Did you know that almost 21% of the workforce avoids negotiating their current salary every year because they fear losing their job? While they may resent being paid lower than the average market rate or feel worthy of a higher salary still, the fear of speaking up cripples them from taking a seat at the negotiation table.
Reasons why people avoid negotiating their salary
Whether you just landed your first job or are a seasoned pro, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is deciding to settle down and accept whatever salary offer you receive.
Nine out of ten times, people choose to skip the negotiation process altogether due to fear. Despite it being one of the critical components of accepting a job offer yet, the crippling hesitance and apprehension to command what you are genuinely worth has indeed been a problem for many.
The fear of losing one’s job alone isn’t the only factor that stops us from demanding what we rightfully deserve! According to leading HR experts and recruiters, there are other reasons behind the inability to negotiate one’s salary.
Some of these include:
- Lack of self-confidence
- Negotiation negligence
- Being too complacent
- Dislike or discomfort
- Fear of sounding too greedy or needy
Different Types of Fear
Fear of not being good enough
Let’s face it! We have all witnessed this feeling at least once in our lives, despite giving our best, sitting late to complete a presentation, or working on weekends to woo the client, the sense of not being good enough at our job. Yet when the time comes for evaluation, an appraisal, or asking for a raise, we start to doubt ourselves.
The embarrassment of rejection is inevitable whenever you ask for something. Therefore, it’s best to avoid it. But remember that saying “no” once doesn’t mean the subject is off the table for good.
The same rule applies to negotiating your salary. When negotiating your salary, you never know how things will turn out unless you try.
Instead of falling prey to stress and anxiety in such situations, take a deep breath and assess the situation. If you feel worthy of an increment or a raise, go for it!
Fear of negotiation itself
According to a recent poll carried out by salary.com, 22 percent of the respondents didn’t ask for a raise because they lacked the negotiation skills needed, and 18 percent found the procedure “inherently disagreeable.” As hard it is to believe, not every one of us is a pro in the art of negotiation.
The skillset required to present your case before your boss or the HR department isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In such situations, the best way to proceed is to ask yourself how important is this raise for you? If it’s essential to meet your daily needs, politely approach your boss and present your case.
Chances are that your bosses will agree with you and give you that long-awaited raise.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of my Salary Negotiation Guide. You’ll learn how to decide what you want, initiate negotiation discussions, and walk away with a win-win solution that leaves you feeling heard and valued!
Fear of losing one’s job
Many employees today choose to be underpaid compared to being not paid at all. Leading HR experts explain that when a company makes a job offer, they expect some sort of negotiation from the potential employee. Yet we fail to demand a salary based on what the market is offering or what we had expected just because we fear losing the job we had worked so hard to get.
When facing such a dilemma, it is important to remind yourself of your sense of self-worth. Do your research and then speak to your new employer clearly and thoughtfully, politely explaining to them your conundrum. Remember! You’ll most probably be spending the next few years at the same job.
If you aren’t satisfied with the salary package, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll start to resent your job.
Tips for overcoming your fears
Now that we have identified the role played by fear in negotiating a salary as well as discuss the various types of fear that cripples us is asking what we are worthy of, let’s discuss some ways we can overcome our fears and avoid feeling flustered when sitting down to negotiate.
Learning to recognize your fears
If you’re afraid of anything, write it down! Leading HR experts suggest that recognizing and consciously gaining awareness of your fears and qualms at the workplace is the key to getting a grip on them.
By noting or journaling them down, you end up making a conscious effort of getting a hold of your anxieties. Once you’ve recognized your biggest concerns, you’re ready to take on the strategies outlined below.
Preparation is key!
Once you’ve recognized your stressors, the next step is to analyze the situation. Do your research and develop a plan of action to ensure that your fears don’t end up becoming a reality.
For instance, if you’re worried about overpaying for a house, study the property market and take advice from those who know the market well. All these efforts will end up offering you long-term benefits.
Similarly, if you have applied for a position and aced the interview, instead of waiting around anxiously to hear from the recruiter, try using this time to gather as much information as you can regarding what your company’s competitors are paying for the same position. This will help you overcome your fears of being underpaid and allow you to face your fears in case such a situation arises.
Practicing out loud
Once you have mentally prepared yourself for handling your job negotiations, you must practice it out loud. You need to rehearse in front of a mirror, not just your mind. It’s not enough to think of the words; you must speak them. We don’t express ourselves verbally in the same way we do internally.
We can’t expect our words to come out exactly how we want them to. As soon as the words begin to flow, you may be surprised to hear them spoken aloud for the first time. Any of these situations may happen in a real-life negotiation.
Call in on the cavalry!
If you feel that practicing alone isn’t helping much, it’s better to ask someone to help; preferably someone within the industry or with an HR background. When you practice with a seasoned negotiator, you might get a sense of what it’s like to go through the actual negotiation process.
Grab a copy of my Salary Negotiation Guide. You’ll learn how to decide what you want, initiate negotiation discussions, and walk away with a win-win solution that leaves you feeling heard and valued!
Choosing the correct mode of communication
When it’s time to negotiate, avoid doing it over email and always aim to meet face-to-face or over the phone rather than over email. Negotiations are most productive when done in a back-and-forth discussion. This helps you conclude on time and allows you to observe the other person and how they react.
If you have questions, don’t be afraid to say so or set up a meeting to clear any doubts or fears. Your recruiter has chosen you from a dozen of other candidates. As happy as he is about working together with you, he is also expecting some negotiations to occur. So get over your fears and speak up before signing the contract.
Reminding yourself why you are negotiating
Another critical factor in getting over your fears is recalling why you are negotiating. Negotiating isn’t just limited to monetary compensation. It’s about getting a better deal. For some, it’s about getting more money, while for others, it has more to do with getting flexible working hours, incentives and perks, etc.
What matters isn’t just how much money or freedom you have, but what you can do with it. When you remind yourself why you are negotiating, you automatically program yourself to overcome your fears by having a clear head and neatly defined objectives.
Additionally, if you are negotiating on behalf of a group larger than yourself, In that case, you must consider everyone on whose shoulders you are relying.
Remember, the best fates are reserved for the brave. Failing in getting over your fear to negotiate your self-worth often means leaving thousands of dollars on the table and can potentially cost you millions of dollars throughout your life. And when all is said and done, fortune favors the bold, and learning how to get over your fear and speak up for what you are worth is the only way forward if you want to succeed.