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Negotiate a job offer

How to make it works?


Asking for what you want and need can be a smart way to start a new job.

Professor Deborah Riegel writes in Harvard Business Review that being confident in asking for what you need can "set the tone for future asks”.


So, how to negotiate a job offer?

Here are four strategies to get the most out of the early days of a new relationship.


Apply the “magic ratio” of healthy relationships.

Healthy, stable relationships have a “magic ratio” of 5 to 1. This means that for every negative feeling or interaction between people in a relationship, there must be five positive feelings or interactions.


Here’s an example of what actions you could take to build up to five:

  • Send them an article you think they might be interested in.

  • On a Friday, ask them what they have planned for the weekend (and share your plans, too).

  • Invite them to an event you’re hosting or attending (live or virtual).

Make requests, not demands.

Demand is something to which the other person feels obligated to say yes, whereas a request is something to which the other person can say “yes,” “no,” or make a counter-offer. It allows for dialogue, flexibility, and compromise. Be direct, be willing to ask more than once — and be able to move on if the answer is no

Get curious about what “no” means so that you can get to a yes.

If you’re in a new professional relationship, you may take a “no” to your requests personally. But don’t make up stories and be willing to ask what “no” means. Get curious about why your boss decided that so you can make a better ask next time.

Cultivate a positive affect

Like most emotions, positivity is contagious. When you approach others with visible joy, it is likely to catch on. When you make a request from a position of comfort (rather than a sense of desperation), you are more likely to make the other person feel comfortable, too. And when you are cheerful, you are more likely to brighten the other person’s day.

if you’re having a hard time finding a sunny spot in your work or life, Seligman suggests writing down three things that went well each day and why they went well. He found that people who do this for six months have less depression, less anxiety, and higher life satisfaction.

Applying the science of what makes relationships work, and combining it with the art of connecting, we can hopefully get all of what we need, and some of what we want.


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