You Could be Missing Out if You Don't Negotiate Your Salary

John Krautzel
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A 2017 survey from Career Builder reveals that you should negotiate your salary because you could miss out on opportunities if you don't. You might feel uncomfortable discussing money with your employer, but salary negotiations are a normal part of receiving a job offer.

Survey Results

The survey shows that more than half, or 56 percent, of respondents do not ask for more money once they receive a job offer. The top three reasons include not feeling comfortable with asking for more money, fear of not being hired and not appearing greedy. Remember one thing when you negotiate your salary upon receiving an offer: Employers expect you to talk to the about money.

As many as 53 percent of employers expect you to negotiate your salary with a counteroffer in an entry-level position. Up to 52 percent of employers say they publish their lowest possible salary in the offer, but there is room to go up from there. Around one-fourth, or 26 percent, of employers report that their initial offer is around $5,000 less than what they're willing to pay someone.

Plan Ahead

You should plan ahead to negotiate your salary as part of the interview preparation process. Research your skills and qualifications as they relate to what other companies pay for the same position. Take into account the cost of living, your salary needs and what your previous position paid you. When you come to the negotiating table armed with information, you keep the tone professional and based on facts.

Aspects to Consider

Take into account benefits that are more than just a monthly salary when you consider an overall compensation package. A robust 401(k) contribution from your employer helps you save for retirement. The thing to remember is that it may take a grace period, such as six months to a year, before the employer starts contributing to your retirement fund. Make sure to stay with your job long enough to start reaping this benefit.

Stock options are a way to make cash when you sell your portion of company stock. Understand that this stock is usually less than the market rate and it may be a fixed amount. This helps you to plan for the future if you need extra money in a pinch.

Your gross salary is the money that you get before taxes. Make sure that when you calculate your desired salary, and you have enough take-home pay to cover your monthly expenses, when you negotiate your salary. If you have any questions about these three aspects of an offer, talk to human resources, as they can explain in further detail. You want to know precisely what benefits you get when it comes to the offer you agree to within a contract.

When you negotiate your salary, think of it as an extension of the interview. Both sides have a professional conversation about facts, and both sides expect negotiations to happen as a normal part of the job search. This might help you to relax and realize that talking about money is normal.

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at


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