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Can I Negotiate Salary After Accepting a Verbal Offer?

Can I Negotiate Salary After Accepting a Verbal Offer?

negotiating salary after accepting a verbal offer

Can I Negotiate Salary After Accepting a Verbal Offer? The short answer is yes, but tread lightly.

Accepting a verbal job offer can be a moment of excitement and relief, but what if you have second thoughts about the salary or the full job offer?

A common dilemma job seekers face is determining whether or not to negotiate salary after accepting a verbal offer.

In this article, we will discuss the possibility of doing so and, if appropriate, how to approach the situation without detriment to your job offer. 

It is important to remember that a verbal job offer is often considered less formal than a written agreement.

Many employers recognize the possibility of further negotiation before the final terms are laid out in a written contract. However, re-negotiating salary after verbally accepting an offer can still come with risks. Ones where you should weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of this decision.

Before opening negotiations, it’s crucial to research the market value of the position, industry norms, and your own qualifications to ensure you are making a reasonable and well-informed request. Also, with the recent change in pay transparency laws, there’s more openness in terms of having more information to make the right decision for your career.

Knowing your worth and entering the conversation with confidence will increase your chances of success in negotiating a better salary, even after accepting a verbal offer.

Understanding Verbal Offers

Verbal offers of employment are a common way for employers and candidates to reach an agreement about the terms and conditions of employment. We will dig into the details of verbal offers, their differences from written offers, and their legal aspects.

Difference from Written Offers

Verbal offers differ from written offers in various ways, including:

  • Documentation: Written offers provide a physical record of the employment terms, whereas verbal offers do not.
  • Enforceability: Written offers are more legally binding than verbal offers, as they are easier to prove in court.
  • Clarity: Written offers clearly state terms and conditions, reducing misunderstandings as opposed to verbal offers, where miscommunication can occur.

Legal Aspect

Although verbal job offers are legally binding in some jurisdictions, enforcing them can be challenging.

The legal aspects include:

   Region Binding Status
USA Depending on the state, verbal offers may or may not be legally binding.
UK Verbal agreements are considered binding, but proving them in court can be difficult.
Australia Verbal agreements are legally binding, but written contracts are recommended for clarity.

Before negotiating a salary after accepting a verbal offer, be aware of the legal implications and ensure there is mutual understanding between both parties regarding the employment terms.

Risks of Renegotiating After Acceptance

While renegotiating your salary after accepting a verbal offer is possible, there are some risks involved that you should consider before making the decision to do so.


Renegotiating after giving your word might be seen as unprofessional by the employer and quite frankly, annoying, especially from an HR perspective. Should that stop you from asking? No.

It could damage your reputation within the company and potentially affect your relationship with your future colleagues or managers. You don’t want to start off with your new employer having irritated your hiring manager. However, of course, we will always support asking for what is fair.

Beware of the Potential Withdrawal of Offer

Employers may perceive your renegotiation attempt as a lack of commitment or interest in the position. This could lead to a potential withdrawal of the offer, leaving you without a job opportunity. Hence the reason why you always wait to give an official two week notice. You will need time to work through the fine details before bailing out on your current job.

In conclusion, it is essential to weigh the potential risks and benefits before renegotiating your salary after accepting a verbal offer. While there might be room for negotiation, consider the potential consequences to your reputation and the possibility of the offer being withdrawn.

How to Approach Renegotiating Your Salary

Renegotiating a salary after accepting a verbal offer can be challenging, but again, not impossible. However, by focusing on proper timing, effective communication, and strong justification, you may be able to successfully re-negotiate your initial agreement.


The first step to renegotiating is to determine the best time to bring up the subject.

Ideally, you should approach renegotiation before any written agreements are signed. This allows both you and your potential employer to discuss changes without feeling tied to a specific agreement or outcome.

Another good time to renegotiate is when you come across new information, such as additional responsibilities that were not initially discussed or a change in market trends impacting salaries in your industry. Armed with this information, you can approach your potential employer and discuss adjustments to your initial offer.


