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3 Common Regrets Following Salary Negotiations

You've aced that interview and you've landed the job. Now, you just need to formalize the deal and tend to the most dreaded element of all: salary negotiations. Talking about money makes many uncomfortable, but failure to negotiate your salary could lead to big future regrets. Let's explore some of the most common pain points and areas where fellow job hunters say they wish they'd done things differently.

3 regrets of salary negotiations

1. I Didn't Realize the Salary Was So Low

You might get quite disappointed late in the interview process when you learn how much the employer is willing to offer for the position. Some believe it's best to wait until later in the interview process to discuss salary, but really, this doesn't benefit anyone if it's a situation where you require a salary level that the employer simply can't provide.

Do everything you can to avoid this situation by informing yourself before the interviews. Perform research about the company and the position. Look to see what the company and competitors are offering for the position. If there's a spot on the application to enter a salary range, enter the salary you expect to receive. Better to avoid the hassle entirely rather than getting your hopes up and wasting your time and effort only to discover that the employer can't afford you. 

Related: How to Negotiate Salary

2. I Should Have Negotiated Instead of Accepting the First Offer

So you've accepted the offer, you're ready to begin your brand new job and it's time to celebrate. But you've got a nagging feeling tugging at the back of your mind. Did you make the right decision in that moment of excitement as you accepted the first offer that came your way? Perhaps you should have negotiated or at least tried to take time to think about the offer.

This is a classic example of what happens when you get caught off guard or caught up in the excitement of landing a great job.

Before the interview, do a bit of thinking and establish your criteria when it comes to salary, benefits and other perks. What is your ideal salary? What is the minimum offer you would be able to accept? Deciding these figures isn't always easy, but it's helpful to have at least a general idea of what you can afford to accept on the low end and what's reasonable to expect on the high end.

During negotiations if the employer is firm on salary, don’t forget about benefits and other perks, which can be a great bargaining tool. Perks such as extra vacation time, good health coverage and a strong retirement plan can be worth their weight in gold.

3. I Shouldn't Have Walked Away

Sometimes you're forced to walk away from salary negotiations because you simply can't arrive at an agreement that works for both you and the employer.

But what happens if you start to wonder if you made the wrong decision by walking away? You are sure they were low-balling you with their salary offer; they could have afforded you if they wanted you on the team. Or worse, you might walk away in the hope that the employer will come back with a higher offer. But unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.

The reality is this: if an employer allows you to walk away due to an inability to come to an agreement over salary, then chances are that they offered what they had to give and aren't going to budge, no matter what you say or do. In some cases, if you have a better job offer from another company, you can use this as leverage in negotiations, essentially proving that you're in demand. But this only works with employers who are willing to negotiate on salary.

Related: How to Ask a Pay Raise

The best rule of thumb is to never give a final answer on the day of the interview or negotiations. Take some time to think it over, explore your options. A decision made in the heat of the moment isn't always the best one. Can you afford to walk away? Remember to explore the option to take the job and prove your worth; it might be easier to ask for a raise than to get an employer to agree to a salary that's beyond the figure that they have in mind.

Salary is a very important element of your job and it's not something to be taken lightly. But by doing your research, knowing what you want, avoiding snap decisions and thinking it through thoroughly, you'll be in a position to come out a winner.

photo by: sleep and meet sverige

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