Tips for Negotiating Your New Employment Agreement

Negotiating a job contract can be a crucial step for you to secure favorable terms and ensure your future success. After the many years of training that led to this point, you may find it daunting to have to advocate for yourself and not simply sign whatever offer you are given. Often, new employees are grateful for the opportunity to work and make a living after years of training or after a negative employment experience. However, do not let that deter you from negotiating your employment contract. The most negotiating power you have is the power you hold before you sign a contract. The key is respect overall, but there are many different concepts to keep in mind throughout this process.

Before You Begin

When you begin, make sure you do your research. Gather information about industry standards, average compensation, and benefits for dentists in your geographic region and specialty. When walking into the negotiations, make sure you do your preparation about the new employer as well, understanding the specific needs and priorities of the dental practice or organization you are negotiating with. With that research and preparedness under your belt, you will be more confident and know your worth. Recognize the value you bring to the practice based on your skills, qualifications, and experience. Highlight any unique strengths or specialized training that could be advantageous to the practice so they know what it is that you are bringing to the table.


During your negotiations, you may find that there is a multitude of issues that you care about or want amended. It is important to prioritize your objectives by identifying the key elements of the contract that are most important to you, such as salary, benefits, work-life balance, or professional development opportunities. This means you must also be prepared to compromise on some terms while standing firm on others.

As you converse with the employer, ensure that you begin with a positive tone, whether your conversations are verbal or written. Begin the negotiation on a positive note, expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity and your desire to work with the practice. It is then appropriate for you to clearly communicate the benefits you can bring to the practice, such as patient retention, high-quality care, or additional revenue streams.  If you have other job offers or opportunities, strategically use them to demonstrate your market value and potentially leverage better terms. Make sure you actively listen to the employer’s needs and concerns and ask thoughtful questions to gain insights into their expectations and explore potential areas for agreement.

Throughout these conversations, be confident and assertive. Approach the negotiation with confidence in your abilities and the value you offer. Be assertive in advocating for your needs and demonstrating your commitment to your career. However, avoid ultimatums, as this can create a negative atmosphere and may harm the relationship with the employer before it even begins! Be willing to consider creative solutions and alternative compensation structures that can benefit both parties and emphasize your long-term commitment to the practice and how you plan to contribute to its growth and success.

The purpose of your negotiations is to come up with a mutually beneficial outcome where both you and the employer feel satisfied with the terms of the contract. Remember that successful negotiations require a collaborative and respectful approach. Be prepared for back-and-forth discussions, and maintain professionalism throughout the process. Once you have reached that stage, ensure that any agreements reached during the negotiation are documented in the final contract to avoid misunderstandings later. Contact us today to consult with an attorney to review the contract and provide guidance during the negotiation process.