Salary Negotiation – 5 Things Recent Grads Shouldn’t Do


Not being able to identify the right amount or communicating your justified pay tends to leave you dissatisfied with your employer as well as your current job. Some even leave their job abruptly saying, “I’m underpaid and I need to find another job that pays me more”. However, their employer might have also paid more – had they asked him to!


Here’s a little secret: “Employers will NEVER tell you the exact amount they are willing to pay”. Why would they? Clearly, anyone with even the slightest negotiating power will say, “Um, excuse me, but I think you could do a little better than that.” Well, not exactly in those words, but you know what I mean…


The point is, just the one minute moment can ruin your satisfaction with the job forever. There are several mistakes people –especially fresh grads—make while negotiating their pay raise. The most common mistakes they make are:


1)      Not negotiating at all:  Pay raises are a negotiation, and a negotiation means both parties have something to say. Just finishing up the uncomfortable situation with an “Okay” is not good enough. Don’t look for the easy way out at this moment because it will be much, much more difficult later on to ask for something more. Also, keep in mind that employers always have a margin in mind. Their first offer is usually not what they think you are worth. They expect you to propose a counteroffer.


2)      Giving a certain amount: Always try to be as vague as possible when negotiating your pay. Don’t say, “I am expecting at least X amount”. If your employer had more than X amount in mind, you’ll lose a good amount of yearly cash that could have been offered to you. Instead, give a wide range (i.e. $45,000 to $56,000) and expect your employer to choose the lower end. This is going to be something ridiculously high but you’ll have the “vague” start you needed.


3)      Saying it like you don’t mean it: Do not negotiate your salary in a way that makes even the employer think that you’re just giving it a shot and you don’t really mean it. Saying things like, “I’m sorry”, “I think” and “You might not think I’m worth, but” are a big no-no! You have to sound convincing in order to be able to convince the other. Your rationale should be based on fact, not opinion. Always sound confident and have solid reasons for why you are so determined to not back down (i.e. be persistent on showing valid proposals labeling your current market value).


4)      Being rude or arrogant: If you sound rude, arrogant, or stubborn, not only will you lose the extra pay, but also the job. Saying things like, “No” ,“that’s lousy”, “But I am worth so much more!” ,“X Corporation will pay me more” is outright rude and arrogant. Be confident, but be considerate. You may have won the argument by convincing your employer that you worth more, but that might leave your employer thinking he can’t meet your demands and will have to replace you with another less-demanding employee.


5)      Talking about personal issues: Trying to justify a higher pay based on your personal problems such as debts, expenses, or divorce, is the wrong move. It does not impress them because it really isn’t their concern (unless it’s a charitable organization). You need to justify your pay based on your merit, qualifications, job descriptions etc. It has to be about you and the job fit.


On the Last Note:

Keep in mind that your pay is not the only part of your compensation package. There are several other factors involved that contribute to overall job satisfaction. An organization that pays you lesser than another but provides you with generous benefits (i.e. health insurance, retirement benefit, etc) will be saving you a lot of money than the other organization with a higher pay, is not.


About Author:  Vanessa Collister is an academic writer who works for the Assignment Kingdom, a UK based company that provides assistance to students who seek reliable assignment writing service in order to complete their writing projects.