10 Salary Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid


Money is not the easiest topic to discuss. Talking about salaries can make things more complicatedTalking about this to many people is a discussion they want to avoid.

Statistics tell this loudly and clearly. According to Glassdoor, 59% of employees accept salaries offered without negotiation. But perhaps even worse stats are that only 1 in 10 employees succeeded in negotiating a salary. So even if you break the first barrier, you can still hit the brick wall.

The reason many people fail to successfully negotiate a salary is because of some major mistakes people make. We can summarize the 10 most common and fatal mistakes in terms of payroll success.

So, let’s take a look at 10 mistakes to avoid when negotiating a salary.

1. Not negotiating a salary offer

The biggest mistake you can make is not to negotiate. It’s exciting to get a job offer. The results of your hard work will soon pay off and you will finally get the job you want. But with all that excitement, you may end up making a bad mistake and agreeing to everything your employer suggests.

Likewise, you can be at work and with added responsibilities but still stick to the same salary you always received for several months.

Your employer is not actively trying to ruin you. In fact, a Creative Group study found that more than 60% of executives are ready to negotiate the initial offer they make to their employees. It should also be remembered that businesses are always pursuing their own interests, and sometimes we may forget to fully consider certain advantages. You need to know exactly what you’re setting up for and never settle for a deal that doesn’t really have value.

Studies show that people who don’t negotiate salaries tend to earn less in the end! In fact, one study found that people who don’t negotiate can lose up to $600,000 over the course of their careers .

It can take a serious hit to your potential earnings later on, and you may feel you’re lacking motivation at work if your salary isn’t good enough.

How to avoid this mistake?

There are two important things to do to avoid this mistake. Before you get an offer, you should think about how much you are worth.

Use our payroll calculator or follow our guide to get a good idea of ​​what you should be getting. With the lowest acceptable limit in mind, think about other benefits that might make you willing to accept a job offer even if your salary isn’t what you want.

The second component is simply to calmly and automatically ask your employer time to review the deal. You can say ” Thank you very much for the offer. We hope to get back to you after reviewing your transaction .

2. Focus on your argument

You have to fight your corner and be strong when it comes to salary negotiations. However, it is important to remember that you are not the only party in this conversation and employers have reasons to suggest certain figures.

If you seem inflexible and focus only on what you want to get out of the discussion, you are making a big mistake. It is not enough just to talk about your needs. In fact, if a company focuses on what can be gained from negotiations, it will help you get a better deal.

Negotiations always involve both sides, and understanding the other side makes it easier to assert your own. Knowing what your employers are struggling with payroll can put your mind at ease by answering them directly.

How to avoid this mistake?

You should research your employer and know a few things. You must:

  • Be aware of the types of pay and compensation packages they usually offer. It is highly unlikely that they will give you a very different deal than anyone else.
  • We know what financial situation the company currently requires. For example, demanding high salaries when a company appears to be firing its employees may seem inappropriate and impossible for the company to fulfill.

By focusing on these two things, you can better understand if your employer is willing and able to pay. Remember to be realistic and flexible.

3. Ignoring the Importance of Appropriate Research

The basis for successful negotiation is all in your research. If you engage in negotiations without investigating the following, you are making a big mistake.

  • Average salary for the role
  • the average salary of the company
  • your real worth and worth
  • Benefits and benefits other than salaries

If you simply toss a random number in the air and then settle for what you think is good, you could lose a decent salary. If your employer finds out that they don’t know what you’re talking about or what the market is like, they could give you a bad deal.

How to avoid this mistake?

There are a number of online tools you can use to do your research on all the important things mentioned above. You can find salary and company information on sites such as:

  • Indeed.com
  • payroll.com
  • Randstad.ca
  • monster.com
  • PayScale.com

You should also check the company website and job profile to understand the responsibilities and tasks you must perform in your role. Finally, it can be helpful to talk to the network and get a perspective on the company, the current payroll market, and talent.

4. Making hasty decisions to accept or reject offers

Just as there may be a temptation to ignore a negotiation altogether, you may also feel compelled to make a quick decision or make a counteroffer. The decision to rush to accept or reject a paycheck may seem tempting, but it will be another big mistake.

