You get a call from your recruiter. Finally, they’ve checked your references and decided you’re not an axe-murdering psychopath. Yay! They offer you a job 🥳. You should accept the offer immediately, right? 😬 Wrong! Here is how you can negotiate your salary and benefits without being an a**hole:

Step 1: Have a target salary and benefits in mind beforehand

What salary is ideal for you? Does the company offer shares in equity? Do you need a relocation package to move to a new city? Would a signing bonus help you? Make a list of cherries on top 🍒

Remember: even if you love your new job, this company is buying your freedom. You better get something for staring at your screen for 10+ hours a day. Take Cindy Gallop’s advice: prepare to ask for the highest salary you can say without bursting out laughing 😂.

Step 2: Tell the recruiter you’re very grateful for the offer and are interested in the role, but you’re still interviewing 💼

Even if there is no chance that you’ll get another offer or even another interview, do not accept your offer immediately. Instead, say you need a couple days to get responses from other companies, and get the deadline for when the offer expires in your mind.

Step 3: Give your recruiter the silent treatment for a couple days

You’ve got them right where you want them. It’s like your crush has asked you out on a date: you’ll wait at least a couple hours to respond, right? 💅🏽 Yes, delaying signing your offer is stressful. But as long as it’s not expiring, stay silent. Absence makes the heart grow fonder 💗.

Step 4: Speed up all your other interviews, and see if you get any nibbles 🎣

In the meantime, tell any other companies you’re in talks with that you have an exploding offer. This is the final push. Do the onsite, send work samples, submit challenges. Do as much as you can before your offer expires. A counteroffer can give you extra bargaining power 👍.

Step 5: Wait for your recruiter to follow up with you and (hopefully) increase your offer

If all goes to plan, the recruiter will call you back to increase the offer 🤯. Tell the recruiter you’re still waiting to hear back from another company later in the week and try to extend the offer deadline further if you can.

Step 6: On the final phone call, keep calm and use the pressure of the moment to your advantage

Counteroffer or not, tell your recruiter, “I’m still considering my options.” On your final call, say something simple like: “You know, I really want to work for this company. But it would help me if we could sweeten the deal. Let’s say, ($Y, a higher salary), and (higher number of shares or higher signing bonus)? I’ll sign right after this call”. If they agree, get them to send up an updated agreement for you to sign.

Congratulations on negotiating your offer without coming off as an a**hole 🎉. Give yourself a pat on the back 👏.