Mistakes to Avoid While Negotiating a Pay Check


Getting a job offer is the most exciting part of the job search process. For most people, it marks the end of all the hard work they had put into nailing a job interview. However, that’s not the end. You are still one step away from making your job offer a dream offer in the true sense and that step is the salary negotiation part. Salary negotiation is the most dreaded and nerve-wracking step of job search for seasoned job hunters and newbies alike. People are not comfortable talking about money and talking about it with a prospective employer makes it even trickier. Even when some of us have the intent to negotiate a job offer and use everything trick that we know about the trade, we fail to see the positive results reflecting in the final job offer.

Where are you going wrong? Firstly, just your intent is not enough to get you the salary you deserve. You need to learn how to negotiate pay. Secondly, you need to learn from your past mistakes. Unlike most articles that talk about how to negotiate your salary, here we have listed down some of the most common salary negotiation mistakes that candidates make:


  • Not Negotiating

The biggest mistake you can make while negotiating pay is to simply accept and settle for what you are offered in the first go. Candidates often are scared of asking for more money because they feel that doing so will outrage the employer and might lead to them pulling the offer. This thinking has to change. You have put in a lot of effort so far in the job search process. Why back down on the salary negotiation stage. There should be no shame in asking for what you deserve. If you don’t ask for your fair share that means you inviting some serious negative financial consequences in the form of smaller raises, smaller pension, smaller savings, etc.


  • Not Doing the Research

Candidates spend a lot of their time and effort into learning about the company they have applied for a job into and read a lot about acing a job interview. These efforts should not be restricted to just that. Job seekers need to make a habit of research about their own market value regularly as well as the prospective employer’s historical salary levels, performance appraisals, and other policies. There are plenty of salary resources available online which can be used for this purpose. When you have all the information in front of you, it becomes easier to devise an action plan for negotiation.


  • Making it Personal

Job seekers make this grave mistake of justifying their salary expectation by bringing up their personal stuff such as student loan, unique medical expenses, cost of living or other financial liabilities. That’s not how professional world works and frankly speaking, companies don’t care. When discussing salary, leave out the personal stuff rather correlate your justifications only with your job responsibilities qualifications and industry standards.


  • Not asking for Time

Whenever the HR personnel rolls out a job offer to you, ask for a day to read through it and get back to them. It will buy you some time to consider the salary you would like to negotiate for now that the prospective employer has given out their number. Most job seekers want to wait for more than one employer to see what they have to offer. If that is the case and you need more than 24 hours, ask the HR whether it is okay if you can get back to the company by the end of the week, or within a few days rather than leaving them hanging for an answer.

Also Read >> How to evaluate Job Offer


  • Not Using Other Offers as a Weapon

Having offers from elsewhere puts job seekers in a strong position and they must use it to their advantage. While buying some more time from the HR people, do let them know politely that “you are excited about the role, but currently weighing their offer against another offer”. Asking in an appropriate manner will buy you the time needed to weigh both the offers and decide how you should go ahead with the negotiation.


  • Revealing How Much You would Settle for

One of the most common negotiation mistakes job seekers make is to reveal their acceptable salary. This can be difficult to hide since most companies request you to furnish your salary expectation and salary history during the application screening or first interview itself. You should avoid giving out these details and simply tell the recruiter that you are open to negotiating. If you disclose these details early, then it becomes difficult to negotiate for a higher salary even when you are hired for the same salary you had asked for. This means that there was further scope to negotiate for a higher salary.

Also Read>> How to Answer ” What are your salary expectations?”


  • Not Considering Other Perks in the Offer

Most people are too stuck on the amount they would be taking in hand that they don’t see the other perks being offered in the job offer. Obviously, there is a bottom-line number that you won’t go below and that is perfectly acceptable, but it’s a mistake not to consider things other than the salary. Consider things like the retirement or health care contribution, daily commute time, the job role and the nature of work while weighing the job offer.

Negotiating a job offer is the best way to establish your worth in the workplace. You have all the right to get paid what you deserve. Doing so will raise the salary bar for this entire generation as well. Avoid making the above-mentioned salary negotiation mistakes, and you will surely get a job offer that you were seeking.


Image: RTimages / Shutterstock.com

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Categories: Career Advice

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

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