Accepting a paycheck is a big decision. This can have a huge impact on your career. You don’t want to make hasty decisions to regret later. As mentioned, it can impair future earnings potential, impair career advancement, and ruin motivation.

How to avoid this mistake?

It is important to take the time to consider your responses . It is important to remember the main steps in the response.

  • Thanks for the suggestion.
  • Repeat the suggestion and ask him to send it to you so that you record it all.
  • Ask for time to review the details (at least a day or two).
  • Thanks again for the suggestion and repeat when you come back.

Then simply sit down and write down your initial thoughts. Think further and discuss it with your family, friends, and anyone you think might be able to give you advice. Meditate on your suggestion and review it again. Consider all of your options before renegotiating, rejecting, or accepting an offer.

5. Minimum Salary Limit Disclosure

One of the biggest negotiating mistakes in any negotiation is disclosing where to negotiate. You don’t want your employer to know what your limit is in the first place. You have to keep a poker face.

This is especially important in terms of the minimum wage you are willing to accept. When you tell your employer that the “X” amount is the lowest allowed, you are inviting them to stick with that number. Why do they have to pay you more, knowing you’ll be less accepting?

Financially, it makes no sense. As businesses, they want to keep costs low.

How to avoid this mistake?

Employers may ask you for a name during an interview or when you are about to make an offer. A way to avoid revealing too much is to hide any figures during this period and focus on what you believe will be able to reach a good consensus in time.

First, if you are asked about your salary figures before getting an offer, you can:

  • Simply put:
    • “ For me, it is important to me to find a job where I can contribute and do my best, and I believe that when I do that, I will pay a decent salary .”
    • “ After talking a bit more about my role and making sure I am a good fit for the company, I think we can talk about salary .”
    • “ Perhaps if you let me know what expectations you have of me for the role, we can consider bringing it to the table. 

If you are asked about your desired salary during negotiations, it is important to remember:

  • Always offer a salary range above the absolute red line.
  • It focuses on realistic figures from both what the job market shows and what the company can afford.

6. Forgetting to consider non-pay items

As mentioned above, payroll packages often include more than a lump sum payment for the work you do. Therefore, it is important to remember that negotiations should not be focused solely on salary.

There are many other monetary and non-monetary benefits to consider before deciding whether a salary offer is good or bad.

You should consider non-pay items that may be important to you and make your job offer much more attractive. You’re more likely to end up with a better deal because your employer can’t change your salary much, but you can adjust it to other benefits.

How to avoid this mistake?

Before negotiating a salary, think about what other non-pay items you are interested in and whether your salary may be sufficient even if it does not exactly match what you want. Non-pay items can be other monetary and non-monetary benefits, such as:

  • Bonuses and commissions
  • future agreed impressions
  • paid or unpaid leave
  • health care
  • annuity or investment plan
  • Members of gyms, cinemas and other clubs
  • parenting
  • discount system

It may have something to do with your work. For example, you can choose your working hours or negotiate flexible working hours that allow you to work from home.

There are many perks that can make job offers more attractive and valuable.

7. Talk about needs rather than values

If you structure your negotiations around your needs, you are making a big mistake. Of course, we all need a salary to live and sustain our lifestyle, but this is not the reason for employers. Your employer doesn’t have to give you money just because you need it.

If you say something like ” Well, I really need at least $50,000 to live, ” you’re only negotiating with you and that’s not the point here. Your pay should reflect the value you provide to your employer. Employers will also pay because they add to the value the organization has and can create.

If you can’t convince your employer of the value you can provide, you won’t be able to convince them to pay you more. The bottom line is not about needs, it’s about values.

How to avoid this mistake?

The most important thing here is to know your worth . The points above have already taken you to the various resources and tools you can use to calculate your value. It is essential to conduct this investigation. This will help you negotiate.

Another point to add here is the importance of presenting your arguments with strong evidence and facts . You don’t want to say that your value is X, but you have to show why it is .

Here are some good examples of good and bad claims about pay.

Wrong claim:

“My research shows that a salary of $40,000 best reflects the value I can bring to the company.”

