How to negotiate part 2

see part 1

You’ve been offered what you think is great role and you are excited and frankly just want the whole thing over with. They seem to be offering a decent salary and you’re keen to just sign. Negotiating job fulfilment seems like a big ask.


This is the time when you have the biggest opportunity to shape your salary and benefits package. The company is psychologically committed to you. They do not want to go back to the drawing board so it’s time to hustle. Easier said than done, for many of us we have money blocks and have been conditioned not to be seen as ‘pushy’.

Negotiation Expert

I’ve just interviewed Michelle Gyimah, negotiation expert, for the Comeback Girl podcast. She counsels “think about your moon on the stick job and benefits”. “Ask yourself what would be really good for me and my family right now?“. “We don’t like to admit that money is important but when you break it down to meeting mortgage payments, your annual holiday, childcare rates (it becomes easier to justify asking for more)”.

We agree that money is rarely the only and often not the biggest motivator for a woman going back to work. Often companies have more leeway on non-monetary recompense. These factors can be vastly more important to your satisfaction than the particulars of a job offer.

It depends on you.



One of my free downloads is a mind mapping exercise which asks you a series of questions designed to help you create a vivid picture of your ‘moon on a stick’ job.

It’s worth looking at your job offer having completed this exercise or similar. A huge salary may not be important to you in the context of the intrinsic benefits of the job. Let’s look at these again as a checklist to help you assess whether your job offer is worth accepting or negotiating.

Assessing the Job Offer

Carol Fishman Cohen from iRelaunch talks about assessing the job offer in terms of the 3 Cs: content, control and compensation.


Title –may be important to feel you are re-establishing credibility

Offers job satisfaction (or enough of it) that you have longed for?

Using skills you want to use and activities that motivate you?

How is your success benchmarked. Does it feel achievable?

Management – is this desirable and if so does the role offer it?

Culture – is it a place and a team where you can thrive?

Consider also opportunities for promotion and mentorship if you are starting back a few rungs back on the ladder.


Does the working pattern work or can you negotiate it (Flexibility, compressed hours, remote working)

Maternity and holiday allowances, pre- booked holidays cleared?

Time off to volunteer?


Base salary then think of other components:

Non-statutory mat leave/pay more parental leave, more holiday, equity and other long-term incentives, training budget, transport allowance, insurances, club memberships, mobile phone, car parking.

You might be at a time when you want to contribute more to a pension, or a course the company funds could be mutually beneficial.

It’s Your Responsibility to Find Out


Consider These Points

Michelle says we never quite know what is on offer because we don’t ask. It’s OK to admit to yourself, you need these things: “People don’t realise how much is up for grabs”.

I would add, it’s your responsibility to find out.

Gyimah counsels “It’s fine to think outside the box”.

Be Clear Up Front About Your Two or Three Top Things.

Michelle offers “Some organisations are not that forthcoming (in summarising the full suite of benefits on offer).”

Be straight and show commitment as I said in the first blog post: “I’m very excited to be working with you, just want to be sure” it’s fine, you are dotting your Is.If there is hesitancy, I would be concerned – look out for maternity leave; childcare days. Are they female-friendly?

You need to show that you can do this and ask for what you want. In this way you demonstrate what you are going to be like in all commercial transactions on their behalf.

Look out for Michelle’s podcast next month.