Why You Should Avoid The Word ‘Fair’ In Salary Negotiations

Why You Should Avoid The Word ‘Fair’ In Salary Negotiations

Asking for a raise can be tricky. You have to approach the conversation in the right way, and as Lee E. Miller, co-author of A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating points out, that means you probably want to leave out the word “fair”. Photo by reynermedia.

Miller told Business Insider:

The concept of fairness is not an effective way to approach negotiation of salary because it’s going to put the employer on the defensive…When you say, ‘My salary is not fair,’ that engenders a negative response.

The advice is aimed at women, but really, this is a solid point for all of us. When approaching your employer for a raise, you want to be direct, but you also want to stick to your professional value — your accomplishments and responsibilities.

Also, everyone has a different idea what “fair” is to begin with. However, if your salary is a lot lower than the industry standard, Miller recommends the phrase: “I think this is below the market, can you reconsider?”

For more negotiating tips, head to the full post below.

There’s one word to avoid at all costs when you ask for more money at work [Business Insider]


  • “Hello, I believe I’m qualified and skilled enough to do your job. How much pay rise are you willing to offer to temporarily stave off the inevitable?”

      • Jokes don’t work nearly as well when you have to explain them. Hint: nobody wants a challenger for their current job.

          • You didn’t get it doesn’t mean it isn’t a joke. Just means it went over your head =)

          • No. I got it. It just wasn’t funny.

            I was giving you the benefit of the doubt but then you confirmed you actually were making a joke. Now I just pity your attempt at humour.

            I’m 100% positive your boss’s job is safe… For a looooong time.

          • It’s a passing joke on the internet, not an application for the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. You didn’t find it funny, good for you. Have a gold star. Your sense of humour is different to mine. Doesn’t make either of them better or worse. Just ignore it and move on.

            Trying to insult me over it though? Coming back for multiple replies because you saw a joke you didn’t think was funny? If there’s anything to pity here, the way you reacted here is definitely it.

          • Insult you? You’re the one who started lobbing insults. But anyway…

            I’m sorry you’re upset when people don’t like your jokes. Maybe if you don’t want to talk about your poor humour skills, you shouldn’t resort insulting people’s intelligence when they’re not receptive to your “humour”.

            As you said, this is the Internet. If someone doesn’t like your joke, just ignore it and move on.

          • @jaded I didn’t insult you at all, I just said it looked like you didn’t get the joke. Considering your first reply, that’s not an unreasonable conclusion.

            I’m not upset you didn’t like the joke. I don’t even know who you are, why would I care what you like or don’t like? I care that you decided to take a light-hearted post and turn it into this ugliness for no good reason. I think that’s really sad. Maybe you’re going through a rough period in your life and if that’s the case, I genuinely hope things brighten up for you soon. Best of luck to you.

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