I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
Getting any job offer is an exciting time. A new job offer can change your life and your circumstances. Whether it’s your first job out of fellowship, your first attending position, or your first Medical Director role, you’re entitled to be excited. However, the process isn’t complete yet.
Learning to negotiate your salary and benefits is essential. It’s also very lucrative. At no other time in your life can you earn so much for so little time. A few minutes of your time could lead to higher salaries for the rest of your life. Negotiate wisely and effectively.
Take a hard look at the offer.
Ensure that you completely understand it. Insist on a written offer. It’s okay to take a couple of days to review the offer. Spend the time needed to make a wise decision and clarify any confusing points.
Compare your salary.
A little research will tell you all you need to know. Consider your job title, geographic area, and specialty skills. For example, A Medical Director position in Kansas probably pays less than a Medical Director position in New York City.
Consider the other benefits.
Vacation and sick leave, 401(k) and matching, life insurance, medical insurance, maternity and paternity leave, and bonus structure are just a few examples. Determine what’s most important to you. Great insurance and maternity/paternity leave might be critical factors in your job search, whereas someone else might be enchanted by the prospect of an office with a view.
This is the first step in your negotiations. Remaining likable can be challenging under these circumstances; you run the risk of upsetting your potential employer and boss. Being too assertive can have disastrous results in the long-term. Stand up for yourself, but not at the risk of alienating anyone.
Be able to justify your request.
It’s not very effective to state, “I’d like another $10,000 per year.” A more effective request might be, “Similar positions in the city are paying $10,000 more; would you be able to match that?” If you cannot justify your request, you may appear unreasonable. No one wants to work with unreasonable employees. Bring your proof with you to the negotiations. Back up your claims with real facts and have a reasonable explanation for all your requests.
Understand the situation.
Despite being likable and providing evidence to support your requests, the other person’s hands may be tied. There’s a limit to how much you can provide for a particular position. There may be constraints beyond your awareness. Ask yourself what the employer needs. What are they trying to accomplish by filling this position? How difficult would it be for them to find someone else? How valuable are you to them?
Consider more than just the salary.
It is essential to remember this when negotiating a job offer. Although salary is important, other benefits, work environment, and coworkers are equally valuable. Avoid focusing only on the salary number. Take all of the above into consideration instead of focusing your negotiation on the job offer’s financial aspects.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of posturing or claiming you have another offer when you don’t. These tactics can easily backfire and put you back on the street looking for another position. Accept the position if all of your requests are met. It would be a colossal mistake and unethical to up the ante and increase your demands.
If the position and original offer are acceptable to you, you might consider not negotiating at all. Remember, the perfect negotiation is of little consolation if the job isn’t a good fit. Understand the average salary and benefits for your perspective job title within the field. Negotiate the job offer when you’re armed with relevant data and ensure that you can justify your requests. This preparation will pay off for you.
Do you have other goals aside from finding the perfect job? Check out our blog here on how to make your goals a reality.
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I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Follow me on social media @DrHassanRehab.