I just got an initial programming job offer for $75k + benefits. It's an initial offer, so I feel like I should give a counter offer ($5k - $10k/year more) to avoid unnecessarily leaving any money on the table, but I've never negotiated a salary before and I don't have any real reason for requesting more money other than, "I shouldn't just take the initial offer." Questions...
- If I'm happy with the initial offer, would it be smart to give a counter offer and ask for more money and risk losing the job offer?
- If so, how should I approach asking for more without any real justification?
I should mention that I already have a job (at a very prominent software company), but it pays $16k/year less with no benefits. As such, I don't feel already having a job strengthens my position any when asking for more.
Thanks so much in advance for your wisdom!
UPDATE: After taking Kevin's advice, my new employer came back with a new offer of $82K + $2K signing bonus and I happily accepted. Thank you, everyone, for all your guidance!