Very few people enjoy salary negotiations. They are uncomfortable and often awkward, but the short-term pain is definitely worth it. Negotiating a good salary will not only impact your financial security, it will also colour the way you feel about your job.
Unfortunately, many people make salary negotiation mistakes that literally cost them thousands of dollars each year.
Let’s start with a few basics:
Assuming Some Things Are Not Negotiable – Everything is on the table during a salary negotiation and you won’t know what you can gain until you try.
Not Backing Up Requests With Facts – There is no point in making a counter offer or asking for a salary range if it is unreasonable. Do your research and support your request with facts. E.g. The market rate for this role is….
Talking Too Much – Put your request out there and stop talking. Give them time to consider it and respond to you. Talking makes you look nervous and you can easily start backtracking.
Not Looking At The Total Package – Don’t just consider the salary, look at all the other benefits that come with the job and asses the total package.
In addition to these, there are also some very common salary negotiation mistakes that end up being very costly.
5 Salary Negotiation Mistakes Costing You Thousands
- Accepting The First Offer
Accepting the first offer you receive is a very common salary negotiation mistake. Many people accept the first offer either because they do ot like the conflict of negotiating or they believe the offer is not negotiable and they will risk losing the job they have worked so hard to get. Employers expect you to fight for what you want and coming back with a reasonable counter offer shows:
You are not afraid to negotiate
You know what’s important to you and you are prepared t go get it
You are worth fighting for
Settling for a sub standard offer not only means you will be earning less than you are happy with, it also means any pay increase going forward will be a percentage rise on a smaller base.
- Focusing On What You Need Not What You Are Truly Worth
You may be tempted to ask for a salary you need to cover your many life expenses or even a salary you believe you are worth. Employers don’t care how many expenses you have, they care about what you are worth to their organisation. Male sure you thoroughly research salary ranges before the interview. If you are unsure how to do this, look at our post on How to Research Salaries Before An Interview. Also remember, never use the word ‘need’ during a salary negotiation.
- Not Having Done Your Salary Research
As we have said before this mistake can cost you dearly. You run the risk of losing the job because your number is way above the industry rate or selling yourself short. Do your homework.
Read this post, it will step you through it.- How to Research Salaries Before An Interview
- Showing Your Cards Too Early
This can be tough, especially if the recruiter or employer has asked you up front what your salary expectation are. Try and hold off specifying a number for as long as you can, ideally let them make an offer first. If you are pushed to reveal a number always offer a range based on your salary research and explain that you believe that is a fair assessment of the industry. Ask them if they agree then stop talking and wait for them to respond.
- Asking For Too Many Counter Offer Changes
Whilst accepting the first offer can make you look too desperate for the role and possibly less valuable, putting forward a shopping list style counter offer will make you look like you are more trouble than you are worth. Nobody wants a difficult, demanding employee. You want to look measured and considered not unreasonable and spoilt. Pick 2-3 items only for your counter offer.
Try and always chose one other item in addition to the salary to negotiate on so it doesn’t look like you only care about the money. If you are struggling to come up with one focus on something benign like additional holiday time or flexible work hours on occasion.
Remember, if you receive a salary offer then you are the preferred candidate for that role. This gives you a little bit of flexibility to negotiate a salary package that suits you. Don’t make the common salary negotiation mistakes above and you should come out with a good result.
Final Tip – Make sure you insist on receiving the final offer in writing. This is not negotiable. You do not want any confusion about the terms that just relies on what people said. When you receive the offer, don’t just sign it blindly. Make sure you read the contract first no matter how busy you are.
See Also Related Post: How to Handle Salary Negotiations
See Also Related Post: How to Research Salary Rates Before your Final Interview