By Brian Liou | The Muse
When I was just starting my company Rora—a career and negotiation agency for high performers—a friend received a job offer she was excited about. When I asked her if she planned to negotiate, she said, “Do you think I should? I don’t want to hurt my reputation before I start!” Thankfully, I talked her into it.
In reality, the idea that negotiating will make a company think less of you is a huge myth—just one of many when it comes to offer negotiations. And a company that does think less of you doesn’t really value you, which means you should go somewhere that does if your financial situation permits it.
Whether you’re considering a new job offer or discussing a raise with your current employer, you should be negotiating. Negotiation can add more value to your life than you’d think—from impacting your lifetime earning potential by setting a higher baseline for future compensation to making sure you feel truly valued for the work you’re doing now.
Yes, the prospect can be scary, but it’s crucial to push past your doubts when you can afford to. I’ve helped more than 200 people with their offer negotiations and found there are common hangups that seem to get in everybody’s way. Here are five myths that may be preventing you from succeeding—and how to move past them
Myth # 1: Your Market Value Is a Fixed Number
You’ve probably heard that you should know your “market value”—and you’ve probably found yourself frantically Googling industry norms and pay ranges. But trying to base your negotiations around market value can be confusing and limiting.
Reality: Market Value Is a Moving Target
True market value isn’t a hard-and-fast number you can find on the internet. Think of it more like the price of a stock—sure, there are historical variables that help determine the value of a business, but at the end of the day, it’s largely based on dynamic and forward-looking factors like how investors value the company and what story the company is presenting to them. Your own market value is similarly dynamic: Yes, you have some history of performance, but it’s really defined by how much other employers are willing to pay and what story you can tell about the value you’ll provide to companies.