How to negotiate a job offer

Compensation is one thing, but CIOs and soon-to-be CIOs should leverage their job offer position by putting their values on the table and setting themselves up for success before they sign.

How to negotiate a job offer

Congratulations! You got a sweet job offer. You are considering upending your life to make a big change. But before you do that, take a closer look at that offer. Is it everything you want?

This moment doesn’t come often, so it’s important to ensure not only that you are well compensated for your future work but that you succeed in your new role.

Everything from your salary, to the team you’ll work with, to what happens if the plan goes wrong is on the table right now. “Before you sign is the moment you have the most leverage,” says Brooks Holtom, professor of management and senior associate dean for finance, strategy, and organization at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. “Once you’re in, you don't have that same power.”

You might be a pro at negotiating with contractors or suppliers. But “people are not inherently good at negotiating a job offer,” councils Shawn Cole, president and co-founder of Cowen Partners Executive Search. “It's uncomfortable.” But negotiating and advocating for yourself does not mean you have to be adversarial. “The objective here is that you don't burn any bridges. After all, you are — hopefully — about to work with these people.”

To get your head in the game, I spoke to people who are good at this, those who do it every day and who know how to get what you want — and who know you need to ask for a few things you didn’t know you wanted.

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