Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary?

Published on March 8, 2022 in
Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary

One of the most delicate moments when discussing a job offer is the matter of salary. And if you are a job candidate, you might be worried that asking for more money may cost you that job opportunity.

Yes, you can totally lose a job offer by negotiating salary but that would likely be due to having unreasonable demands and alienating your hiring manager through your behavior. Otherwise, salary negotiation is perfectly acceptable and expected by hiring managers and employers.

But you probably have all sorts of questions if you are a bit new to the employment game.

For example, can a company rescind a job offer if you ask for more money without any good reason?

Can a company rescind an offer if you negotiate but you are coming across as selfish and self-centered?

Well, let me tell you that I have over 10 years of experience in middle and upper management and I have been present during all sorts of job interviews where salary negotiations took place.

So here I will share with you my best advice on negotiating salary when you are presented with a job offer and answer some questions that you may have.

Is it OK to negotiate salary before accepting a job?

Is it OK to negotiate salary before accepting a job

Yes, it is perfectly fine to negotiate salary before accepting a job. However, make sure that your demands for higher pay are backed up by substantial reasons. Otherwise, you run a risk of appearing incompetent and selfish.

Usually, when a job offer is given to a candidate, in 99% of cases the proposed salary is either a bit lower or at least matched to what the current industry standards are.

Job offers that come with increased salaries are usually given to experienced professionals who can bring enormous potential to an employer.

But still, any job candidate can negotiate their compensation to a certain extent. If anything, you will be seen as ambitious and hungry for professional growth so that is a good thing.

However, your success in negotiating your way to a higher salary will hugely depend on your professional experience and ability to work toward the growth and success of the company.

How to negotiate salary without losing the job offer

How to negotiate salary without losing the job offer

The key to negotiating salary without losing a job offer is to show your potential future employer that you are capable of bringing extra value to them. Your focus should be on how you can benefit them and their business as a professional in order to rightfully earn an increased salary.

Do not approach salary negotiation from the following perspectives because you might indeed lose the job offer.

  • Any inside information you may have about the company.
  • Any assumptions that you may have about the success of the company.
  • Unreasonably high salary expectations that do not match industry standards.
  • Salary demands based on your personal needs and financial situation.
  • Becoming too pugnacious when you meet resistance.

Instead, take a more tactical approach. If you are careful and present yourself in the right light, then you have a good chance of landing the job and getting that salary increase.

Here are the steps that you can take to make that happen.

A candidate is usually presented with a job offer with a salary proposal near the end of a job interview or a few days after the interview took place.

When that job offer comes, you need to be ready to negotiate. So here is the best advice that I can give you about how to achieve that without losing the job offer.

1. Show them that you care

As I already explained, you need to make this about them, not about you. You must show your hiring manager that you care about the future of the company.

2. Ask the right questions

Ask about the goals and targets that have been set for the rest of the year or the next year.

Ask how you can become a driving force behind the strategic projects that will ensure the growth and success of the company.

These questions will show the hiring manager that you are serious about the job and that you are thinking about things in the long run.

3. Express your desire to contribute with more

Ask what you can do as a professional to ensure the success of the company. Ask how you can go the extra mile to bring even more value as part of the team.

4. Present a clear path to success

If you have industry knowledge and significant experience, you might be able to present your future employer with a precise plan or a project outline to show them a clear path toward the benefits that you are capable of bringing to the company.

Keep in mind that having significant professional experience in itself is also a great argument for getting a higher salary from the start.

5. Ask for your fair share

If there is a way for you to indeed bring extra value to the company through the execution of critical projects or by meeting and exceeding targets, then it’s only natural that you should be paid a bit more than the original offer.

So ask them to discuss salary and give them a number to consider.

Now that you have shown that there’s more to you and that you can potentially benefit the company beyond what was expected initially, it would be a lot more reasonable to discuss what you will be earning.

This puts you in a much more favorable position to negotiate and it gives you the right kind of leverage to get an increase.

