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Congrats, you’ve been offered a new role! While you’ll be forgiven for getting caught up in the excitement of what’s to come, it’s important to take a step back and get all your ducks in a row before you accept the offer.

Part of your preparation should entail contract negotiation. More than simply compensation, you can negotiate many other aspects of your work life that are important to you. These include flexible work arrangements or a WFH/office hybrid, annual leave, scope of employment, benefits and bonuses.   

To get the most out of your contract, read it carefully, decide on what you value in a job and pinpoint the areas you want to negotiate. Below are some of our tips for approaching a negotiation conversation to ensure you start off on the right foot with your new employer. 

Be upfront

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to negotiate and be transparent about what it is you want. If you feel strongly about making a few changes to your contract, there’s no point in holding back until later down the line. Make them known from the beginning and build a trusting relationship with your employer, rather than settling for less and letting your expectations go unheard.

Research industry standards

Look into what’s common in your industry, your new company and the position you’re being hired for. You’ll be able to find supporting evidence and develop a stronger argument for what you’re attempting to negotiate.

Be realistic

Is what you’re asking for realistic given your experience and current circumstances? Consider what your new employer can reasonably offer you, along with the experience you’re bringing to the table. Once again, doing your research will be useful for forming realistic negotiations.

Justify your request

Given this a new contract for a job you haven’t started, your employer won’t have experienced your quality of work first hand and you’ll need to prove your worth in other ways to begin with. Explain why you’re worthy of higher compensation, or how flexible work arrangements are advantageous to your productivity. 

Take notes

Some of your negotiation efforts may be unsuccessful, however that’s not to say they won’t see the light of day in the future. Make notes from your discussion and when it’s time for your performance appraisal down the track, you can try again with additional evidence to prove your worth. It may even be useful to consider upskilling to better your chances of negotiation down the track. A formal qualification could be the token to a higher salary.

Remember this job is your future and you need to be happy to thrive. Know what you want, outline it clearly and approach the negotiation with confidence, respect and realistic expectations. Be sure to read your contract thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is anything you’re unclear on.

Are you seeking a pay increase in your current role? You can learn more about negotiating a pay rise at work here.

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