Knowing when to say yes or no to a job offer is important for every professional, whether you’re in talent development or another field. Whenever a decision affects your well-being, financial security, or even who you know and where you live, you have a lot on the line. It’s your responsibility to handle job offers with care and make a choice that will put you in the best situation. 

Here are a few tips from ATD Research reports and other reputable sources to help:

Benchmark Your Expectations

It’s easier to evaluate a job offer when you know how the market values your skills. Benchmarking data, like those found in What Does Talent Development Pay?, ATD’s 2015 compensation and benefits report, can help you gauge this value more accurately with statistics that allow comparison with your peers. 

Among other things, the report examines factors that influence a talent development professional’s likelihood of making more than $70,000 a year, such as:
• holding a title of manager or above
• having at least five years of experience
• having a master’s degree or higher
• specializing in a skill other than training delivery
• living in the Northeastern or Western United States.

The report also covers what factors increase the likelihood of making more than $120,000 a year, base salary distribution for the industry, information on who works in talent development, and benchmarks for raises and benefits. All of these statistics can help you in the next stage of the evaluation process.

Don’t Skip the Negotiation 

When it comes to salary negotiations, job seekers find themselves subject to a confluence of pressures; everyone wants a fair return on their value, but asking for too much can price you out of a position.

For people seeking their first job out of school or in a new field, fear of overpricing often leads to a critical mistake: not negotiating. Three-quarters of employers have room to increase their initial salary offers, but only 38 percent of recent graduates ask them to, according to a 2015 study conducted by NerdWallet and Looksharp. 

Advertisement

That means job candidates are leaving a lot of money on the table. Failure to negotiate can cost the average person upwards of a million dollars in lifetime earnings, according to Business Insider. Forbes says having the gall to ask for what you deserve can earn your boss’s respect too, which only opens doors. 

Even if your potential employer can’t move on compensation, doing yourself the service of asking never hurts. The worst thing a reasonable employer can do is say no.

Consider the Whole Package, Not Just Salary

In a world where most full-time positions come with paid time off, healthcare coverage, retirement plans, and other benefits, evaluating jobs salary to salary doesn’t mean evaluating them apples to apples. These factors and others, like workplace fit and alignment with career goals, all influence whether or not a job offer is the best fit for you. 

For what it’s worth, most talent development professionals do receive robust benefits packages. According to ATD’s 2015 salary report, 88 percent received access to medical coverage, more than 90 percent had access to dental and vision insurance, and more than 80 percent had access to long-term and short-term disability. 

The report also found that more than 90 percent of talent development professionals received access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan, and that 75 percent received 15 or more paid days off per year. A few other common benefits include life insurance (85 percent), tuition reimbursement (74 percent), and the ability to work from home (63 percent).