You finally got the offer you have been waiting for! However, the salary is below what you are expecting. Now what? Should you accept the offer or reject it? How are you going to evaluate it? Read below and find the answers.
First of all, you should not evaluate the offer based only on salary information. The salary is important for many people, but you should also look for other benefits, such as how many paid holidays you will get per year or if you can work remotely some days during the work week or if you are getting any perks, for example, a gym membership discount or other discounts from other businesses such as phone-bill discounts or electronic-equipment discounts or travel discounts. You should then evaluate the offer as a whole package.
If the salary in the offer is below your expectations, you can always call the company and ask whether the offer is negotiable. I know many people do not like negotiating but sometimes you need to do it for your own stake. Then, the company will tell you whether it’s negotiable. If it is not negotiable, you can always compare the offer with your previous salary or with industry standards to explain to the company why you want to negotiate your salary and why you think you are worth more. Or you can cite labor statistics. You can say, “I looked up the labor statistics and they show that people earn X dollars for this kind of position, so can you please match your offer with what is listed here to be fair value.’’
However, don’t forget that companies have specified budgets for their hires, so even though you try to negotiate with them, it may not always work, but still it is worth trying. If the offer is not open to negotiation and you are not happy with it, then it’s up to you to decide if you are going to take it or not. But as I stated, salary information shouldn’t be the only criterion on which to base your decision, and you should always look at it as a whole package. Still, if you are not going to be happy working with a salary under your expectations, then maybe you should move on and keep on interviewing.
You can also ask when they would review your performance for a raise, because companies sometimes do six-month reviews. If a six-month review is available and the company tells you at that stage that it is happy with your performance, you may get a promotion or an increase in your salary. However, some companies may not do a review for a pay increase for up to two years, so you should ask when you can get a raise if you accept this offer and what is the average percentage for raises within the company.
Ceren Cubukcu is a top 5 bestselling author of Make Your American Dream A Reality: How to Find a Job as an International Student in the United States. She recently founded her consulting business to help more international students find jobs in the US in addition to her self-service digital event ticketing platform, Etkinlik Fabrikam (My Event Factory), to be able to offer her webinars in her home country. You can follow her via Facebook or contact her via www.cerencubukcu.com/contact.