SALARIES / OCT. 02, 2014
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How NOT to Negotiate Your Salary

After a number of years in a job or when interviewing for a new job, it’s natural to want to have your salary increased. After all, you have become a more seasoned and valuable candidate because you have likely advanced your work skills and industry knowledge. Expecting and asking for a higher salary is something you will want to do. However, there are certain ways to go about negotiating your salary, and there are some things to avoid. 

Negotiating for a Better Salary - Common Mistakes

This article will discuss some of the common mistakes people make when negotiating their salaries and what to avoid doing when negotiating your salary.

Mistake #1 Accepting the First Offer

Many employees make the mistake of taking the first offer that the employer throws their way. You are having a negotiation for a reason. You should never take the first offer that the employer offers. Instead, negotiate to see what is the maximum amount of money you can bump your salary.

Solution: Do some research to find out what the going rate is for a professional at your level, and start thinking in terms of those numbers. Ask if the employer is able to have some "wiggle room" and if they will allow you to explain why you may be able to start out at a stronger rate and offer them more as another candidate. 

Mistake #2 Never Throw Out the First Number

Never tell your employer what you are expecting to make. Your number may be much lower than what they originally had in mind. This is why you let them throw out the first number and continue to negotiate with them for a higher number. Continue, even if it is already higher than the number that you had in mind.

Solution: Keep your mouth shut. First, ask the employer to share with you what they think is a fair salary. Stick with median salary ranges, coming from the research you did on your job type and experience level. Stay within $5K of what your desired salary is. 

Mistake #3 State It Is Your Final Offer

Sometimes when negotiating with your employer it may seem as though you are not getting anywhere near the salary increase that you desire. However, never tell them that X amount is your final offer. This encourages them to close the conversation and you will have to walk away from your job or stay with your same pay grade if they do not accept the “final offer”.

Solution: Let the employer know you are willing to explore ways to find a common ground in terms of salary and compensation. Remember, there are a wide range of other perks you can negotiate for, such as a company car, a nicer office, corporate discounts, extra benefits, and more. 

Mistake #4 Bring in Personal Issues

Many employees feel as though if they come out to their boss and tell them that they need to make more money for personal reasons that they are more inclined to do so. This actually does the exact opposite. Instead, all you do is let your employer know that you will not be quitting the job at any means because you desperately need the income that it provides.

Solution: Think of yourself as a solo person negotiating for your business. Would you talk about the fact that you have kids to support, a mortgage, or other personal financial needs? Focus on the value you bring to the table, not the liabilities. 

Mistake #5 Stating that You Are Worth More

While you may be unhappy with the opening offer from the employer, you should never come right out and tell them that you are worth so much more. This makes you seem arrogant and obnoxious, which are not the traits that you want the employer to be aware of. It is okay to express this, but just be sure to use different wording.

Solution: In order to prove your worth, you need to have a list of career accomplishments handy. Bring this to the table and share how you will improve the bottom line for the business. 

These are some of the things to avoid when negotiating your salary. However, if you feel as though something is inappropriate, will come across rude or arrogant, or will make you look weak avoid doing it during the negotiation. By following these tips, you are sure to have a successful negotiation with the employer. 

Image Credit: © andrewgenn - Fotolia.com- purchased image with full right

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