I received a job offer in writing. The salary amount is either within the average or above average for the city the job is in (depending on the source of information), for someone with my experience.

I was encouraged by some people that I should always counter any offers with a higher one. In this case, would it be advisable to counter an job offer from a company?

Would circumstances related to countering a job offer change if the company was large and highly profitable, vs. a smaller company that is trying to expand their business and profits?

  • 5
    Is the current offer satisfactory for you?
    – sf02
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 19:20
  • 3
    It really depends on your country and culture of the company. At least in US, in most circumstances the worst feedback from countering an offer (for the first time) might be just a plain "no" and you could still sign the origin offer, so basically there's nothing to lose for you. But of course it may not be the case for you since there's so few detail that we know about your situation.
    – tweray
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 19:51
  • 4
    Be careful of your terminology. "Counter" is usually taken to mean "I reject your offer, and here is an offer I would accept". If you say that, then the response of the company might be "That offer does not work for us, so goodbye.", which might be a shock if the original offer was acceptable. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 20:03
  • 2
    @gnat Circumstances are a bit different in this case, since that topic asks for how to determine a reasonable salary, while this questions essentially asks whether or not I should ask for a higher salary even if the salary offered was already considered reasonable.
    – plu
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 20:32
  • 1
    @gnat disagree with the Duplicate target. It's related and a good reading that surely will help OP... but it's asking different things.
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 20:37

4 Answers 4


I was encouraged by some people that I should always counter any offers with a higher one. In this case, would it be advisable to counter an job offer from a company?

Only do so if you are not satisfied with the offer given.

You say in comments that you are satisfied with it, given the position and your experience, and that it is on or above average, so I see no point in you asking for more if you are ok with that.

The key here is that one does not ask for more "just because". You have to be sure of the reasons why do you think you should be paid more, so you can justify asking for more salary.

  • 1
    yep, the amount you're willing to work for should not be arbitrary based on what you're offered.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 22:47
  • Also to add, a counter to an already competitive salary May be viewed negatively by the prospective employer and possibly start out on a bad footing when you didn't have issue with the salary to begin with.
    – mutt
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 5:38
  • 1
    @mutt indeed, it may well lead them to retract the offer, as your rejection of the initial offer means you're not interested in the job at the given conditions. If you're not willing to risk that, accept the offer.
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:57
  • Not ever manager out there is trying to screw over their new employee. Plenty of them do, yes, but if they have a tight timeline, and instead of wasting time dealing with salary negotiation, they're going at near cap and see how many people take their offers.
    – Nelson
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 8:56
  • This. Keep in mind that by definition, not everyone can have a salary above average. Being under average is not a problem if the salary is enough for you and if the job bring other advantages
    – Kepotx
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 14:43

“Always” is rarely a good idea.

If you are given an offer that you feel is too low to accept, counter offer with an amount that you feel is ok. Nothing to lose.

If you are given an offer that is so good that you want it, don’t take risks.

If you have one offer that you feel is safe: make a counter offer for all offers that you feel are less good.

Same if you are safely employed but were looking for something better: Make a counter offer that would make the offer good enough to leave your old job.

As long as you have something safe to fall back on, you can make counter offers. Otherwise, you are taking perhaps too large a risk.


Whether one should always counter or push back may primarily depend on the business segment. I could imagine some lines of business where not countering is seen as weakness. If this is the case, one is probably best advised to follow the culture.

In general though, the relationship-building between employer and employee starts during - and especially after - a successful job interview. So - it pretty much comes down to which sort of relationship you want to build; one where money is the ultimate yardstick or a more 'frank' relationship with little to no posturing.

  • My saying is: I don’t work for money. But I stay with the company for money.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 20:03

If you're willing to risk the company retracting the offer and going with another candidate instead because they're unwilling to negotiate (or rather give in to your demands), go ahead.

If you consider the offer a reasonable one and you're unwilling to take that risk (and it's a very real risk), accept the offer and work hard to gain a raise or promotion.

If I were to make someone an offer I knew was reasonable and at or above market rates for the candidate, and he rejected it, demanding more, I'd probably not bother to negotiate but just pick someone else for the job (unless of course there are no other candidates, in which case I'd seriously consider not expanding my staff for the moment).

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