Guest Blog by Dayna Schmidt-Johnson, Worth Advisor, Visibility Strategist & Digital Content Marketer.
Getting a job offer is a great feeling. You’ve spent a lot of time getting to this point: countless applications, a few interviews, and probably more than one disappointment along the way.
Ideally, you are getting exactly what you hoped for. But more often than not, there’s money or other benefits you are leaving on the table.
Here are six reasons you didn’t negotiate your last job offer – and how to make sure you don’t make that mistake again.
1. You didn’t know your market value.
You can’t even begin to negotiate without knowing your market value. How much does a typical person in your city/industry/role/company earn? Where do you fall on that scale now? And what is the average rate for the job you’re targeting? These are some of the questions that will help you determine what you should be asking for.
But you’re not average, right? You want to position yourself to ensure that you are always earning in the top 15-20% (or higher) of that scale. Because you are a top performer who deserves top pay.
2. You didn’t know how to approach the subject.
Yeah, it’s super awkward asking for your first raise. It’s also uncomfortable to tell someone what your target salary is and hope they don’t shoot you down – especially if you’re asking for a quantum leap in your pay grade.
Truth bomb: It’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are a few scripts that can help you get there. And more often than not, you can actually get a prospective employer to tell you what salary range they’re looking at for a new role, so you’ll never be left guessing what they might offer. Rarely will you have to blurt out ‘your number’ and hold your breath hoping they agree.
3. You didn’t want to be seen as greedy.
Ladies, we have a problem (though plenty of men have this issue, too). Asking for what you deserve is never, ever greedy. In fact, by accepting a low salary, you’re actually keeping the salary curve low. It’s up to all of us to earn as much as we can, because a rising tide lifts all boats.
4. You didn’t want your offer revoked.
Honestly, I’ve never heard of this happening, but it must have, right? It can’t possibly be an urban legend that if you ask for more than the offer they’re going to run the other way.
Here’s the secret to confidently knowing that won’t happen: the offer should never be a surprise. Both you and the company should know approximately what ballpark the offer will land. Maybe it’s a range, maybe it’s a baseline number, but any offer you get should be roughly what you were expecting.
So any negotiating you’re doing at this point is incremental. Maybe an extra 5% because you are a top performer and will bring so much to the table. Or maybe there’s something else you want to negotiate – work from home days or a starting bonus, for example.
They’ve already decided they want you on the team – now is the best time to increase your starting position.
5. You didn’t think you deserved any more.
Maybe your last role didn’t end well. Or you’re trying to get out of a job you don’t love. So often we overestimate our failures and underestimate our successes, and it becomes very difficult to show up confidently.
In order to ask for what you deserve, you have to have unshakable confidence in yourself. Start keeping track of every tiny win in your life. Maybe you killed it in a meeting. Or volunteered for something you wouldn’t normally do. Maybe you simply drank all your water today. Write it down & pat yourself on the back.You’ll see very quickly how much you have to celebrate. Get your groove back, Stella.
6. You didn’t know it was an option.
But you sure do now. Get it!
For more on negotiating your salary, including the exact scripts Dayna uses, check out our next podcast episode of Think Tank of Three. Podcasts are posted first in the Think Tank of Three’s private Facebook group.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash