Mistakes To Avoid When Negotiating An Increase

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Money is an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, which is what makes asking for a raise or negotiating your salary so difficult. However, these conversations are important to have in order for you to get a paycheck you deserve and have stable financial wellness. 


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As industries grow and demand increasingly complex skills, it gets harder to find the right candidates for the right jobs. As a result, workers are in a unique position to negotiate their salaries now more than ever.

Despite these high demands in the market, negotiating your salary can be tough and uncomfortable. 

Here are a few mistakes to avoid when negotiating a salary increase: 

1. Skipping the Negotiation Entirely

As nerve-wracking as it can be to discuss your salary with your employer, it doesn't help to avoid the conversation entirely.

The money you would miss out on can add up over a lifetime, and you would never know it because you never bothered to negotiate. You could hurt your own career down the road, and you’ll most likely end up feeling like you don’t get paid enough for what you do; because you aren’t.

Avoid this mistake by initiating some kind of negotiation when you’re given an offer, even if it seems like the hiring manager isn’t open to it. Chances are, there’s at least a little wiggle room in that number that you would have to negotiate for. 

2. Asking About the Offer Prematurely

On the other hand, you would be making a mistake as well if you jump the gun and bring up negotiations too early.

Whether at the end of an interview or during the first few weeks of your new job, when the recruiter asks you if you have any questions, don’t ask about your salary. It’s considered bad taste to do this prematurely, as it shows your priority is how much you will get paid. 

If it's during an interview and the interviewer asks about your salary expectations, be cautious in how you answer this question. 

Be patient and wait until an offer is given, because only then will the negotiations begin. Take your time to hear out the full salary package so that you and the company can make the best decision for both parties.

3. Not Doing Your Research

One of the worst mistakes you could make when entering a negotiation is not doing your research beforehand. When you don’t know how much you’re worth (career wise), you will not be able to tell if a company is lowballing you or offering something that exceeds your market value. It’s essential to know exactly what you bring to the table by finding out the average salaries in your field.

When scoping out the different salaries, don’t forget to compare the skillsets in the industry with what you excel in. When you know your strengths and your points for improvement, you will have a better feel for how much you should be earning every month.

4. Becoming Too Emotionally Invested

Receiving a less than ideal offer can be frustrating, especially if everything else about the job seems perfect for you. If this happens, it may be difficult to suppress your disappointment, and you may end up showing it, but do try your best not to.

It's important to remain professional, despite any emotional strain you may experience when talking about your salary.

After all, discussing your salary package is still part of the overall interview and could inadvertently affect your standing in the company; and, there may be an opportunity later on once you're hired to sit down and talk with your boss.

Keeping a clear head can help you avoid losing your composure or your temper in front of the interviewer. As an added bonus, your employer will see that you can keep things professional even under tense or difficult circumstances.

5. Feeling Pressured to Accept an Offer

Salary negotiations can be stressful, and situations where you feel pressured are a normal part of the process. However, when you give in to the pressure to accept an offer, you may end up making a hasty or incorrect decision, or a decision that you're not onboard with.

You can avoid this situation by politely letting the hiring manager know that you would need more time to consider the offer. Reflect on the interview process before accepting a figure right there and then.

Perspective is especially important in these decisions, and yours will likely be skewed if you’re asked to quickly make a decision in a high-pressure situation.

6. Overlooking the Rest of Your Salary Package 

In certain situations, the figure that the interviewer or hiring manager offers can be way above what you were expecting, but be careful not to immediately say yes. Remember, there is more to your salary package than the money.

Make sure to ask for all the details about your package, such as benefits that you can also negotiate. This may include incentives, health insurance, and paid leaves.

Sometimes a high salary may mean fewer benefits, so it’s always better to examine the fine print and thoroughly ask about an offer before accepting it.

7. Not Recording Anything in Writing

After you reach a satisfactory agreement with the company, safeguard the deal by sealing it with more than a handshake or a promise. Having your agreed upon salary package on paper will guarantee that it’s what you’re really getting when you start working there.

Of course, this is not to say that a company would always have bad intentions, as things can accidentally get mixed up in HR processes, and mistakes can be made.

Any decent recruitment manager would understand if you asked for the offer on paper as soon as possible, as it can save you both a lot of unnecessary trouble down the road.

8. Being Too Inflexible

While it may be true that you have to be firm and determined when negotiating your salary, it’s a mistake to be inflexible during the whole process.

Just discussing your demands and how a salary package fits your needs and lifestyle will leave a bad impression on your interviewer. Instead, focus on the fact that there are two parties negotiating, and the company has its needs as well.

Be meticulous when doing your research and find out what range of salaries they usually offer. Take into consideration the type of company you’re applying for.

Additionally, it’s important to be flexible when it comes to the package, and don’t just focus on the money. If the company can’t offer you a high enough number, try to ask for more paid leaves or remote work options instead.

Any employer would happily oblige with a reasonable candidate who presents options that can benefit everyone.

 

Suggested Article:

Job interview tips

Job interviews are often the first opportunity for an employer to meet you in person. Making mistakes can create a negative first impression, making it harder to convince the interviewer of your suitability for the position.


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