6 Mistakes You Should Avoid When You Are Negotiating Salary

Negotiating salary is probably one of the few things most women aren’t very good at. We tend to under price ourselves and are sometimes a bit scared that we ask for too much, so we play it safe and ask for less than we deserve.

I am one of those girls who goes to an interview with a certain amount in my head, but when the real question actually comes up, I panic and say a way lower amount than the average pay of the job. Afterwards, I just wish I could take it all back and say the amount that was really in my head.

By Anna

Unfortunately, that is not possible, all I can do is learn for the next time this situation might come up.

So from my own experience to you, here are the 6 mistakes you should avoid when you are negotiating salary.

#1 – Taking it personally

I should take notes on this one! Salary negotiations are not personal, it is pure business. They give you a job offer, you like it or you don’t and you come with a counter offer (note: don’t make too many changes in the counter offer, only the things that are most important for you!). You already proved yourself, otherwise they wouldn’t give you the job offer in the first place. So don’t settle for less because you want to be liked, you already got that part covered. Know your market value (and be realistic with that) and show them why you are worth the counter offer that you made. Stay professional, be rational, leave your emotions at home and don’t take it personally.

#2 – Settling/not negotiating 

One of the biggest mistakes most people make is accepting any offer a company gives you. Research has shown that especially starters and females tend to make this mistake. We don’t dare to start the negotiation process or don’t fully understand how we should negotiate our salary.

Working for a lower salary than you should earn has not only financial consequences but will also eat on you, maybe even to the point that you start disliking your job or the company.

So never settle without negotiation, unless they give you a really good offer.

#3 – Saying how much you would accept

2 things are very important: 1. never reveal how much you are earning at your current job and 2. never tell how much you would accept. Especially when it is way lower than the average salary for that job, this is the worst you can do. When the company has 28k per year for the role, and you tell them your expectation is 21k, they will maybe give you 25k but never 28k. So if you did not do research on the average salary for that role, let them do the first offer and negotiate from there.

#4 – No research or preparation

Do your research and know what the salaries in that company are. Glassdoor.com is an amazing website to see what the average salary is for the job you are applying for, so either look it up for the company you are applying for, or try to find a similar company that you can use. There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing what you are worth.

#5 – Focussing on greed and not on value

We all want a high salary, but be realistic and don’t let greed be your first motivation during the salary negotiations. It is really important that you know your market value and use that as the basis to negotiate. So even though you have student loans to pay off or you would love to have a new car, these things should never ever have any part in the salary you are negotiating for.

#6 – Making a salary pitch too early

No job offer, no salary negotiation. When you are the last candidate standing and you get the job offer, that is the right time to start the negotiations. You have a stronger position and you will be able to specifically discuss bonuses, pensions, healthcare and other benefits. Earlier in the process might come across as too money-focussed and also be unnecessary in the end.

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Credit: Quint Careers

Featured image: The Devil wears Prada