Fifty-seven percent of respondents to PayScale’s Salary Survey said that they’d never negotiated salary in their current field. Why? Because they’re scared, mostly. While only 8 percent reported being afraid of losing their job, 19 percent said they didn’t want to seem pushy. Twenty-eight percent said they felt uncomfortable negotiating salary, period.
Of course, 75 percent of people who asked received some kind of pay bump, so it’s in your best interests to conquer your fear. PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide offers resources geared specifically to folks who aren’t negotiating because they’re afraid to ask.
Let’s start by looking at the worst-case scenario.
Believe it or not, there’s very little chance that you’ll lose your job — or a job offer — by asking for more money. (Provided, of course, that you ask in the right way — courteously, after doing your research, and in a cooperative, non-adversarial manner.)
The worst thing that is likely to happen when you ask for more is that you won’t get it. Temporary setbacks like these aren’t failures, but opportunities to learn and grow. This article offers a rundown of factors that can contribute to an unsuccessful negotiation. It’s useful for those who’ve asked and not received, as well as folks who are trying to visualize the worst before they give it their best.
Until technology catches up with our mind-reading needs, the best way to figure out what HR is thinking is to ask an HR pro. PayScale’s Modern Compensation Evangelist, Mykkah Herner, offers a perspective from the other side of the negotiating table. For example, do you know your company’s compensation philosophy? If you can understand what the decision-makers are trying to accomplish with their compensation dollars, you’ll have some insight into how to build your case.
Ultimately, the best balm for worry is information. Do your research prior to the salary negotiation, and you won’t have to wonder if you’re asking for too much (or too little). PayScale’s Salary Survey walks you through questions related to your job, education, skills, and qualifications, and then provides a free salary report with appropriate ranges for your title and location. More data equals less worry — and a better chance at getting the salary you deserve.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever negotiated salary, despite being scared to ask for more money? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us how you did it, or join the conversation on Twitter.