What To Do When You Get An Offer:  Negotiate or Not?

As we’ve been sharing with you this month, receiving an offer is a terrific achievement! Yet there’s much to consider before saying “yes” or “no.” We’ve now reached the point in our Offer Receipt Due Process (ORDP) to make a decision about whether to negotiate the offer presented or not. 

A quick recap: You’ve graciously received the offer, you’ve thought about it, discussed it with trusted advisors, and prayed about it. You’ve also just completed an engaging meeting with the hiring manager where you received answers to at least 10 questions. The ball is now squarely in your court to provide an answer to the organization of “yes” or “no.”   

But wait!  Before you answer, the avenue to negotiate your offer is still out there. 🙂 

By now, you’ve got a good feel for the organization, the role, and the team with whom you’d be working. You also have a set of facts around compensation and benefits that can assist you in reaching a conclusion with this decision. Finally, you have a “feel” for whether there may be room in the offer for any negotiation. 


First, when I talk about negotiation, I’m all about a “win-win” outcome. You want to feel fairly valued for your contribution, and the organization wants the same.  1 Corinthians 10:24 says, “Try to do what is good for others, not just what is good for yourselves.” This verse supports a Biblical principle of seeing another person’s point of view, and it also supports our Crossroads Career pillar of loving others compassionately. A negotiation isn’t entered into for one side to take advantage of the other side. It’s to engage in dialogue leading to both sides feeling satisfied with the fairness of the offer.  

Second, in my 35 years of experience, I’ve only encountered a couple situations where it appeared the organization was trying to unduly take advantage of a candidate with a lowball compensation offer. Overwhelmingly, the organization’s offer is going to be a fair offer, based on their market research, internal equity within the function and role, and their evaluation of you as a candidate. That said, their offer doesn’t necessarily have to equate with your perspective, which brings us to the point of negotiation. 

Third, many people think of offer negotiation as just involving dollars. I’d encourage you to broaden your view to include anything in the work environment the organization may be able to offer you that would help you feel more valued. This includes money, of course, both direct and indirect, along with non-monetary benefits. Here are a few examples of each: 

Money – Direct Money – Indirect Non – Monetary 
Base Compensation Training Dollars Office Space 
Annual Bonus Insurance Coverage Office Equipment 
Signing Bonus  Severance Policy Technology Support 
Equity Travel Budget Charitable Opportunities 

On top of these are what we call “other factors,” such as parking, flexible work schedules, team vs. individual work opportunities, organizational bureaucracy levels, upward mobility, and inherent going concern and market risk factors.  

(For more examples, please see our “Created For Good Works” workbook under Step 7, Selecting) 

Peace of Mind at Decision Time

As you probably knew before you even started reading this blog, there’s not a silver bullet answer for you in negotiating or not. As you assess all the factors, including your personal financial situation, risk tolerance, and emotional state, you may reach the conclusion the offer given is fair as is. That’s just fine! Good decision! The most important point is for you to go through the ORDP. Whether you say yes or no, or whether you choose to negotiate or not, knowing you went through a sound due process to arrive at your decision will give you peace of heart and mind as you move forward. 

Should you decide to counteroffer with some requests, I’d encourage you to speak with one of our Crossroads Guides for advice and counsel. Every person’s situation is different, and our Crossroads Guides’ experience and insights can assist you in assessing and approaching the negotiation in the most polite and tactful way possible. Please click HERE to get connected with one of our Crossroads Guides.

Ultimately, you’ll want to be excited and optimistic about the new opportunity you’re accepting. By going through the ORDP, you will dramatically increase your odds of landing nicely in the equation of adding the most value where you feel most valued.   

Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.

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Comments 1

  1. Thank you to the Saturday morning group for your support and personal coaching for my new employment opportunity! Finding one’s calling is way too cloudy and not as clear without devotion and people that share their own journey. For myself, I am blessed to have stumbled into the Crossroads fellowship and finally stepped up to answer. God’s calling is to serve, and His gift for Us is to not only follow Him but with others on the way to eternal life.

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