Salary negotiations are already stressful—especially when you consider that a lot of the terms you normally use in a salary negotiation can actually sabotage your chance at the money you deserve. Here are a few words to avoid at all costs in a salary negotiation.
1. “Currently.” Revealing your current salary early in negotiations can box you in. If your potential employer brings it up, spin the conversation: “Before we discuss what I’m currently making, I’d like to get a better feel for the value I can bring to your company and the best way to deliver what you need.”
2. “Desired.” Don’t reveal your desired salary until you get an idea of your potential employer’s offer. They may offer less money up front, for example, but huge bonuses, great 401K matching, or stellar health insurance. Those are all things to keep in mind before throwing out a number of your own. If they ask, use a response like, “I don’t have a specific number in mind, but I would absolutely like this move to be a step up in terms of both compensation and responsibility.”
3. “Yes.” Never say “yes” to your first offer! Otherwise, no actual salary negotiation will take place, and you’ll be stuck—and you’re much less likely to have any room for improvement or leverage if you’ve already accepted the job.
4. “Sorry.” Unless you spill someone’s hot coffee on their lap, what do you need to apologize for? Never apologize for knowing your value.