Getting the Most Out of Your Pharma Job Offer

Steps that you can follow while negotiating a job offer


Looking for a new job in the pharma or biotech industry is one thing – accepting it is another. There will be a time when a position at another company is on the table right in front of you.

So, the question is: do you snatch it up immediately after hearing about the salary, compensation package, and position? Or do you try to negotiate with them in order to make more money or gain additional benefits? As you may know, the latter is the best option, especially when you have plenty of experience and valuable skills to offer. So, in order to play the “cat and mouse” game with poise, here’s a breakdown of the steps you’ll need to negotiate properly.

Do Your Research

Before you begin negotiating a job offer – in fact, before you even show up for your interview – you should have done some research on the company and the open position. There are sites that will tell you everything you need to know about the company and the job that you’re interviewing for, including what the average salary is for the position. You can use this information as part of your bargaining repertoire, especially if their initial salary offering seems low.

See From Their Perspective

Next, look at everything from the perspective of the company. They want you to work for them. While they might – and should – be willing to make some changes in the offer in order to convince you to work for them, they also need to fill that position. So, you need to make it clear to them that you’re genuinely interested in the job, even if you plan to negotiate. Otherwise, they might become afraid the position will remain open and reach out to the next candidate in line without giving you time to negotiate.

Take Your Time

Communication is key when negotiating a job offer. If you aren’t ready to make a decision either way, you need to let them know both tactfully and politely. You can say things like, “I’m very interested, but I would like  to think about it.” Informing them of why you need to spend some time mulling over the decision is fine as well.

However, don’t take too long in getting back to them. Most likely, they need an employee to fill that position as soon as possible, and if you wait more than 24 or 48 hours, they may assume you aren’t interested, which robs you of some of your bargaining power.

Make a Counteroffer

Once you’ve decided to make that counteroffer to them, speak openly and honestly. Tell them why you’re having second thoughts, whether it’s the money offered or the rest of the package, such as health insurance and sick days. While you need to look at the entire compensation package as a whole, since it is money out of their pocket either way, if you’ve done your research, you will be able to push for more.

Leave all ultimatums out of it. Including an “or else” makes you seem pushy and rude, and it can force them to walk away from the bargaining table, leaving you empty-handed. Your counteroffer, which shouldn’t be astronomical in size, needs to be stated in a manner that makes it clear you’re interested, but just want a little more. In most cases, asking for just a smidge more results in a done deal.

Know When to Accept

At a certain point, there may not be anything more the company can do to meet your needs. They might be able to offer you a little more money, some additional personal days, or even slightly better insurance costs, but in some cases, their hands may be tied. If they inform you of this, at that point, it’s time to stop negotiating.

Ultimately, they can’t offer what they don’t have to give. Therefore, if you truly want the job, you may have to accept a little less and meet them in the middle. Still, you can’t receive what you fail to ask for. So, play a little hard to get, and you may just snatch up that little extra you’ve been looking for.

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