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  1. Blog
  2. Interviewing
  3. July 12, 2023

Can You Lose a Job Offer By Negotiating Salary?

How to get over the fear of asking

Woman negotiating her salary after an initial job offer
Photo courtesy of Anna Shvets

In 2022, InHerSight surveyed 1,400-plus people on which ways they’re most and least comfortable advocating for themselves at work. More than half (55 percent) of the respondents were most uncomfortable advocating for themselves around negotiation conversations, like asking for more money or benefits. 

There are many reasons women don’t ask for better pay. They’re afraid they’ll seem difficult to work with. They think they need to be grateful for what they get. Their workplace doesn’t encourage talking about money or pay transparency. They have a long-standing ingrained patriarchal idea that women should be agreeable.  

One of the biggest reasons women don’t ask for more money when they’re offered a job is they’re afraid the company will rescind the offer. That’s why, even though we’ve talked to a lot of salary negotiation experts to get the best tips on asking for the pay you want, women still find it difficult to ask for anything higher than what they’re offered. 

But can you really lose a job offer by trying to negotiate your salary? 

There are no guarantees, but here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of the company backing out. 

Can you actually lose a job offer by negotiating your salary? 

So yes, it’s possible someone could take back a job offer because you asked for more money. But likely? No. Extremely rare? Yes. A very unattractive move from an employer? Yes! 

It’s so rare for that to happen that The Cut noted last year they almost didn’t run a letter from a woman who lost a job offer because it might discourage women from doing the completely reasonable act of negotiating their salary. 

Most employers are indeed willing to negotiate when they offer a job. In many positions, they expect it. A survey of 324 U.S. employers by XpertHR in 2021 showed 89 percent of surveyed companies were open to negotiating salary after making a job offer. And just because 11 percent weren’t willing to negotiate salary doesn’t necessarily mean they’d rescind the offer. It could just mean they would stand firm on the amount they propose.

If you want even more proof, talk to a recruiter friend or someone you know who has experience hiring. Ask if they would bail on someone who countered a job offer with a reasonable salary request. In most cases, you’ll find that even if the company couldn’t meet the request, they still wouldn’t want to lose you as a candidate after making a job offer. 

So unless you communicate disrespectfully, or ask for an absurd amount of money and stand firm on that number, don’t worry about a company saying “nevermind” if you ask for a higher salary. And if they do, that’s not somewhere you want to work. 

“You see these stories on Twitter, like someone got the job rescinded because they asked about salary. Well, that company probably lost out on a great candidate,” career coach Latrice Huff told InHerSight last year. 

Read more: How to Answer: What Are Your Salary Expectations?

How to feel more confident in your salary negotiation

One reason that negotiating your salary isn’t a crime punishable with losing a job is that you aren’t just picking a random amount of pay. Good salary negotiation is based on preparation. 

To help you feel more confident in asking for what you want, remember to take these steps to determine your desired salary

  • Research what the position typically pays. Use sites like Glassdoor,, PayScale, and InHerSight. Make sure to consider location, as some cities pay much more than others, and companies/industries. A marketer at a small, local business might not have access to the same pay and resources as one in a more lucrative industry. 

  • Talk to your professional connections about salary. Not everyone is comfortable talking about money, but comparing what companies and positions pay is one of the best ways to know what’s realistic. Meggie Palmer, founder of PepTalkHer, a corporate programming company whose mission is to close the gender pay gap, told InHerSight last year, “If we don't talk about money, we don't have the opportunity to demystify it. A lot of the time, young girls aren’t socialized to think that it’s normal to talk about money. But the more we can normalize discussing money, cash, and salaries, the better it is, because it then becomes second nature to talk about it and ask for things like raises.”

  • Decide on your salary range and “walk away” number. Don’t be afraid to decline the job offer if you don’t get your minimum. 

Read more: How to Negotiate the Best Salary for Your Internal Promotion 

Remember to always negotiate your salary

When you’re feeling nervous about asking for the salary you want (and deserve), read this sampling of what our experts have told us—consistently—about salary negotiation: 

  • “The majority of women don’t negotiate because they’re intimidated. And they feel they don’t know how to go about that. But always attempt to negotiate. Always ask for more. Even if you don’t get it, that’s okay. But you ask for it.” —Mary Jeanne Vincent, career coach and pro salary negotiator

  • “It’s okay to want more, for women. It’s just okay! I remember what it’s like, I negotiated my first job out of college, and I didn’t even know you could do that until someone told me. So even right out of college, it’s okay to negotiate. We think we have all these reasons to take less, like ‘what about the recession?’ or ‘I’m already making this much,’ or ‘what if they say this…’ but it’s okay!” —Latrice Huff, career coach who has helped her clients get six-figure offers

  • “You never want to go into a job on day one feeling like you’re not being paid what you’re worth. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for the company. In the long run, the company will get the best out of you and you will get the best from the company if expectations are equal, valued, and communicated in the first few conversations.” —Erin Miller, VP of people and culture at Lulu Press

  • “Salary negotiation is important because it’s another way to advocate for yourself and ensure that others know you have self-awareness about your worth and value as a professional.” —Tanisha Stokes, professional coach and owner of Gold Ink Consulting, LLC

  • “Nobody is going to knock down your door to help you increase your earnings. While companies have a responsibility to offer fair pay, as individuals, we have a responsibility to ensure they do so by being informed, having money conversations, and negotiating.” —Ashley Cash, self-described “$100K Resume Writer & Career Coach”

Now that you know the job will still be yours, check out this thorough list of salary negotiation tips to be ready to ask for what you want! 

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