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How to Use a Job Offer as Leverage

by Auston Matta

If you feel you deserve more money or opportunities at your current job, you could try another job offer as leverage. This new offer could be motivation enough for your manager to give you more recognition and keep you employed. Recruiting new hires take time and money, so an employer might take action to keep you from leaving. Using a job offer as leverage is a common tactic, but you must proceed with caution and use proper negotiation techniques to avoid hostility from your current company.

Preparation

Be prepared to have a serious conversation with your manager before you bring up your offer. Your employer will take you seriously if you have a new job offer in writing from another company. The offer should include the salary, position and details of employment. If you’re asking for a raise, benchmark average salaries in your field for people with similar experience and qualifications. Be prepared to explain why your past performance qualifies you for more recognition. You’ll want to know what you’re worth before you approach your company and request any changes to your employment. Your new job offer should not be the reason your company gives you a raise, it is just the motivation for them to take action.

Approach

You can use a job offer as leverage to ask for a raise, promotion or more opportunities in your current job. The best approach is to call a meeting with your manager. Let him know that you’d like to discuss career opportunities so he knows what to expect from the meeting. Establish how much you enjoy working for the company. Explain why you deserve what you’re asking for. Show him the job offer and explain that you’d like to stay with your current company but would be willing to leave if they can’t provide you with your request. Your manager will probably not provide you with an immediate answer. Give him time to meet with his boss or human resources group so he can determine what is available.

Negotiating Techniques

Be confident and honest about your request. Once you propose your request to your boss, wait for him to react and give you an answer. ''Forbes'' magazine suggests the most successful approach to negotiating is to take your ego off the table. Don’t make the discussion with your manager personal. Stick to the facts and explain why your qualifications and past performance deserves recognition. Keep the conversation focused on the result of your request, rather than focusing on why your company didn’t pay you more in the past or provide you with better opportunities.

Risks

Using a job offer as leverage is risky because it can create hostility with your company. Some managers may not be happy with your approach and could see your move as threatening. Request time from the new company so you can negotiate with your current company. Tell them you need at least two weeks to provide notice. Consider actually taking the new job if your company doesn’t grant your request. In this case, it's best to apply for a position you would actually accept. If you want to stay at your current job, even without your request granted, you can create an uncomfortable scenario with your manager should you decide to stay. Think seriously about your options and your goals before you use a job offer as leverage for anything.

About the Author

Auston Matta is an experienced engineer who has worked in the packaging industry since 2003. He holds a bachelor's degree in bio-engineering and a master's degree in engineering management. Auston has also contributed to "Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News."

Photo Credits

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