If you’re looking for work - or thinking about switching jobs - prepare for some reverse sticker shock. According to The Wall Street Journal, salaries for new hires have dropped by up to 25%. So, here’s how to handle it if you get a lowball offer. This comes from the financial website MarketWatch.com:

  • The first thing you need to do is: Research. Gary Burtless is a labor economist at the Brookings Institution, and says a lot of people pass up low offers because they made more in their old job. What really matters is what companies are willing to pay today.
  • That’s especially true if you’ve been looking for a long time: Human resources consultant Lisa Singer says that the longer you’re out of work, the lower your chances of getting any offer. In fact, many companies have stopped considering people who are unemployed. So, if you get an offer that’s within current industry standards, you should probably accept it.
  • Harvard professor Hannah Riley Bowles believes you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more money. After all, the worst they can do is say, “No.” If a higher salary is out of the question, see if they’ll sweeten the deal with more vacation days, opportunities to earn bonuses, or tuition for grad school. However, don’t start negotiating until the hiring manager officially offers you the job. By the time they tell a top candidate “we want you,” they’re usually so emotionally invested,they’ll be willing to work out a compromise.