Salary Negotiation Strategies: When to Walk Away

Salary Negotiation Strategies: When to Walk Away

Salary negotiations can be scary. Having the courage to politely decline an offer because of the salary can take a while. Especially after an entire job application process and realizing it's not the right fit because of the offer. Although such a process takes time and effort, quickly accepting the first offer is not it.

Know your values and assess your other options before discussing salaries. Setting these beforehand can ensure that you don't forget anything during negotiations. Prepare yourself to avoid getting tongue-tied and feeling awkward during such talks.

When Should You Walk Away from a Salary Negotiation?

It's normal to feel upset when salary negotiations don't get your way. When it reaches a dead end, it's best to end the discussion politely.

Here are your cues to know when to walk away from a job offer:

  1. When the offer reaches your "walk-away" rate

    Your "walk-away" rate refers to the low salary rate that you must turn down. Should an employer offer this rate, you'll know what to do—walk away.

  2. When the offer is against your values

    Your values refer to what you want and deserve. It also refers to the steps to reach the goals you set up for yourself.

  3. When the offer doesn't fit your workplace standards

    Know what matters to you. Is it working conditions, time flexibility, vacation, sick leave benefits, or others? Keep in mind that it's not always about money. Most of the time, the quality of the offer matters more. If the offer falls short, you have another reason to walk away.

  4. When the employer refuses to provide a written offer

    Aside from verbal salary negotiations, it's vital to have it written down. Offer letters are crucial in learning your rights and obligations as an employee. It provides additional evidence about what you and your employer agreed upon. Consider it a red flag if the employer refuses to give an offer letter.

3 Reasons Why You Should Know When to Walk Away

You have the power in salary talks if you know when to walk away. Here are the reasons why you should know when to do just that.

  1. You keep the leverage

    As much as you need the role, the employers need you too. Once you accept whatever they offer, you lose this leverage, with employers having the upper hand. If you can't negotiate the offer more, learn to walk away and find other opportunities.

  2. You set the standard

    If there are things in the job description you won't tolerate, politely turn the offer down. If you don't do this, you're not setting a standard for yourself, which will be a bad precedent for future job offer negotiations.

  3. You take your time

    Employers are quick to assess whether you're fit for the job. During interviews, it's likely that they also already pooled their preferred candidates. And if employers want you, they'll let you know. So, there's no need to rush into accepting an offer. After all, you're the one they're looking for to fill in the job.

Negotiate to Achieve Better Offers

Salary negotiation strategies exist to help you find the right job and compensation. There's nothing wrong with saying "No" and walking away from job offers. Although salary isn't everything, it can be a deciding factor for some. If you're conflicted about deciding, try looking for reasons to pursue the job or not.

After getting ready for possible salary talks, it's time to find jobs again. Find the right job near you at and make the best out of your career.

Written by Career Specialist Apr 20, 2023
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