SALARIES / JAN. 21, 2016
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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Salary

Happy businessman with dollar bills

You’re halfway through the interview for your dream job when the interviewer asks you that dreaded question: “What are your salary expectations?” While we’d all wish we could answer “$1 million”, that’s the first mistake you should avoid when negotiating your salary.

And here are five more.

See Also: How to Achieve Your Ideal Salary

1. Not Doing Enough Research

When people advise you to prepare for a job interview, they don’t just mean practicing your answers to the most commonly asked questions. You’re also meant to do some research – a lot of it, actually. In addition to learning a thing or two about the company (you don’t have to memorize their mission statement word for word), you should also look into how much other professionals in your line of work are making. Check online salary sites, talk to recruiters, and get numbers from people in your field.

2. Being Too Greedy

Happy man with money

We would all love to make millions of dollars each month but, unfortunately for us, we’re not Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. You could be the most skilled, qualified and experienced candidate in the world, but that’s not reason enough to ask for an extortionate salary. Even if you really are the best of the best, you’ll come across as arrogant and greedy, and the opportunity to work at a great company will slip through your fingers.

3. Revealing Your Bottom Line Number

You shouldn’t ask for too much, but you shouldn’t ask for too little, either. And if the interviewer asks you what your bottom line number is, be careful where you tread. If you do reveal that X is the minimum you’re willing to accept, that’s probably what they’re going to offer you. And they could’ve been willing to offer you Y or even Z – be careful how you handle this question, otherwise you could very well blow your chances of buying that summer house in the Alps.

4. Accepting the First Offer You Get

Businessmen shaking hands

If your job search has been dragging on for months and months, you’ll be forgiven for wanting to accept the first offer you get – after all, some money is better than no money, right? However, settling only makes you look desperate, which isn’t exactly one of the most sought-after traits employers look for in candidates. Stand up for yourself if you think that what they’re offering is an insult, and make sure you push for something better.

Meanwhile, employers will usually you give you a few days to consider what they’re offering, so use this time wisely to think things through. And if they’ve offered you the job, then you have the power to negotiate a better salary as you see fit.

5. Not Getting it in Writing

Congratulations! They’ve agreed to give you what you’re asking for, and you’re happy as a clam. But a month later, you’ve got your first paycheck and realize that there’s been a mistake. You haven’t been paid what you had agreed on – in fact, your paycheck is nowhere near what you agreed on.

Lesson of the day? Don’t just shake on it; get anything you agree on in writing before you take the job. Sadly, you just never know who you’re dealing with.

See Also: The Best Ways to Do a Salary Comparison Between Job Offers

What other mistakes do you think should be avoided like the plague when negotiating a salary? Do you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

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