Career Advice

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Negotiating Your Salary

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You feel like you are doing a good job. Your colleagues tell you that you are doing a good job. And you know that your boss is pretty happy with your performance even if he plays his cards a little closer to his chest.

So it’s time to ask for a raise. You know you deserve it but how exactly do you go about getting it in the right way. Well, the best place to start is to know what you shouldn’t be doing. Here is a little selection of five of the most important no, nos.

Don’t be heavy-handed

This encounter should not be entered into in confrontational mode. The reason you are working well is most likely because you are happy in your role. This meeting should start by emphasizing the positives and then move naturally onto a discussion about the future and the places you and the company will be moving forward to together. If you enter into this discussion with an angry, indignant mindset, you’re less likely to get what you want and you are sure to rustle a few feathers.

So it's time to ask for a raise. You know you deserve it but how exactly do you go about getting it in the right way. Well, the best place to start is to know what you shouldn't be doing.Click To Tweet

It’s not personal

Your boss does not need to know about your personal situation. Whatever you feel the company owes, your request must be based solely on the work you do for them. It is completely irrelevant whether your daughter is about to start the local private school, or you’re looking to get yourself a nice new car. You have to leave all personal reasons for wanting a higher salary out of this discussion. Your boost in pay is based on the work you have done and will continue to do for the company. Back up your argument with real-life examples of situations where you have gone above and beyond for the company. Be specific and make them understand just how much you are really worth to them.

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Be Reasonable

The last thing you want to do here is back yourself into a corner that you will have trouble extricating yourself from if things don’t go the way you had hoped. In the first meeting, it may not even be necessary to put any figures down. A fair-minded boss will take on board your request and come back to you at an agreed later date with an offer. If that offer turns out to be lower than you expected, tell them so, but take it in your stride and don’t push too hard or you might come out of this a loser.


If you get the feeling that things are not going to go your way, at least get some concessions from your bosses. If the offer is lower than you would have liked, suggest that you will accept this for the time being but get a commitment from them to review the situation again in six months’ time. If things are not looking up in that intervening period, maybe you can start to look at the market to see what other options are out there for you. If your bosses feel that they could lose, it’s very likely that you will quickly get what you want.

Don’t back down

Patience and reason are definitely things that need to be at the forefront of your mind, but it is possible that you come up against an attitude that is unacceptable. The most important thing here is not to let your emotions get the better of you. If your request is met with a discourteous negative, take a deep breath, thank your boss for his or her time, and then start to look for a new employer. If you know that you really deserve that raise there is no reason for you to accept the contrary. Negotiation skills are all very well and good but you also need to understand when is the right time to cut your losses and start to look for pastures new, and greener!

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