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How to Negotiate Salary & Vacation in a New Job

The nerves and stress of the interview process are quickly replaced by excitement and relief when you receive a job offer. You deserve congratulations for landing a job. Before you start celebrating too much, you'll need to develop a plan for salary negotiations. Asking for more money or vacation time often causes a rise in blood pressure. If you come in too low, you might shortchange yourself. Ask for too much money and your potential employer might have second thoughts about the job offer. Take time to research and prepare for the salary and vacation negotiation process.

Identify your ideal salary range and amount of vacation time. Determine the lowest salary and amount of vacation time you are willing to accept with the job offer. Keep these numbers in mind throughout the job negotiation process.

Research the average salary and benefits for the position in your area. Ask for the typical salary range for the position within the company making the offer. Keep your expectations in line with these figures.

Develop a list of credentials that illustrate why you deserve a higher salary than the initial offer. Show how you are an asset to the company, making you a good investment even at a higher price.

Allow the employer to make the first salary and vacation offer so you have an idea of his intended range. This prevents you from suggesting a number that is too high or too low, both of which can make a negative impression.

Determine your counteroffer based on your research and the initial offer from the company.

Ask for the salary and vacation amounts you determined based on the research and initial offer. Let the potential employer know you are interested in working there throughout the negotiation process. Be prepared to back up your desired salary and vacation time with the list of qualifications you created.

Consider asking for other compensation if your salary and vacation requirements aren't met. This might include a signing bonus, a guaranteed raise at your first review, an earlier review to allow for an earlier raise or additional benefits such as a company phone or paid relocation costs.

Work with the potential employer to come to an agreeable salary and vacation level. If the company can't meet your needs, consider whether you can make the sacrifices or if you prefer to hold out for better pay and vacation, which may mean taking a different job.


Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.