Salary negotiations are never easy and too many of us have learned to accept positions and talk about salary later. Unfortunately, too many people make a number of mistakes when they try to work out what they’ll be paid for a job. Here are 4 salary negotiation mistakes you should avoid at all costs. We’ll give you both the types of mistakes people make and the reasons these things literally cost you.

Remain Ignorant

Do research before you try to negotiate or renegotiate your salary. If you’re already paid below market rate, ignorance could lead to you accepting a raise that still leaves you below market rate. If you’re changing jobs or industries, ignorance could lead to you being paid less than you deserve. Instead, compare salaries on a site like HigherSalary.com to know what you should be paid. Then use that figure as the minimum in your negotiations, once you take experience and expertise into account.

“You Made an Offer? Sold!???

A job interview is the start of a process, determining if you are a fit for the position the company needs to fill. Too many people assume that accepting the job requires accepting the company’s first salary offer. In reality, you have the ability to negotiate the salary right then and there.

You can also negotiate a number of details about the terms of employment like benefits, the start date and work conditions. While a manager may not be able to increase the offered pay rate by 10%, they might be able to offer a modest signing bonus or pay you a few percent more.

“This Person Said …???

The only legally binding agreements are those in writing. Promises of particular job benefits, vacation, or bonuses are not legally binding if it is a verbal offer. It is meaningless if it was said by a recruiter in the hope of getting you in the job interview, since the salary offer will come from Human Resources.

You can only be assured of the salary offered on the offer letter and the terms explicitly stated there. Another mistake is accepting a lower salary in writing on the promises of educational benefits, potential promotions and special arrangements. If you agree to a lower pay rate in exchange for schedule flexibility or the ability to work from home, don’t sign anything unless those benefits are written into the employment contract.

Taking It Personally

In a world where we use one’s salary and net worth to measure one’s status and performance, it is easy to take the salary negotiation personally. Instead, realize that they are balancing the price they will pay for your services against the value they think you will bring. If they can only afford to pay a certain amount for a particular job, it doesn’t matter how good you are, so don’t take the salary negotiation personally.

You won’t get paid what you’re worth if you don’t know what you should be paid or fail to fight for it. Promises mean little. And we shouldn’t tie so much of our own self-worth in what others offer us during the hiring process, since they may not be able to afford to offer more.