How Thinking Like a Poker Player Can Help Improve Your Salary Negotiating Skills

HomeJobsHow Thinking Like a Poker Player Can Help Improve Your Salary Negotiating...

Want to Score Cash For Free?

  • Survey Junkie: Earn up to $50 per survey with one of the highest-paying survey sites on the web. Join Survey Junkie Now
  • SoFi Money: Earning money for unlocking better features sounds like a dream. But this free banking app really pays you $100 with you switch your direct deposit to SoFi Money. Get SoFi Money.
  • Aspiration: This mobile banking app lets you do everything for free and takes no fees — ever. Better yet, if you join through this link you can get $100 in your new account.

Some millennials have yet to master the art of salary negotiations. And to those people, we have one simple suggestion: take up poker.

A recent survey by Deloitte found that 48 percent of millennials planned to leave their jobs within the next two years while only 28 percent expect to stay in their current role beyond five years.

Of course, this should come as no surprise as it has been well-documented that millennials enjoy challenging themselves by taking on new roles or changing their career paths.

But while they may have become aficionados of the job interview, some millennials have yet to master the art of salary negotiations. And to those people, we have one simple suggestion: take up poker.

Poker and Life Skills

Poker is many things: a fun way to spend an evening with friends, a potential side hustle (Zynga Poker iOS or Android is legit) that could earn you some cash and a way to improve your math and decision-making skills.

But what many people don’t realize is that poker also helps improve self-confidence and even mental performance. As you are probably aware, confidence is often closely related to a person’s ability to master a skill. And when it comes to poker, the game is all about practice, practice, practice.

Want Free Money?

  • