Most People Don’t Negotiate Their Salary — Here’s Why That’s a Problem

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I vividly recall the feeling I had before attempting to negotiate my salary when I landed my current job.

Emphasis on attempt.

I was terrified. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. And apparently, other people have the same problem.

More than half of U.S. workers surveyed in a Robert Half study said they didn’t try to negotiate their salary when they got their last job offer. It’s even worse for women, with 34% reporting that they didn’t give negotiations a go.

The number of negotiators varied pretty widely across cities as well, with 55% of New Yorkers brave enough to try it, to only 24% in Indianapolis (get with the program Indy!)

Ideally, that number should be 100% (I know, I know — I’m not one to talk).

Why You Should Negotiate Your Salary

Right now, a tight labor market means there’s more competition for talent (you), and wages have started rising significantly for the first time in years. That means you have all the bargaining chips — and you should use them.

And it could really cost you not to negotiate your salary when you get that job offer. Between more cushion to pay off student loans or even a $65,000 savings account, you might be losing out on thousands of dollars.

Plus, you’re reading The Penny Hoarder, so I can only assume you’re already a master negotiator.

Simple Strategies for How to Negotiate Your Salary

First of all, take a deep breath.

It may seem scary, but negotiating your salary shouldn’t give you nightmares.

The first step to negotiating your salary is to just do it. After that, there are actually scientifically-proven ways to negotiate a higher salary.

Seriously — jokingly asking for $100,000 might mean an extra $3,000 tacked onto your salary.

Make sure you know your worth before starting your salary back-and-forth. You can use websites like Glassdoor to find salary ranges for the job your gunning for.

Oh, and don’t have a job offer yet? Check out The Penny Hoarder Jobs page on Facebook for tons of opportunities.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.