3 times you should negotiate your salary and two times you really shouldn’t


Salary negotiations can work as the make-or-break of your professional career. You should unhesitatingly stand up for yourself and ensure that the number being offered to you match your skill level. However, you need to present a strong suit to back up your claim.

At the end of the day there is a thin line between negotiating and haggling. Recruitment managers and potential employers will not pay heed to your ‘personal reasons’ for a better package. They will demand to know why you think you deserve one in the first place.

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To this end, you need to judge the situation at hand before you begin your negotiating process. At the end of the day, you know better than any other individual involved in the event, if you should proceed with the deliberations or take a step back for a moment.

When you should negotiate

When you have the offer in hand

Many of us get carried away and show our dissatisfaction with the said numbers before even being offered the job. Placing all your cards on the table before the game has even begun is definitely a rookie mistake. It might convince the recruitment manager that you will be a hard nut to crack, and lead him to withdraw a potential offer from the table.

However, if you wait till you are being presented the offer in question and you know you have the cat in the bag, then don’t hesitate. Negotiate. In most cases, considering the company has zeroed down on you or your possibly added value to the same, they will agree to compromising and meeting your demand, at least meet you halfway.

You can back up your claim

You may require a better salary package for house maintenance, day-care facilities, or to buy a better car. However, that information holds no value to your potential employers. You need to present to them a real reason for why you believe you require a greater number than the one being offered. Firstly, you could find out the difference between the amount being offered to you and the industry standard salary for the same position, and present it to them as a paramount reason. Secondly, you could list out reasons for why the responsibilities you are expected to carry out call for a better increment. Whatever be the reason you state, make sure it convinces them that you are worth the added value.

You’ll walk unless they reconsider

When you know for certain that unless they increase the designated salary package, you will be compelled to walk away from the offer, you should be sure to negotiate. You know that you’ll never be happy settling for an undervalued amount and thus have nothing to lose when it comes to requesting for a greater salary package. If they agree, then you can reconsider your options. If not, then you can walk anyway.

When you should not negotiate

If you’ve agreed to the offered number

In the sheer heat of the moment and the desire to keep a job at hand, you may end up rejecting the first round of numbers that a company offers you. Once you have agreed to this particular amount, be it verbally and especially on paper, then it looks unprofessional and flaky if you begin to immediately launch into deliberations regarding a possible re-evaluation of your salary. In this case, you should ideally wait till the first six months go past and then maybe you can broach the subject newly again.

If it’s in line with the industry standards

If you have done your research and realised that the salary being offered to you is more or less in line with the industry standards for the same position, then you should probably back off from opening negotiations. After all, you do not wish to come across as demanding or unsatisfied. It would do you good to wait out the first year before reaching out to your employer about a possible raise.

At the end of it, you will know when the time is ripe to negotiate the salary you are being offered. Our only advice – be smart and strategise well.