7 Ways To Avoid a Pay Cut During a Salary Negotiation

avoid a pay cut during a salary negotiation

If you’ve ever found yourself in the throes of a salary negotiation, you’ve probably heard this dreaded question…

“Will you take a pay cut?”

Depending on the scenario, there are a few tactics you can try:

1. Avoid tying your (potential) acceptance of a pay cut to your expenses (you can’t predict what your expenses will be like in the future, and it would be foolish to make a decision from that perspective).

Instead, tie it to the market rate for the job, and explain that you’re looking to be paid fairly as to what the role is paying. Take the time do your research, and root your demands in what you find.

2. Shift the conversation to the expertise your potential employer will be receiving for your requested salary (again, base your salary on research you’ve done for similar positions).

Try to avoid “it will be less stressful for me” conversations since it can subliminally convey to an employer you won’t take their job as seriously as they want you to (after all, they may be really stressed out and will resent your lack of stress).

3. Like it or not, NOT disclosing what you used to make isn’t 100% effective. HR people tend to know what your prior position(s) paid, and can deduce whether or not you’re taking a pay cut.

Instead, focus on explaining that the job appeals to you, as well as let your skills, accomplishments, and appropriate salary demands be rooted in how you will benefit your prospective employer. It’s not about you… it’s about THEM.

4. Do not assume your boss knows what you have accomplished.  Keep a log of all of your successes and wins, no matter how big or small. This will allow you to make a significant case demonstrating your value to the company, justifying the firm’s investment in you in the form of a pay raise.

5. Look at other options besides money. If money is tight, regardless of your performance, consider other forms of compensation to be flexible with your employer, while still allowing them to reward your contributions.

6. Invest in yourself and your professional development. When was the last time you furthered your professional education? Attended an industry event? Companies want to invest in people who invest in themselves—again, demonstrating an ROI on monies the firm gives you in the form of a salary increase.

7. Be realistic and be grateful. No one wants to give a raise to someone who is asking for a 65% raise or feels entitled to getting a raise. Those types of employees will never be happy, so companies do not invest their precious dollars with these people—don’t be one of these people. Stick to a 5-10% range and have your documentation ready. Whether you get what you want or now, be gracious, thank them for their time and consideration and be grateful for what you have. Set your plans to make the following year the best ever.

An important thing to remember, no matter the scenario you’re faced with, is to always, always, always focus the conversation on what will benefit your employer/would-be employer, rather than speaking to what benefits you.

How to answer the dreaded “will you take a pay cut?” question is only ONE of the powerful salary negotiation tactics I teach inside my FAT STACKS eBook, where I show you how to negotiate a top dollar salary and compensation package.

For a minimal investment of $27, you can maximize your increase by hundreds or even thousands… this mighty little eBook is your best friend at the negotiation table.

You can pick up your copy HERE -> FAT STACK eBook

Be well!


Lisa Rangel – Executive Resume Writing Services

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