Answer: Here is the second in several questions that were raised in the seminar about Negotiating where it was clear that cultural factors were preventing highly educated and very smart women from speaking up and asking for what they felt they deserved.
The specific question raised was “I received a great offer right off the bat. Should I just go with that and call it done?” The underlying question is when to know if you should negotiate for a better package even though the job offer meets your compensation goals.
First, congratulations to anyone who receives an offer that is what they want. If it were received because you were careful in presenting your compensation picture and indicated the range and scope of benefits you were seeking, that is even better. It means your new employer was listening to you.
I would indicate that you expect to accept the offer and that you would like to review several benefit programs in detail. That is a very encouraging and professional response. At this point, I would simply ask for time to review the total picture, e.g.
- What are the specifics of the health and insurance plans?
- What vacation time do you qualify for?
- What is the temporary housing benefit (if a relocation is involved)?
- When are you eligible to join the new health plan?
Once that information is provided and any routine reference checks have been completed (including financial and drug testing) the offer letter can be signed, and a start date agreed upon.
This is also the time to mention any prearranged and paid for vacation, so without any additional discussion, you can plan to take that time off without pay. Please remember to discuss any factors that could affect your start date, e.g. bonus distribution, vesting date, etc.