Why so many dislike salary negotiations

Pressure to succeed due to long-term consequences

For most applicants, the excited anticipation of an interview outweighs their concerns that they might not be able to present themselves well enough in it. Salary negotiations, however, are an unpleasant topic for almost everyone.

The reasons for this are, on the one hand, the high pressure to succeed which applicants are often subjected to. If you leave the negotiations with the feeling of having failed, it may haunt you for years to come. In a situation like this, you may have either set your stakes too high and did not get the position because of it. Or, in the opposite case, you enter into the new employment relationship with the firm belief that you are underpaid and have failed to sell yourself appropriately. Any time you think about your salary later, the bad memory of how it came about returns. Thus, the self-generated pressure to succeed is even greater the next time.

This becomes particularly critical when one has already inwardly decided to accept the position – be it out of interest or out of “necessity”. The price for such a preliminary decision is the concession: whatever the cost. Of course, this seldom turns out to be financially positive for the applicant. If you have experienced something like this once or maybe even repeatedly, you know how depressing it can be.

Perceived weaker negotiating position

In addition to the pressure to succeed, I have repeatedly noticed that many candidates see themselves in a weaker position when it comes to salary negotiations. But why is that?

In my experience, this results from the candidates’ helplessness, often experienced in previous salary negotiations already. This helplessness is caused by the fact that they actually “do not know what to say”. In other words, they cannot come up with enough good arguments to justify their own monetary expectations, nor do they have enough arguments on hand to effectively counter those of the other side for a significantly lower salary. Their undefended impact can quickly become so strong that nothing better comes to mind than to end the unpleasant situation by accepting a rather disappointing salary offer.


The reason for the lack of confidence of many candidates when it comes to salary negotiations is the combination of the pressure to succeed and their helplessness. This hardly allows them to be as successful as they would like and consider possible in principle. Do you feel the same way? You can change this with a little effort and on the following pages you will learn how. 🙂