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Salary Negotiation: Top 6 Mistakes To Avoid Losing Your Job

Are you planning to negotiate your salary? If so, then you need to be aware of the common mistakes that people make during salary negotiations.

Most people enter into salary negotiations without fully understanding the process and end up making mistakes that cost them dearly. As a result, they either don’t get the salary they deserve or end up losing their job.

If you want to avoid making the same mistakes, then keep reading. This article will list the top 6 mistakes to avoid during salary negotiations.

1. Revealing Your Current Salary

Did you know that in New York, it’s illegal to ask a candidate about their current salary?

It’s not the same in Europe, but this doesn’t mean you have to reveal your salary during the recruitment process.

It doesn’t matter what your current salary is. What matters in a negotiation is what you want and what you are worth.

So be the first to bring up pay, and talk only about your desired salary.

2. Not Knowing When to Shut Up

“it’s better to be brief and firm, to breathe, and then be quiet! Don’t worry about silence. We often underestimate how much more credible we appear when we do this.”

It’s essential to leave room for your employer to speak during your salary negotiation so that you can gather the key information you need to be an effective negotiator. If you spend the majority of the time talking, you may miss out on something important that could have helped you create a better salary package for yourself.

When you’re negotiating your salary, state what you want and then wait. Your employer may need time to process your request. Instead of nervously filling the silence with reasons why you think you deserve the raise, remain confident and patient. This will show that you’re in control and more likely to earn you some extra points—and hopefully the raise you want.

Additionally, you’re less likely to say something that could unintentionally damage your case by sticking to your prepared agenda.

Avoid “I think”, “maybe,” etc. Silence is good!

3. Coming Unprepared

The key to a successful negotiation is extensive research. You put yourself at a severe disadvantage if you enter into salary negotiations without first looking into the average salaries for your role and company, your individual performance, and benefits and perks in addition to salary.

There are a number of tools where you can research the aforementioned important factors, such as and You can also talk to people in your network and get their takes on the company, current salary trends in the industry, and your talent.
Being well-connected can lead to information that could increase your salary by tens of thousands of dollars.

4. Not Giving a Counter-Offer

This is a mistake that a lot of people make when negotiating salaries. Many people get so nervous about talking about compensation that they accept the first offer the company makes without countering.

But settling for a lower offer can seriously hurt your earning potential later down the line. According to a study by Lifehacker, those who don’t negotiate might lose up to $600,000 over the course of their working lives. Not to forget, the optimal number of times to counter an offer is two – this usually results in the best offer.

5. Revealing How Much You Would Accept

It’s a mistake that job seekers often make during salary negotiations: revealing their lowest salary limit.

Sometimes, it’s difficult not to adhere to this information, particularly when the employer asks for it directly. If you’re asked about it, you need to decide how you’ll handle the situation carefully.

If you mention $350k as your lowest salary limit, the employer will just stick to that figure and won’t have any reason to pay you more than $350k when they know you’ll accept that. You’ll hurt your chances of getting a higher salary potentially.

6. Taking Salary Negotiations Personally

It’s common for people to get wrapped up in the negotiation process and start taking things personally because they think their salary is a measure of their value.

But it’s important to remember that your salary is not a true reflection of your worth or achievements as a person. A salary is a business decision, and you are not given your salary based on what your boss believes you deserve as a human being. Rather, it depends on your role, qualifications, and the company’s financial position.

Therefore, it’s crucial to do research on the company and your role before moving forward with negotiations. This will give you the confidence you need to negotiate successfully.


You don’t have to be scared or find negotiation difficult. No one will look out for you the way you can look out for yourself. You’re in charge of your financial wellbeing and are aware of the worth you bring.

Now, it’s time to share it with the world – and, most importantly, with your boss when you next ask for a raise. This awkward and uncomfortable situation will only last a few minutes but could result in thousands of more dollars in your bank account.

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