongly consider how much to push. Always negotiate to your comfort level, but don’t forget about what this new job could mean to you. Show the HR person you are happy about the job offer but let them know that you had hoped for a higher salary. Provide a few reasons that support your request for a higher salary. Remind the employer of your sales record, your experience level or factors that will make you an asset to the company. Then provide a number where you think you will be happy accepting the offer. You want to make sure if you’re going to start a new job you are satisfied with the opportunity and have no regrets. Make the counter offer and see if you can come to some middle ground. You could also ask for extra company perks like vacation days or flex days if salary isn’t an option. Then ask if you can take some time to think about it, ask for a phone call the next day to consider the last offer that was made to you. This gives both parties a chance to take a breathe and consider what it would be like to accept at the new offer. Often times, just having time to reconsider the new offer gives you a clear head and new way to look at the opportunity. If the company has met you close to your ideal number, then perhaps you should take the job offer. At least both parties made an attempt to make it work and each gave in a little. That’s much better than being afraid to negotiate and wondering if you could have gotten more. Negotiation is just one more step in the hiring process, so be prepared. Now go accept that new job and congratulations.