Know Your Goal - For a Job Offer

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

Know Your Goal for Salary Negotiation

In this blog post, we are focusing on your Goal for a job offer. We will cover more negotiation strategies, such as setting your goal for a raise with your existing employer, in future blog posts. We have covered a lot of great tips and advice in previous blog posts to help you collect valuable information in order for you to be a successful negotiator. So far, we've covered the following topics:

Know Your Value

- Research to understand the monetary value associated with your current experience and skill set so you are best prepared to negotiate the best job offer!

Know Your Company

- Research your prospective company prior to applying for a position to better understand whether it's a good fit for you. By learning all you can about the company and its policies, you will also be in a much better position for negotiating the best compensation package when the time comes.

Know Your Options

- Career negotiation is so much more than just salary! Research what other options exist that you can negotiate and then decide which ones matter most to you to include in your negotiation.

Know Your Rights

- There are topics that are illegal to ask applicants during the hiring process and yet some interviewers still ask them. It is important to know about your rights prior to entering into the hiring and negotiation process.

Once you have completed the research and preparation in those first four categories, you have all of the information you need to move towards 'Know Your Goal', which is when you pull it all together. You should now have a solid understanding of your value associated with your salary range as well as information about your company regarding how they're structured and benefit options that they provide. In addition to what your company provides for benefits, you should have also researched additional benefit options for which you would like to negotiate.

Have a Plan B and be ready to walk away

Negotiation is a conversation as well as a compromise between two parties, in this case between you and your prospective employer. Like with anything in life, you're not guaranteed to get everything you want so a solid negotiation strategy always includes a Plan B (and maybe C and D). Most importantly though, is to figure out your walk-away point. Although you probably don't want to think about it, it IS possible that the job offer won't be what you want. That situation doesn't have to be a deal-breaker but you need to know your overall goal AND the point at which you will decline the offer and start searching for a different job. Examples of situations that trigger a walk-away point include salary that's too low, insufficient paid time off, the work hours are too much or not enough. There is no right or wrong answer for your Plan B's or walk-away point. You need to decide what is best for you and you alone and then set your goals from there.

What does a goal look like?

With all of the information you've researched and compiled so far, what could it actually look like when you put it all together?


Company Name: That Purple Book

Company Type: Medium sized private business, over 2,000 employees total

Position/Title: Entry Level-Administrator of Awesome

Position Term: Full-time permanent, non-union

Work Location/Environment: Downtown, 40min commute, large office with cubicles, business casual attire

Salary Term: Annual

Initial Salary Offer From Company: $40,000

Initial Salary Offer Per Hour Equivalent: $19.23/hour

Goal Salary:

High=$50,000: ($24.03/hour = $4.80/hour increase = $9,984 annual difference)

Low=$42,500: ($20.19/hour = $0.96/hour increase = $1,996.80 annual difference)

Walk-away point=$42,500

Initial Paid Time Off: 8 days

Paid Time Off:

High=15 days

Low=10 days

Walk-away point=10 days BUT would consider as low as 8 days IF I get the high-end of my salary goal.

Additional Benefits: Telecommute 1 day per week, tuition reimbursement for up to one class per semester.


The example listed above has simplified a lot of the information that's been collected from the other topics (Value, Company, Options, Rights). Note that while the example above includes the overall goals, it also includes a low-end goal and walk-away point. You are now well-informed of your options and desired outcome and you can now use the goals list to craft a strategy for successful negotiation! More information about creating a negotiation strategy will be covered in a separate blog post.

Next Steps:

* On a sheet of paper, write down the following:

- Name of the company and the position title for which you are applying

- Salary term

- Salary amount (include high, low, and walk-away values)

- Paid time off

- Other benefits

* Keep your Goals sheet handy and revisit it and make changes as you move through the job hiring and negotiation process.

* Use this Goals sheet to craft your negotiation strategy

Connect with That Purple Book across social media at @ThatPurpleBook.

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