Countering the top 3 fears that are stopping you from negotiating your salary


Salary negotiations can be a tricky affair. After all, how much is too much? What amount determines that you are ‘settling’? What is really the difference between ‘negotiating’ and ‘haggling’?

Such doubts are the reason why many shy away from salary negotiation. However in many ways, this turns out to be hazardous to their growth and job-satisfaction in the long run.

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However, in reality not only do recruiters expect you to negotiate your salary at the time of accepting the offer or later in cases of a raise, but they also perceive you in a positive light for the same.

“Very often people who at least attempt to ask for a higher salary are perceived more positively, since they're demonstrating the skills the company wants to hire them for,” Margaret Buj, a recruiter and interview coach, writes in Business Insider.

However, there are of course certain measures you need to adopt before you begin the process of asking for a change in your salary amount. These include factors like how you should kick-start your negotiations without appearing forceful, the practicality of the request being made, and the amount of research you have done to justify the same.

Whichever route you wish to undertake, you need to override your primary concerns that stop you from requesting a salary which, you are confident, matches up to your abilities. The following are three such common fears:

The fear of seeming inappropriate

Too often job-seekers do not push for the topic of salary re-evaluations and raises because they believe it to be inappropriate. This kind of thought process is seen especially among recently turned professionals who have not been in the field for long enough to understand the kind of demands they have a right to make. Instead, they choose to shy away from the topic they believe may cost them their job.

However, as someone looking to begin or kick-start a career in this particular company, you need to ensure from the very beginning that the latter is compatible with what you are determined to bring to the table.

Speaking to HBR, Deepak Malhotra, a professor in the Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School, says “If there is too great a discrepancy between what you think you deserve (or can get elsewhere) and their expectations regarding what you should be paid, it is better to uncover this and try to reconcile the differences in expectations.”

The fear of looking demanding

Those secretly wishing to negotiate their salaries but choose not to in fear of coming across as ‘too demanding’ also lose out a series of possible gains. In not negotiating their salary at the very beginning, you are lowering the bar for yourself, something your employer will certainly notice. As a result, in the off-chance of appearing too arrogant or head-strong you could potentially be closing the door on many growing opportunities in the future.

In fact, according to Malhotra starting out with the negotiation process at the very beginning can often benefit you in your future with the company in concern. He says, “It can be a good thing to set the tone. You may also be able to nudge them upward if you can justify a higher number than the one they would have started with.”

The fear of losing the job/offer

Many believe that by opening up the possibly controversial doors to salary negotiations, they could potentially lose the job offer or, in the case of existing employees, get fired. However, according to a recent survey held among a 1,000 employers and employees 73 percent of employers agreed they are not offended when potential or existing employees negotiate their salaries. Furthermore, a whopping 84 percent said they always expect job applicants to negotiate salary during the interview stage. Along with this, 87 percent said they've never rescinded a job offer following negotiations during the interview and not a single employer stated that they had fired an employee for the same. This being said, the same report stated that four percent of employees said that they were indeed demoted or fired after asking for a raise and 19 percent said they lost a job offer during the interview. The need to proceed with caution, is thus paramount when it comes to these particular deliberations.

While the odds may be or not be in your favour, you should evaluate the situation, do your research, and then approach your recruiter to open talks of negotiation. More often than not, it will work out in your favour.


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