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Congratulations–you’ve got the job. But don’t rush to accept that offer. Think about whether you’d like to negotiate your contract first. 

As well as making sure you’re being paid the going rate, you need to consider the flexible working options, bonus potential, and other benefits. Many people don’t prepare for contract negotiations, but just as with interviews, it pays to do your homework first. 

In particular, do check the industry-going rate for your role (you can google salary guides to find out). You don’t want to sell yourself short, but you also don’t want to create a bad impression by asking for a ridiculously high salary because you don’t know where the benchmark lies.

Get clear on what you’re asking for before the negotiation, and don’t be afraid to be upfront and fight for it a bit, but do be realistic. Here are 8 tips to make sure your negotiation goes well.

1. Be kind, diplomatic, and likeable. Things may well get tense, so be aware of what the other person might be thinking and feeling.

2. Clearly justify why you deserve what you’re asking for. This is the key point to remember. For instance, explain how more flexibility will improve your performance, and include supporting data if you can.

3. Don’t overplay how sought-after you are. Emphasising all the other great offers you have on the table may make you look as if you’re just playing the company off against their competitors. Above all, don’t give ultimatums.

4. Be mindful of any constraints. Your new employer may want to give you everything you ask for but simply not be able to. Figure out where they may be able to be flexible and focus there, rather than pushing for something they can’t give.

5. Be ready to answer tough questions, otherwise, you’ll lose your bargaining power. Be honest but have an eye to what will maintain your attractiveness.

6. Focus on the bigger picture. Salary isn’t everything–most of your job satisfaction will come from the culture, the work itself, and the opportunities for development, so make sure you’re thinking long term.

7. Don’t negotiate for the sake of it. If you’re happy with your revised offer, don’t strain people’s goodwill by negotiating further.

8. Never forget what you’ve discussed. Things change, so if not all your demands could be met, note them down and bring them up again in your first performance review.

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