Whether you are job hunting, are about to have an important interview, or are scheduled to have that highly anticipated annual review, how you negotiate your salary is key. While this conversation is often greeted with glee—I mean, who doesn't want more cash in the bank?—the truth is that most of us feel pretty uncomfortable talking about money. In fact, a recent Wells Fargo report found that our overall financial health is at an all-time low. According to Ashley Stahl for Forbes, there is only one thing worse than avoiding a salary negotiation, and that's "completely botching on your ask." So what do you ask? Unfortunately, it's not as clear-cut as you might think. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when discussing your next salary increase.
1. Don't discuss your personal situation.
Your current or future employer doesn't want or need to know about your debt, student loans, or financial situation, so just don't bring them up. The only thing they company is interested in is your skill level. Stahl says the "money you’re making should correlate only with the responsibility you’re taking on in the company." As far as the company is concerned, they have an opening, and they need someone to take on that responsibility that's worth X amount.
2. Don't divulge your current salary.
Stahl says the "first person to give away a number loses," so you should always answer that you're negotiable. A new employer might try to corner you into revealing your current salary, but avoid it if you can. Try to win them over without the price tag attached. "Play negotiation hardball when the job is offered to you," Stahl adds.
3. Don't rush it.
Give yourself some time to read through the job offer properly. Stahl thinks you should ask for 24 hours to really go over it and think about the amount you'd like to negotiate. If more time is needed, see if they will wait a few days or until the end of the week. This way, you can even see if a better offer comes up elsewhere. Just don't wait longer than four or five days, Stahl says, adding that "it brings a weird vibe into the air, and it’s just not worth it to do that."
To read more mistakes to avoid when negotiating your salary, visit Forbes.
About to negotiate your salary? Shop our favorite book on the topic below.
What are you top tips for negotiating salaries? Have you botched it before? What did you learn? Share with us below.