Many women find negotiating salary for themselves difficult. Women are often raised to believe that asking for things is selfish and unseemly. This puts them in a particularly difficult position when it comes to negotiating their own salary. Get over it !

Maxine, an upcoming HR professional liked a company and was very interested in the position they were offering her, and the company wanted to hire her too. She had decided she needed $50,000 to make it worth her while to move to Atlanta. When the company offered her $40,000, she declined the offer. She did what many women may do: She looked at the offer as a choice, not as an opportunity to negotiate the salary

Today, Hartley, an executive coach would advise a client facing a similar situation to ask for a higher salary. If that did not work, she’d suggest the client try to bridge the gap by asking for a signing bonus or a six-month review.

Based on research, we identified 10 common mistakes women make during salary negotiations. Of these, the three biggest mistakes are:

  1. Not seeing situations as opportunities to negotiate the salary
  2. Not negotiating salary for themselves like they would for someone else.
  3. Not being willing to say no during salary negotiation

Almost Everything Is Negotiable

Like Hartley, many women fail to recognize that an opportunity to negotiate exists whenever they receive a job offer. One of the strengths women bring to negotiating is their ability to develop relationships. It’s always harder to say no to someone with whom you have a relationship. By the same token, sometimes women do not ask for something they want — and could get — out of fear of damaging the relationship. This fear often holds women back when they are negotiating. It almost never hurts to ask.

How you ask makes all the difference. Ask, don’t demand. Always ask for more than you expect to get. You may not get everything you ask for, but you will be surprised at what you do get out of salary negotiation.

Negotiate Salary for Yourself as Forcefully as You Would for Someone Else

If you do your homework, you will know what is fair and reasonable salary to ask for. Don’t settle for less salary. Think about what you would do if you were negotiating salary for someone else and do it. If you don’t make sure that you get everything you deserve when you negotiate salary for yourself, no one else will. Plus, every future raise you get and every bonus going forward will be based on what you negotiate your salary now. If you accept too little salary, this mistake will be compounded for the remainder of your career.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No during Salary Negotiation

Because women generally are more concerned about relationships, they tend to be more hesitant to say no. They want to keep everyone happy. But being able to say no is critical when negotiating salary. Sometimes it is necessary to say no before you can get what you want. You do not have to say it loudly or aggressively. However, if an offer is less than you think it should be, you need to point that out politely but firmly and ask if the employer can improve the salary offer. If not, you need to be willing to walk away from salary negotiation.

Knowing about these pitfalls gives you the power to avoid the salary negotiation mistakes.

Adapted from the article written by Lee Miller which appears on monster.com, Lee is a Contributing Writer at monster.com

Jappreet Sethi