Don’t Make Any of These 4 Salary Negotiation Mistakes
So you’ve made it through the interview process and you’ve been presented with an offer. Your first instinct is to accept it, right? After all, you’re excited and caught up in the moment. When you are accepting a new job, it’s important to make sure you don’t just think about the short-term. You are planning for the future, and that’s where salary negotiation can come in.
Accepting too soon
The worst mistake you can make in regards to salary negotiation is to not participate and accept an offer the minute it is made. If you do this, you’ve lost all of your bargaining power to get a better compensation package. Even though this may be your dream company, you still need to make sure the offer that is presented to you checks your list of must-haves and some off your ‘would be nice’ list.
Settling for a lower salary than you are really worth can have negative financial implications. In the short-term, you’ll earn less, get smaller raises, and smaller bonuses. Long-term, settling for a lower salary could affect your ability to save for buying a house, starting a family, and even retirement.
Declining too soon
Conversely, declining an offer too quickly is another common mistake made during the salary negotiation process. A lower salary than what you were hoping for doesn’t necessarily mean that you should turn down the offer. Take the time to look through the full offer letter. Maybe the company offers a raise after 90 days, or a guaranteed bonus? That would up your take home pay. Additional benefits like fully paid health insurance, an onsite gym, subsidized childcare, or free meals also add up. They can lower or even eliminate some of your other expenses, which can help offset a lower salary.
Revealing your current salary
A third mistake made during salary negotiation is revealing what your current salary is too early in the game. Even if a company asks for your current salary during the interview process, you don’t have to tell them what you earn. That’s personal information, and in some states, it’s illegal for a company to ask. Instead, let them know what salary range you are targeting for your next career move.
Asking for too many concessions
Finally, don’t try and ask for too much during your counteroffer. Rather than renegotiate across the board, focus on the few terms that are the most important to you. Some of the most common benefits that are discussed during salary negotiation include:
- Vacation time
- Medical leave
- Telecommuting options
- Cell phone/car allowance
- Moving expense reimbursement
- Education/training reimbursement
So be confident and true to yourself. Know when to accept that offer and when to walk away from the salary negotiation process. In the end, you have to be happy with the position, the company, and the compensation package in order to have a successful new career.