Get Back to Work with the Best Deal
Lee Miller | Monster Contributing Writer
I once received a letter from a woman who had just gotten a job offer. She had been unemployed for three months and wanted to know if she should accept the offer or try to negotiate for more. She felt the offer was low – less than she had been making at her last job – but was afraid that if she asked for more money she might lose the job.
Whether to negotiate is a question that comes up frequently from people who are between jobs. Not only can you ask for more money, but if an offer is low, you should ask for more. The key to doing so successfully can be summed up in a single word: Confidence. If you know what you’re worth and have the confidence needed to ask for it, you can often get the company to improve its offer. In fact, if you go into the interview process with confidence, it will not only result in your becoming a better negotiator, but it will also help you get the job.
What tends to hold most people back when they are unemployed is they start doubting themselves and their worth to potential employers. The longer you’re unemployed, the more your confidence starts to waiver, hurting your ability to negotiate. However, there are some simple things you can do to help build your self-confidence:
Make a list of all your prior accomplishments, both professionally and personally. The skills and experience you bring to potential employers do not change just because you’re unemployed.
Learn everything you can about the negotiating process. Read books, attend a seminar or take a class. The more you know about the process, the more comfortable you will be in asking for more money. Knowing the market value for the skills and experience you have will also help you negotiate with confidence. That requires doing your research before you start.