One aspect of meaningful work is being compensated adequately for the work that you do. It is important then to negotiate a good job offer.

Several people have told me recently that they had job offers. I hope that means that the economy is improving. Some tell me they were willing to take less money then they were making before they got laid off.

If you are considering a lower paying offer, I’d like to make some recommendations. Before you jump at the offer ask for at least 24 hours to consider it. You will want to make sure that you get as good an offer as is possible.

Here are some tips on how to look at and negotiate the offer. Be ready to underscore the reasons that you are the ideal person for the job as you suggest possible ways for them to enhance their offer.

1. When you receive a job offer even if you really want to say “Yes!” immediately, ask for time to study the offer. Jumping at the job offer may make you seem desperate and give the hiring manager second thoughts. If negotiation is one of the skills required for the job, hiring managers will expect to see you in action.

2. Obtain or review salary data from several sources so that you know the salary range of others doing similar jobs in your region.

3. Analyze the job offer. Compare it to your list of must haves, like to haves, and what can be given up. Be sure you understand all parts of the offer not just the salary. What are the benefits, bonus possibilities, and opportunities for training and/or other education?

4. Think about all the parts of the job offer that you like. The place to start in the negotiation process is by listing what you appreciate about the job offer.

5. Maintain a congenial atmosphere as you negotiate. The person you are negotiating with could end up being your boss. You want to create a win-win situation. Do not make demands or give ultimatums unless you are willing to walk away. (Winning an ultimatum may put you under a great deal of stress to perform at a high level.)

6 Ask any clarification questions that you have so that you thoroughly understand benefits, compensation, bonus plan, training etc.

7. Go over specific items which you wish to negotiate asking first if it is negotiable before giving your proposed requirements. Companies often have some flexibility on parts of the job offer and not on others.

8. Explore performance expectations and job description. There may be negotiation possibilities at different compensation levels and for different responsibilities.

9. Remember negotiation means compromise. It is not likely you’ll get everything you want. You will want to be sure you get most of your “must haves” Do not give up anything that is critical to you!

10. To ensure you have the best offer for you, contact potential employers where you have pending desirable opportunities to let them know you are about to accept an offer. If you have multiple offers you may be able to use the other offers’ good points to improve the offer of your preferred employer.

Author's Bio: 

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor (The Attorneys’ Coach) and a Career Changers’ Coach as well as publisher of "Parker’s Points", an email tip list and "Road to Success", an ezine. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website and receive a values assessment as a gift. This assessment will identify your top 4 values. Working from your values makes the work more meaningful and fulfilling.