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NextGen Magazine


Three Excuses You Should Stop Making for Not Negotiating Your Salary

Jason Wong
Published Date:
May 20, 2016

Money in piggy bankNegotiating for a higher salary can obviously result in big, long-term benefits, so why don’t more people do it? More importantly for you, why aren’t you doing it? If it’s a lack of preparedness, then you know what to do. But if you are prepared and have good reasons to ask for more compensation, but you’re still holding off, it’s time to examine why. Here are the three most common excuses for not going for it from the Harvard Business Review, why you make them, and how you can overcome them:

“I’m afraid I’ll upset them.” Backlash is a real concern – your boss might react negatively to being put on the spot and being forced to answer yes or no. However, you can head off that discomfort by being aware of how you ask. First, let your boss know ahead of time that you want to negotiate, and second, make sure they know what to expect. Give them time to prepare, and they’ll feel a lot less uncomfortable.

“They might say no.” You might think that if your request is turned down, you’ll feel ashamed, or you’ll lose face, or the no means that you’re worth less than you thought you were. Instead of focusing on the negativity of hearing that “no,” instead think about how good it’ll feel to have gotten the conversation off your chest.

“I’m too shy.” Forcing yourself to negotiate when you don’t feel like it’s something you’d do will likely mean that you’ll negotiate poorly. If the problem is that you don’t see yourself as the aggressive, winning negotiator so prevalent in popular media, disabuse yourself of the notion that that is the only kind of negotiator possible.