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If you’ve been offered a new job, you want to make sure you’ll receive the salary and benefits you need to live comfortably and work toward your long-term goals. It’s essential to understand your value so you can negotiate a fair compensation package. 

Arm Yourself With Information
Research the pay range for the same or similar roles in companies of a comparable size in the same geographic area. There are several online tools that can provide figures.

Make a list of everything you bring to the table, including your education, previous employment and major accomplishments that are relevant to the new position. If you have any unique or in-demand skills that could add value to the role, include them.

Be Ready to Negotiate
Before you go into the meeting, decide what is a fair salary and what is the minimum you would be willing to accept. Also think about which benefits are most important to you. 

If the manager asks for your desired salary, give a broad range so you will have room to negotiate. When employers make an initial offer, it’s usually less than they are willing to pay because they expect new hires to negotiate. Don’t accept the first offer you receive, even if it’s within your desired range.

Ask about medical, vision and dental insurance coverage; copays and deductibles; and whether you would have to pay a portion of the premiums for yourself and your family members. Inquire about life and disability insurance. If the company offers a 401(k) retirement plan, ask what percentage of your contributions it would match.

Inquire about the number of sick days and vacation days and whether they could roll over from year to year or whether you would be compensated for unused time. Ask about parental leave and perks such as company outings, a gym membership or a company car. 

When you make a request, be direct. If the employer says no, make a counteroffer. Everything, including salary and benefits, can be negotiated. If the employer can’t or won’t give you the salary you want, the company may be willing to agree to more vacation time, a flexible schedule or the opportunity to work from home.

If the employer won’t agree to what you believe is a reasonable request, decide whether to accept the lower offer with the understanding that you will receive a performance review and be eligible for a raise after a predetermined amount of time on the job, or walk away. Don’t threaten to walk away unless you mean it. Always be professional.

Get the Pay and Benefits You Deserve
Negotiating salary and benefits is stressful, and many people don’t recognize their value and end up settling for less than they deserve. This is why it’s so important to research the average compensation in your field for a comparable position and to focus on what you bring to the table.

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