The Decision: Evaluate Your Job Offers With Safeguards

Vlad Nov • June 21, 2021

How do you make a tough decision? You have to evaluate the potential outcomes and weigh your options. For many people, this includes creating pro and con lists or coming up with “what if” scenarios. These tactics are popular because they’re so easy to do. But is it worth taking the time to think through all of these steps when there’s an easier option available? Negotiation expert, Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne says that “pros and cons lists can be helpful if done properly but most often people don’t take them far enough.”

She offers the following example: “if I’m looking to buy a car, and my top criteria is gas mileage, then on one side of the list I would write ‘pros’ that emphasize fuel efficiencies - say lower emissions or better miles per gallon. And on the other side of the list I might put ‘cons’ like increased cost at current fossil-fuel prices.” Negotiating expert Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne argues that people often think too narrowly when it comes to making decisions because they are not fully considering all their options.

“If you’re negotiating a job opportunity,” she says, “you need an idea about what salary expectations were before you can determine whether this offer will be good for you.

Negotiation is a great opportunity to define success metrics and define what you want.

Negotiating your job offer doesn’t necessarily mean asking for more than the company has offered. It can simply be about clarifying expectations, negotiating small changes in benefits (e.g., commute), or gaining clarity on start date, work schedule, professional development opportunities, etc. Negotiations are not just about maximizing economic outcomes - they’re also about getting the right mix of personal needs met at the right time with good fit between person and organization values.”

Negotiate salary before accepting an offer – don’t negotiate after being hired because it will be too late

Do I have to sign any agreement? If so, read carefully to ensure your rights are respected.

Don’t be pressured into signing the agreement too quickly.

Ask for time to think about it before you sign anything, and don’t feel obligated to answer on your first day at work.

If there are any clauses that make you uncomfortable or unsure of how they will impact your life outside of work – mention them during negotiations with HR (or whoever is handling hiring). Negotiations can include asking for less than what’s being offered by a company in order to ensure other needs get met. Negotiation does not have to just be about maximizing economic outcomes — it also includes getting personal needs met as well as fit between person and organization values."

Negotiating salary after being hired might result in ‘offering’, this is when the company may try to give you an offer that is below market rate. Be careful to look this up on Google and make sure that you are being compensated fairly.

Negotiating a higher salary is not always the best option either. Negotiation should be about getting personal needs met as well as fit between person and organization values.

It can also be helpful to prioritize pros and cons lists when making decisions, but they might not work for all types of decisions. They are great at allowing you to make an objective assessment, but do not account for qualitative factors like anticipated regret or your degree of happiness with a particular outcome.

Negotiation is the art of getting what you want, and not everything we want comes with a price tag or dollar value. Negotiating for personal needs as well as fit between person and organization values can work too - but only if they are authentic to yourself and your situation. It’s hard to know which decision is better than another when there are good things about both options; this is where other models like pro/con lists come in handy! It might also help to prioritize pros and cons lists - while these don’t account for qualitative factors like anticipated regret or how happy you would feel in each scenario, it does allow for an objective assessment of all possible outcomes (good & bad). You may also want to consider how the company structures performance reviews. A quarterly review does not provide enough time for an employee’s progress to be recognized and rewarded, whereas a yearly review would give employees ample opportunity to excel in their roles before being evaluated again.

If you are interested in learning more about Negotiation Techniques feel free to reach out!