What Not to Say When Negotiating Any Part of Your Job

PrideStaff San Jose

The ability to effectively negotiate is the key to making real progress in your career. No one will have the incentive to advocate for you as strongly as you, so don’t passively wait for your boss or hiring managers to offer you what you deserve. However, if you’re too aggressive, you risk self-sabotaging your goals. Find the right balance – here’s what not to say when negotiating any part of your job:


  • “I’ll work extra…”

Never over-commit yourself as a negotiating tactic, such as by saying you’ll work weekends, excessively long hours, or be available 24/7. Not only is this unrealistic and would lead you to burn out, but it sets a bad standard in which your employer will expect too much from you.


  • “Sorry…”

Never apologize for asking for something you truly believe you have earned. It undermines your position because it gives the impression that you aren’t confident in yourself. And if you don’t have confidence in yourself, why should your employer have confidence in you?


  • “Maybe…”

Project a self-assured image by eliminating “maybe” from your conversation. Know exactly what you want to negotiate for and what you’re willing to settle on. Saying, “Well maybe I could get…” is passive and weakens your stance, as compared to something like, “Based on research of market value, my position is typically paid X dollars per year.”


  • “I need…”

Never bring your personal or financial circumstances into a negotiation. Employers aren’t going to (and shouldn’t) provide benefits or compensation based on need, but on merit. For example, when negotiating for a higher pay rate, don’t say “I need more to afford my bills” but simply go into objective evidence on why it would you have earned the right to receive more.


  • “Or else”

Unless you are truly willing to follow through and walk away, never utter any statements of finality like, “I need a higher salary or else I will walk.” Even if you do mean it, the combative tone can negatively impact your professional relationship (if you do get your demands met) or completely burn your bridges with the company.


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