4 Situations Where You Shouldn't Negotiate Your Salary / by Lewis Lin


This guest post from Christine Ko, my co-author for our latest salary negotiation book, Five Minutes to a Higher Salary.

If you have read the post titled "4 Motivating Reasons Why You Should Negotiate Your Salary", you know that negotiating your salary is crucial to your financial development. However, there a few special circumstances when it is wise not to do so. 

If you have already accepted the offer and it is close to a fair salary.

Sometimes, going back to the negotiation table isn’t worth the extra money you could get. If you have already accepted the offer, going back to ask for just a little more will make you seem greedy. It could ruin your goodwill with the employer, so make sure that going back to negotiations after you accepted the offer is worth the time and the risk.

If they offer you the top of your range (or more).

You don’t want your recruiter to think that you’re just in it for the money, so don’t ask for more if they give you a job offer with a salary on the high end of what you asked for. If you give them a range of your salary expectations and they graciously agree to pay you at the top of your range, don’t try to haggle for more. Accept the win instead.

If the other benefits need more attention.

Salary isn’t the only thing up for negotiation. Other benefits can be vital to your financial situation as well. Some of the obvious ones are bonuses and stock options, but there are other creative solutions as well. Have you thought about the commute and how it could be reduced or subsidized if it is really long? Maybe you want to go back to school and would like some help with tuition. There are ways that you can improve your financial situation when just a salary increase won’t help.

If you actually don’t want the job.

This may be tough to hear, but even in a sluggish economy, taking a job offer you don’t want just because of the money can be a debilitating career choice. In the long run, negotiating for a bigger salary in a company you don’t like is just a waste of time for you and your employer. After all, adding sugar to a bad lemonade still makes it bad lemonade. While it might seem worth it in the short term, the long term consequences aren’t that great. You could get stuck within the company, not able to escape because the money is too good to pass up. You could feel discouraged in the company and start to deliver poor performance because you don’t love your job, leading to termination. You could quickly jump ship and leave the company, but a short time period at a previous company is suspicious to recruiters in the future. While paychecks are important, it may be worth your time to search for opportunities that you truly care about.

These are definitely unique situations that don't apply to everybody. If you're not in any of these situations but still need to be convinced why you should negotiate, check out our previous blog post titled "4 Motivating Reasons Why You Should Negotiate Your Salary."

Photo credit to Guercio