6. A win-win situation is what you are looking for

Imagine that you are an owner of a company. One day, one of your employees walks into your office for a scheduled one-on-one appointment.

They thank you for agreeing to meet them on such short notice. Then they tell what this meeting is about: they would like an increase in salary.

Essentially, they demand more pay from you so they can continue to do the same quality and amount of work they have done for the last year or so.

Would you give them that raise?

Sure, they might indeed deserve a raise. They have been doing a great job so far and that raise will be worth it if it means keeping a trusted employee.

But as an employer and a business owner, you will be more likely to agree if you are able to give them more responsibilities.

The same applies to job offers and negotiating salaries.

The principles of successfully negotiating salary before accepting a job offer are exactly the same as if you were a long-time employee of the company who wanted a raise.

It all comes down to coming to an understanding of how both sides can mutually benefit from each other.

7. Be prepared for a refusal

Even if you handle your negotiation correctly, your request for a higher salary can be denied. And this can be due to all sorts of reasons.

After all, you probably don't have any knowledge of the employer's ability to pay and what internal struggles the company is having.

Do your best to gauge the situation and accept the job offer without an increase if you are meeting a lot of resistance from the hiring manager.

Perhaps you will be able to negotiate a salary increase after 3 to 6 months when you will have some solid work behind your back and you will prove yourself as somebody who can bring good results.

How much to counter offer salary

How much to counter offer salary

Anywhere between 10-20% is a reasonable counter offer to a salary proposal. However, you can push the counter offer even further depending on your level of confidence and professional competence. It all comes down to your capability to benefit the company and the business.

Here are a few different situations that may apply to you and how much more money you can demand in each one.

(Mind that these are just simple examples and the numbers may vary significantly depending on industry job standards.)

Entry-level (no previous experience)

If you have no previous professional experience, there isn’t much that you can leverage to get more money out of this position.

I’d say take the job if the offer matches the industry standard and ask for a promotion after 3 to 6 months when you have some good work behind your back and you have a better understanding of the industry. Also, you can check our guide on finding a job with no previous experience to become more confident in yourself.

You have some previous experience on the job

Okay, now we are talking! If you have some previous experience on the job, then you can indeed ask for a little more money. About 15-20% would be reasonable.

You can leverage the fact that you will be able to become effective very quickly since you will require minimum training or none at all to start doing your job.

You are a seasoned professional with a remarkable set of skills

If you have notable experience and you come ready with all the necessary skills and knowledge to be an effective employee from week 1, then you can definitely ask for a significant increase such as 20-25%.

You can bring some extra value to the company

If you are an experienced professional who has some notable previous achievements, such as achieving record sales or creating highly successful projects, then you are bringing a lot more to the table than expected.

I’d say that this should give you enough leverage to ask for a 25-30% increase.

You can bring enormous potential to the company

It would be hard to define what this actually means. It all comes down to your professional capabilities and how you can make the company that hires you more profitable.

With such a high level of confidence, you can easily ask for a 40-50% increase.

Can you negotiate your salary after accepting job offer

Can you negotiate your salary after accepting job offer

Yes, you can negotiate your salary after accepting a job offer. Until you sign your employment contract, every aspect of your job, including salary and benefits can be further negotiated. However, always approach this from the perspective of how both sides can win.

If you are worried that this will be seen badly, you can ask the hiring manager if it is fine to negotiate salary.

Let them give you permission to raise the question. And remember to stick to the advice and negotiation tactics outlined above.

Key takeaways

  • You can indeed lose a job offer by negotiating salary if your demands are unreasonable.
  • You can alienate your hiring manager by appearing selfish, arrogant, and self-centered.
  • The key to negotiating a salary increase before accepting a job offer is to present good reasons why you deserve to be paid more.
  • Stay respectful and calmly explain how you can benefit the company even more, then ask for higher pay.
  • If you don’t have significant previous experience or any good reasons to demand higher pay, simply take the job.
  • You can negotiate salary after a few months on the job.
  • Here is how to politely decline a job offer due to a low salary.

Written by:
OfficeTopics.com
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Alex Alexiev
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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