Good argument:

“I think a salary of $40,000 reflects my worth based on previous records. As you can see from this portfolio of values ​​I created, in my previous position, I was responsible for a portfolio similar to this position and was able to increase sales by 40% in just 3 months. I think similar plans I have implemented there will increase sales here as well. And here’s this report on a few points you can take a look at.”

A good example works because:

  • It quantifies achievements and highlights the real value created by previous roles.
  • Indicates that you have experience with a similar kind of work or role.
  • Tell your employer that you already have an idea of ​​how to successfully fulfill your role and add value.

8. Hide Behind Email

Money is one of the uncomfortable topics people talk about.

A PayScale study found that 28% of people felt uncomfortable negotiating a salary, and nearly 20% of respondents said they did not negotiate because they felt pressured.

Because of this, many may find it good to limit conversations and rely on the power of e-mail. But hiding behind an email will damage your bargaining power.

There are many problems with email negotiation. First of all, it is not practical. Responses may take longer and you never know when to expect a reply.

You also cannot read the person’s body language, and this plays an important role. You can’t tell if they’re annoyed, happy, annoyed, panicked, etc. These are little clues you can read when you talk face to face.

How to avoid this mistake?

It is important to set up a meeting to discuss the proposal . You can receive offers via email (as the next point suggests, it is important to have written records) and you can initially respond by email. But in order to discuss your thoughts and actually negotiate, you need to convene a meeting.

So, you can respond by saying thank you for the proposal, requesting time to review it, and then requesting a meeting to discuss it in person. If your employer insists that, for any reason, it should be resolved by email or phone, be firm and say that you are more comfortable discussing these issues in person. If for some reason they don’t seem to agree, well, it might not be a good place to work after all!

9. No Solicitation of Proposals in Written

You may have seen in the previous point how to request a proposal in writing. Failing to solicit proposals in writing can actually be a huge mistake. There are two important things here.

First, you can better remember what is being offered. You may get so excited when an offer comes in that you don’t really hear the other numbers and figures being mentioned. As the negotiations progress, it can be confusing with all the numbers discussed.

So, by recording it, you know what the current offer is and you’re all talking about the same thing.

Second, the importance of writing from a legal point of view. Again, that’s not to say that if your employer is willing to lead you, but all you have is “but they said so ” then there won’t be much of any guarantee for you. A written offer is proof that everyone has agreed to these figures and benefits.

How to avoid this mistake?

Before negotiating or thinking about an offer, you always want to ask your employer to send you the offer in writing. Despite the initial suggestion. Start negotiating and request in writing when another offer is reached.

It is also very important to request a final offer in writing.

Do not accept the offer until you receive a written copy.

10. Get a Salary Offer Personally

Finally, one of the main mistakes people make when negotiating pay or talking about money in general is taking it personally. Negotiations should not be emotionally invested and should not be taken personally at any point.

This can be easier than talking. After all, your salary is essentially a reflection of your worth. But employers don’t mean this or that as a human being. If you start adding emotion to your mix, you will eventually lose your bargaining power.

Do not threaten your employer during negotiations. Trying to give an ultimatum or use a sympathy card would be a big mistake. It won’t be easy, but employers should know that they can always find someone else. It is difficult, if not impossible, to be irreplaceable in the current job market.

How to avoid this mistake?

You can avoid this problem by reminding yourself that salary is always a business decision. Employers don’t pay you based on what they think you deserve as a human being. You can be the best person on the planet. This is business. The person who determines your salary may think you deserve more, but the company may not have the financial means to provide it.

If at any point in the negotiation you get emotional about the offer, take a moment. Breathe in and remember that this is just business, not personal. Do your research about the company and your own values, and you will know what realistic expectations are.

This will give you the confidence to continue negotiations.

Avoiding mistakes can lead to a successful paycheck

As the example above shows, negotiating mistakes can actually damage your potential returns. It’s important to stay cool and understand that negotiating is part of the deal to get a good paycheck. Just do the following:

  1. Do your research
  2. Focus on your values
  3. Understand your employer’s position
  4. Let go of emotions

By focusing on these 4 points, you can avoid these top 10 negotiating mistakes and get a decent paycheck!

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