Five Things You Shouldn’t Say During Salary Negotiations

By Chelsea Babin

If you’re uncomfortable negotiating for a higher salary, you aren’t alone! These negotiations can often seem like a minefield but, if you make a solid argument for yourself and avoid saying these five things, you could get that raise you’ve been hoping for or a higher salary in your next job opportunity!

1. I need: Never frame your salary negotiations in terms of what you need to cover expenses, debt, or other personal things. You should always focus your salary negotiations on the value you bring to the company and what you feel that value merits.

2. I heard someone else is earning more: It doesn’t matter what someone else at that company is earning, even if they’re in the same position you are. This can be frustrating, especially if you’ve heard that someone less experienced than you is earning more, but this should only fuel your fire to negotiate effectively and you won’t be able to do that if you bring this up during your negotiation.

3. What is the maximum amount I can get?: Although your employer probably only has a certain amount they can offer you, you should never ask what the maximum amount you can get is. Instead, have a range of what’s acceptable in your mind and negotiate your way to that range by explaining how your skills, experience, and results have improved. If what you’re offered isn’t satisfactory, mention that but always emphasize that you feel it’s lower than the value you bring to the company.

4. I hate to have to ask for more: Asking for money can be uncomfortable and often counter intuitive but it’s all a part of being a professional. Don’t say that you hate to ask for more money, because you don’t. Don’t say that you have to ask for more, say why you think you’ve earned more and what you’ve contributed to merit that increase.

5. This is the least I’d be willing to accept: You never show your hand during poker so why should you show your hand during a salary negotiation? If you willingly admit the lowest number you’re willing to accept, you’re much less likely to be offered more than that amount.

If you say any of these five things during your salary negotiation it may not go as well as you’d like. Try to avoid these common pitfalls when asking for a raise or negotiating a higher salary in your next job opportunity. You’ll be surprised how easy the negotiation process can be if you simply know what not to say!

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