Did you know that you are expected to negotiate your salary and benefits when you are being considered for a job? Most undergrads and recent grads don’t realize this, but it’s extremely important that you understand this concept to ensure that you are getting compensated fairly. Once you accept the offer, you are agreeing with the terms set out for you by the company and there could be little to no chance for further negotiation. What you earn in your 20's will also predict the trajectory of your salary for the rest of your career! (Check out this article by the Washington Post - Your lifetime earnings are probably determined in your 20s) This is why you should always examine the offer thoroughly before jumping on-board.
There seems to be a common misunderstanding around the idea of a job offer. People tend to think that when you receive a job offer, you should be glad that the company selected you out of all the other candidates. Naturally, you should compromise and agree to whatever terms and salary the company has set out. This is wrong. While it is true that the company could’ve offered someone else the job, it is also true that you, a valuable candidate, could’ve chosen to take a job offer at another company. When a company offers you a job, it indicates that they think you are the best fit for the position. They are strongly interested in getting you on-board. It’s fair game between you and the company.
Imagine that you are selling a brand-new Psychology textbook on Facebook. The textbook is worth around $150. However, you aren’t the only one selling this textbook on Facebook; there are ten other sellers trying to sell the exact same textbook. If a customer comes around and offers to buy your textbook for the price of $1, would you sell it? Obviously not. So why would you compromise on a job offer that doesn’t align with what you are looking for? When you apply for a job, you are basically selling yourself, and the companies are buyers that buy your service and time. If you think a job offer doesn’t match with what your worth, execute your right to negotiate.
Extended Reading: 5 Tips For Negotiating Your Salary