Negotiate Salary: 5 Don'ts and 5 Best Practice Tips

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Salary negotiations ideally bring more money, but many people shy away from dealing with that Manager, 10 tips on what you should not do - and how it works!

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Here writes for you:


Dr. Job Dr. JobDr. Job is career adviser at


Salary negotiations - curse and blessing

Who does not know the feeling of being underpaid and the thought: "Maybe I just didn't negotiate well back then". That may be so, but maybe not. However, one thing is certain: the next salary negotiation should go well.

Salary negotiations are a curse and a blessing at the same time. On the one hand, if you are successful, you will earn more salary, but on the other hand, many people are afraid of being outrageous, overbearing, or under-selling. However, the following ten tips will make the situation easier. And this is how it works:

1. Do not: fall into the house with the door

The same rule applies to the boss as to the employee: A good preparation is the alpha and omega.

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  • What do the budgets for the year look like, are they enough for a wage increase?
  • How successful were past projects of the employee?
  • Where will its path lead in the near future?

All questions that a good manager asks before the conversation begins. So whoever falls into the house with the door: “Boss, do you have five minutes? I would like to talk about my salary briefly! ” doesn't do itself a favor. Better: inform the supervisor about the desire to hold a salary interview and make an appointment.

2. Best Practice: Prepare

This point should be self-evident, but unfortunately it is not. Again and again it happens that candidates go unprepared into a salary and are dissatisfied in the end.

Anyone who thinks in advance about which goals he wants to achieve and which arguments are helpful on the way there, increases his chances. The salary negotiation is part of the job and should be taken as seriously and properly prepared as any other project.

3. Do not: threaten

If the offer is not as generous as hoped, there are many ways to deal with it, but only one that is really bad: the threat. "Then I'll just quit!" saying is not a good idea in most cases. It signals that there is no willingness to negotiate, which pushes the superiors into the corner.

In addition, you do not believe credible, if the threat is not followed by action. Anyone who actually considers changing the company and even can present a concrete offer, should talk about this consideration with the supervisor. This conversation is not a threat, but an opportunity for the supervisor to make a counter offer.

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4. Best Practice: Leave the precedence

The first word should be the supervisor. Ask for his opinion about your services and get an offer in the best case.

This allows you to better assess your chances and opportunities and negotiate your success. It also gives you valuable feedback on your work.

5. Do not: give too fast

The word salary negotiation says it already: Here is negotiated. Anyone who responds to the first suggestion of the supervisor, although this may not yet meet the goals set, makes a mistake.

Even the supervisor anticipates a negotiation and usually goes a little lower than necessary. The right response to that: to thank for the proposal and then explain with good arguments why the result is still unsatisfactory and continue to negotiate.

6. Best Practice: Know your own value

Be aware of what your work is worth and communicate the knowledge gained to your supervisor.

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Give examples of past successes and show your visions for the future. Only those who know what added value he has Company is able to convey that, too.

7. Do not: compare

“Colleague XY has had the title for years, but I'm much better at it!” Every now and then everyone has this thought - but it is not advisable to speak it out. In a salary interview, you convince with performance, a vision and your personal development plan.

What other colleagues do (or not) does not matter. Statements like the one just mentioned just show: you have no arguments for your promotion, so you make other colleagues bad. Not a good start for a conversation.

8. Best Practice: Addressing Development

In a salary negotiation, it is rarely just about money. Those who want to earn more often take on additional or other tasks. Associated with this is a development in a certain professional direction, which must be discussed. For example, questions such as: Does the employee have the same ideas as the employer? Or: How can you actively shape your path?

9. Do not: Become Emotional

Even if the undesirable case occurs, the claims are rejected by the supervisor: Do not become emotional. Anger, disappointment or even a tear out does not belong in the professional environment.

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Quietly but surely state that you disagree with this result and ask for a solution that both sides can live with. If this is not possible, you have to decide for yourself if you accept it or if you are looking for a new job. That's another topic.

10. Best Practice: Be confident

A person who does not believe in himself cannot expect others to do so. Unfortunately, this point is often a problem especially for women: According to the “World of Work” study by the online career portal Monster, 55 percent of German men are confident enough to ask for a raise, but only 39 percent of women.

That has to change, because nobody gets a raise simply given. Be confident and confident that you can fulfill the tasks of promotion. Because if you are not sure about this, why should it be your superior?


Those who heed these tips will certainly be able to cut a fine figure in the next salary negotiations and record a plus on their account.

Special tip to the end: If it does not work out with the salary increase - you offer your boss but alternatives such as fringe benefits and other compensation, some of which also provide tax benefits.

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  1. Markus Zuziak

    For me, your blog is one of the best HR and career blogs ever. If not the best ever!

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