How to Counter a Lowball Job Offer

The Wall Street Journal has good tips on how to respond to lowball job offers, which are a trend in the bad economy:

Rather than immediately reject or accept a lowball deal, you should mount a careful counterattack, experts recommend.

Arm yourself with data about the going rate for your position by trolling Web sites such as,, and You’ll see whether a concern “has poor information about the external market” and rewards staffers below prevailing levels…

As part of your homework, you must grasp a potential employer’s problems so you can promote yourself as a problem solver worth more than the proposed skimpy pay. “To negotiate in tough times, you have to be able to create a vision,” says Jim Camp, an author and president of Camp Group, a negotiation-consulting firm in Dublin, Ohio.

The article highlights a couple of individuals whose offers companies couldn’t refuse:

–One man was offered a higher salary when he said he had million-dollar clients waiting in the wings
–One woman prepared a PowerPoint presentation describing how she could improve client satisfaction and sold the CEO a bonus structure for herself. He accepted, and her bonuses made up for the lower salary.

Some peoples’ attempts failed. Consulting gigs, taking jobs with better long-term earning potential, flex hours, and gym memberships made up for lost wages.

There’s also the idea of selling off vacation homes
–the article was clearly geared at readers in that position–but that seems kind of extreme.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.