Negotiating your salary: 4 things NOT to say

Ezra Finch
3 min readMar 30, 2022

Negotiation is an art, which unfortunately we do not learn in school. When we get out of school and start looking for our first job, we are immediately thrown into the deep end. But not only then, for many people a negotiation remains difficult throughout their lives.

Of course there are also plenty of things that you should do before or during a negotiation, such as good preparation and occasional silences .

This is not something you should say when negotiating salary

In this article we focus on what not to do. Four things not to say when negotiating your salary.

1. “I accept (your first offer)”

This is probably the most common mistake made: not negotiating at all. Even if you are excited or think the first offer is fantastic, you should not accept the first offer from your (future) employer. Remember: the person opposite expects you to negotiate. So it is not at all crazy or ungrateful if you do not immediately accept the first offer.

2. “Of course I don’t know if you have room in the budget or if it might not be the right timing now”

This is an example, of course, but we’re trying to say that being confident in your shoes is key. When you make a comment like the one above, you are putting the words in their mouths, as it were. Try to avoid insecure and words like ‘maybe’.

If, for example, it is not the right timing because of corona, you will automatically hear that. But make no mistake, many companies can also negotiate this year.

3. “I need a higher salary because I have to [personal reason]”

Whether you have a sky-high student debt, want to buy a house in this overheated housing market or are saving for another big goal, don’t make this comment. We all have rent or mortgage, groceries and insurance that we have to pay.

That’s not why you ask for a higher salary. If all goes well, there’s a legitimate reason behind it. For example, if you have worked there for years, have shown value, but have never received a raise. Or if…

Ezra Finch