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3 Things Women Should Never Say When Negotiating Their Salary

Topics: Negotiation

Sometimes, what you don’t say can be more important than what you do say. This is especially true when it comes to salary negotiations, where blurting out a lower number can cost you over the long run.


(Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr)

LinkedIn community manager Jacky Carter recently asked negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon for her advice on getting the best salary, whether you’re starting a new job or asking for a raise. Here are a few of Pynchon’s tips on what you should never say when you’re negotiating:

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1. “I’m sorry.”

“Women tend to apologize for things they shouldn’t,” Pynchon says. “I’ve been known to reflexively apologize to the furniture when I run into it. Apologizing in the negotiating room lessens the weight of your argument. Stay away from saying things like, ‘I’m sorry to ask for this, but I feel that I deserve a raise.'”

2. Anything ending in a question mark.

Pynchon cautions against the vocal tics that pervade popular culture these days, such as inflecting statements as if they were questions and saying “like” when a pause would do.

3. “I’m worth X, but I’ll take Y.”

Don’t have both sides of the conversation by yourself. Do your research, and come armed with an idea of how much you’re worth — and then don’t apologize for asking for it. Pynchon advises practicing with a friend before your interview, to make sure that you sound confident when you discuss money.

Also, remember that you don’t have to name a figure right on the spot. It’s perfectly OK to (politely) avoid the question. Focus on finding out whether you and the company are a good fit for each other.

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