The manner in which you communicate your request for renegotiation can make or break your success, trust me. Start by approaching the conversation with respect and professionalism. Ensure that you are prepared with the necessary information, including:

  • Your original offer details
  • New information or responsibilities that have surfaced
  • Market trends or data supporting your request

This isn’t the time to share your personal money needs no matter how much that is driving your decision. No one cares how much your rent, car note, or insurance is — so it has no place in the conversation (and I say that with love).

By being well-prepared and communicative, you can facilitate an open and effective conversation with your potential employer.


When renegotiating, it’s important to provide a strong rationale for your request. Clearly explain the reasons for your proposed changes, using data to back up your arguments whenever possible. Focus on the value you will bring to the company and how the revised offer will reflect that value. You can also mention market trends, industry standards, or any additional responsibilities as justification for the adjustments.

Refrain from making exaggerated or false claims, as this may damage your credibility and hurt your chances of a successful renegotiation. By being genuine, providing strong evidence, and remaining open-minded, you can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in your renegotiation efforts.

See Also
how to build more confidence at work

And again, read my comment above regarding personal money needs, it’s still and will always be applicable.

Alternative Negotiation Options

Even if you have already accepted a verbal salary offer, there are other aspects of the job offer that you can negotiate. This section will discuss various alternatives, including benefits and perks, flexible work arrangements, equity, performance-based bonuses, and sign-on bonuses.

Benefits and Perks

Benefits and perks can make a significant difference in your overall compensation package. Some items to consider negotiating are:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plans and contributions
  • Paid time off and sick leave
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Tuition reimbursement

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements can improve work-life balance and job satisfaction. Consider discussing options such as:

  • Remote work opportunities
  • Flexible hours or compressed workweeks
  • Job sharing or part-time options


Equity compensation is a common component of offers at startups and tech companies. You may be able to negotiate:

  • Stock options or grants
  • Vesting schedules
  • Long-term incentive plans

Performance-Based Bonuses

Performance-based bonuses can motivate employees to meet or exceed goals. You may want to discuss:

  • Bonus structures or targets
  • Key performance indicators
  • Annual or quarterly review processes

Sign-on Bonuses

Sign-on bonuses can help offset potential losses from leaving a current position. When negotiating, keep in mind:

  • Typical industry standards
  • Expectations around payback if employment ends early
  • Consideration of relocation expenses

Preparing for Future Salary Negotiations

Getting ready for future salary negotiations is crucial to ensure you’re in the best position when discussing compensation with a potential employer. In this section, we will provide a few pointers on preparing effectively.


It’s important to conduct thorough research to understand the standard salary range for your role within your industry and geographic location. This will allow you to set realistic expectations during negotiations.

  • Use salary comparison websites such as Glassdoor, Payscale, or Salary.com to gather data on average salaries for your position.
  • Talk to colleagues, mentors, or professional networks to gain insights into the market rate for your role.

Evaluating Value

Identify and evaluate your unique value to a potential employer. Highlight any specialized skills or experience that could set you apart from other candidates, and be prepared to present them as reasons for a higher salary.

Value-adding Factors Examples
Certifications Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Certified Public Accountant, (CPA)
Industry Experience Five years working in the software development field or three years in the healthcare industry
Specialized Skills Proficiency in data analysis tools like Python, R, or Tableau, or fluency in multiple languages

Building Confidence

Lastly, be confident in your skills and accomplishments, and practice articulating your value. This can help put you at ease during salary negotiations, and make it more likely that you’ll be able to negotiate a higher salary effectively.

  • Rehearse talking points on your accomplishments and unique value to build your confidence.
  • Consider role-playing salary negotiations with friends or mentors to practice making your case for a higher salary.


In summary, it is possible to negotiate salary after accepting a verbal offer, but it should be approached with caution and professionalism. Consider the following steps when attempting to negotiate:

  • Assess the risk and possible repercussions
  • Research your worth in the job market
  • Prepare a strong case for the negotiation
  • Practice your negotiation skills
  • Communicate openly and honestly with the employer

Keep in mind that each situation is unique, and the outcome may vary depending on the employer and the circumstances. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude and be prepared to accept whatever outcome occurs.

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