3 Ways to Appear Greedy in a Salary Negotiation

Posted March 13, 2014

Salary NegotiationsOne of the biggest fears we hear from job candidates is…at what point will managers perceive me as greedy in a salary negotiation?

Worst case scenario: Offending them could cause them to rescind your offer.

Best case scenario: You’ll get a bump in salary and walk away with a win-win for you and your new boss. This post will help you make sure the worst case scenario does not happen!

Let’s get right to it. Here are three salary negotiation mistakes to avoid:

1. Asking for More than Industry Standard

Eric Powers, CEO of Mobile Services Pros says the “point of no return” is when you “ask for more than your position pays as an industry standard.”

That’s why, salary research is essential. Look at what folks in your position make at other companies.

If your asking price is far beyond that, you may come off greedy.

Another key thing you should take into consideration and research is how much your boss makes. “If you are asking for more than even the manager makes,” you may seem unreasonable. Unless you want to make your boss’s eyes pop, research your boss’ salary too.

It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about the financial health of the company, if you can.  Make surethe salary you are requesting will not financially harm the company,” and you can “account for it in a return on investment for the value you produce,” says Laney Lyons, owner of The Ultimate Smart Solution, LCC. If you can make a strong case about the value you will add to the company, you won't seem greedy. 

2. Negotiate Successfully, then Come Back to Ask for More

Katie Donovan is a salary negotiations consultant, and founder of Equal Pay Negotiations LLC, tells us the one style of negotiating that she knows of in which candidates actually lose job offers.

“If you did negotiate and you did get more pay or benefits and then decided you should have asked for even more - don't,” Donovan says. “You negotiated. You were successful but you were unprepared to know what to get.” Wait at least six months before you go to bat again. This truly is the one time companies will ding you for negotiating.”

One good rule of thumb: Try not to keep asking for more repeatedly, according to Tom Armour, an HR executive who has worked for several top Fortune 100 companies.

“Coming back three times irritates many managers. They may agree to the raise but could also conclude the employee is dissatisfied, will probably leave and consider their alternative structures,” Armour says.

3. Not Sticking With Your Initial Word

“People should not negotiate unless they are prepared to walk away from the negotiation,” Amour says. If you ask for way more than they offered, get turned down and then decide that you’ll take what you can get, you’ll come off as flighty and unsatisfied.

Consider keeping your negotiation flexible. Offer options. For instance, if you can’t offer a bump in the base pay, perhaps you can consider raising the bonus limit? Or could you allow me to work from home on Fridays to compensate for a salary below market value? Whatever floats your boat!

In case you missed these golden negotiation tips...

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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