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Don’t Let Fear Negotiate Your Salary

I don’t want to lose the job offer,” my niece replied when I asked her if she was going to negotiate her starting salary. “I am just happy to have an offer, Auntie K!”

Employers expect applicants to negotiate the starting salary when offering you a job. They actually offer less money, knowing that you are likely to counteroffer. So if you don’t negotiate because you are afraid, know you are leaving money on the table.

Here are 3 tips to keep in mind when negotiating a job offer:

1. It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask:

Your future employer expects you to ask for more money. Typically, men negotiate, and women accept the initial offer. By not negotiating their first salary, many women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over their careers. Men do too, just less often. The reason is usually fear. My niece was afraid they would rescind the job offer. It wasn’t until I reminded her that they wanted her to work for them, and the worse thing that was going to happen when she asked for more money was they would say “no”. Now that is survivable, isn’t it?

2. Everything is Negotiable.

If the company truly can’t pay you more money, think about other benefits that may make the job more attractive. It may be working from home once a week, reimbursing you for a college course, or paying a larger percentage of your health benefits. I even had a friend who once negotiated Wednesday mornings off to take skating lessons! Which brings me back to tip number one – It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask!

3. Fear is Not Your Friend.

When it comes to negotiating, fear is never your friend. As the saying goes, feel the fear and do it anyway. It is natural to feel apprehensive about negotiating a job offer, but don’t let your emotional mind make decisions for you. Instead, talk to a friend, parent, or mentor. Brainstorm how to ask for what you deserve.

My niece starts her big new job on Monday. I am excited for her and very proud. She didn’t back down in her negotiations. Simply talking it out with me helped her realize just how valuable she was. And her future employer agreed!

What is your biggest fear when negotiating a job offer? How can you take steps to overcome this fear and realize your true value?

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

Negotiation Trainer and Coach KBK Wealth Connection

I’m passionate about coaching women – financial advisors, coaches and consultants – because I thrive on empowering them to transform from feeling uncomfortable, apprehensive, or anxious about setting and discussing fees with clients into becoming confident and self-assured professionals. My tailored negotiation and sales programs are exclusively crafted to cater to the unique needs of women. Drawing upon my extensive two-decade-plus background in business and clinical expertise in the psychology of women and wealth, these programs provide women with a comprehensive toolkit of proven negotiation tactics that work and yield tangible results.