Avoid These 5 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

Salary negotiation mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars and hinder you from earning the pay you deserve. Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes professionals tend to overlook when negotiating their salary with employers.

The average salary for a health IT professional is $89,879.43, according to the 2014 HealthITJobs.com Salary Report. If you’re not making close to this amount as an health IT professional, you might consider asking your employer for a raise — or looking for a new job that will pay you what you’re worth.

As you prepare for your upcoming salary negotiation, here are five mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Confusing confidence for preparation.

Many people think they can walk into a salary negotiation feeling confident they’ll get everything they ask for. Regardless of how confident you feel about the negotiation, you won’t get what you want unless you’re prepared.

When preparing for a salary negotiation, it’s important to research comparable salaries and create a list of accomplishments. You must have tangible evidence to show the employer why you’re worthy of a salary bump.

2. Forgetting to negotiate non-salary items.

Although it’d be nice to earn a higher paycheck, not every employer can offer that perk. If you have a feeling the employer might have the resources to give you more than they originally offered, you might consider negotiating other benefits.

For example, consider asking for more paid vacation time, new technology for work, a stipend for a class or conference, or a flexible work schedule. While these perks don’t mean a higher salary, they could give you more satisfaction at work.

3. Taking rejection too personally.

If the employer denies your request, it can feel like a shot in the foot. Especially after opening up to about why you believe you deserve more, it can be difficult to feel confident as an employee.

At the end of the day, a salary negotiation is a business decision. Most employers have a strict budget and there will be times when raising your salary isn’t within their means. If you do get denied during a negotiation, avoid being emotional or having hard feelings. This will keep you from burning any bridges.

4. Acting immediately on the employer’s offer.

If the employer offers a counteroffer during the negotiation, make sure you take time to think about it. The last thing you want is to lose out on the compensation or benefits you deserve.

Explain that you’ll need a day to consider the offer. This will give you enough time to think about creating your own counteroffer or determining whether you’ll accept the offer.

5. Not getting the offer in writing.

Nothing is official until you have the negotiated offer in writing. The last thing you want to experience is the employer making a promise and then failing to follow through.

When the employer accepts the negotiation, the first thing you should ask for is a new written agreement. This way, if there’s a problem after the negotiation, you’ll have documentation to support your argument.

Salary negotiation can be a challenging situation, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to advance your career. By avoiding these mistakes and learning how to wisely negotiate your salary, it’s very likely you’ll receive what you deserve from your employer.

What are your best salary negotiation tips?