salary discussion

6 Phrases You Should Never Use When Negotiating Salary Offers

Negotiating salary offers can be an intimidating process, especially if it is not something that you are comfortable with. It is crucial to know how to effectively express what you want without making any missteps. This blog post will offer helpful advice on the key phrases that should never be uttered in the middle of a salary negotiation. Uttering these words may impede your progress or impede your ability to receive adequate compensation for your work. Avoid these at all costs in order to have a successful and positive negotiation experience.

By understanding the meaning behind these six phrases and refraining from using them, you can make sure that you particularly get the most out of your negotiation.  

Negotiating salary offers is a critical part of securing the job you want. Using the proper phrases when discussing your salary will give you an edge in negotiations and increase your chances of getting particularly the salary you need. Phrases such as asking for market rate or advocating for yourself are essential, as they help to demonstrate that you know exactly what you need and have done your research.

Additionally, providing a paystub can be useful when negotiating since it can provide information on current wages, and it can also paint a clear picture of why you need a higher salary. Knowing the right words to use during negotiations will help ensure that both parties come away happy with the outcome.                            

1. “I Need This Job.”

The classic phrase “I need this job” can quickly sink one's chances of getting the salary one deserves. By exaggerating a sense of urgency or desperation, employers may be discouraged from offering you what you're worth, and instead of giving you an attractive offer, view it as an opportunity to save money. If you want to avoid sending this false signal in the job-hunting process, the main focus should be on demonstrating why you are a great fit for the position and how your skills and experience make you ideal for it. Emphasizing your motivation to acquire a role because it aligns with your strengths can have more positive connotations than making plain statements that imply limited options.

2. “What's The Salary Range?”

Negotiating salary offers can be a delicate dance, so it pays to be strategic about when and how you bring up the subject of salary. Asking your potential employer about their salary range too early in the process can leave a bad impression, making it seem as if money is your primary focus rather than the job itself. Instead, try to wait until after both parties have had a chance to discuss job responsibilities and expectations in order to show that you care about more than just the paycheck.

Holding off on conversations about salary until a bit later in the negotiation will not only prove your interest in the position but might even give you an edge in getting that higher salary rate you want. Being patient and thoughtful pays off.

3. “I Was Paid Bigger Amount At My Last Job.”

It's no secret that leaving money on the table is never a wise move when it comes to jumping into a new job role. Bringing up what you earned at your last job might seem like a good way to guarantee an increase in pay, but by doing so, you could actually be shooting yourself in the foot. Employers may use this information as the benchmark for their offer rather than considering your qualifications and the current market value of that role – leading to potentially far less remuneration than you would get if they had judged your suitability independently. It pays to think twice before mentioning your old salary; after all, you're worth much more than that. 

4. “That's More Than I Expected.”

When receiving a job offer that exceeds your expectations, it is important not to accept it immediately. Accepting without considering industry standards and pay grades could reveal that you undervalued yourself or did not do proper research. Instead, thank the employer and take the time to make the best decision for both parties. Doing a deep dive into average salary ranges for your sector can help ensure that you negotiate value for yourself as well as maintain strong business relationships with potential employers.

Negotiating salary offers can be a tricky process, but understanding the importance of non-cash benefits and imputed income can help. In order to maximize what you are offered for your role, it is important to research salaries and know your value before entering the negotiation stage so you can trust your abilities and use phrases like “That's more than I expected” to bolster your offer.  

negotiating salary offers

5. “I'll Take Whatever You Offer.”

Expressing that you will take whatever offer is given can create the impression of undermining your own skills and worth. Negotiations are an important part of any job offer, and making it clear that you are willing to negotiate can be a powerful tool in proving the value you bring to the table. Your skills can often be your voice in a job negotiation, so don't be shy about demonstrating what you bring to the table and actively working towards getting what you believe your skill set deserves.

Don't underestimate yourself—it is possible to find a middle ground between confidently touting your skillset and avoiding coming across as overly demanding or entitled. Being open to negotiation does not signify that you lack confidence in yourself; instead, it can show potential employers your commitment to finding a mutually beneficial agreement.

6. “I Have Other Offers from Competitors”

When negotiating salary offers, it is important to consider carefully when and how much you should reveal about any other job offers you may have. On the one hand, it can particularly help to express to the employer that other organizations also view your qualifications favorably. However, underscoring that you are also considering other positions or bringing up the potential of an alternate offer can make the employer feel as if they are being strong-armed into making a decision more quickly than they would like.

Therefore, while discussing competing offers may seem like an effective way to create leverage when negotiating, this strategy must be used judiciously.


Negotiating salary offers can be tricky and intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. If you particularly want to maximize your chances of getting the salary you deserve, it is important to stay away from certain phrases during negotiations. This could be anything from making a remark that suggests an employer “air” owes you money to come across as desperate or too needy.

Instead, focus on emphasizing why your skills and experience make you an invaluable asset to their organization whilst referencing market standards. Proper research will arm you with the confidence necessary to conduct yourself professionally and get what you are worth. Be prepared for rejection as well, but know that a respectful ‘no' is always better than settling for something less than what you want.         

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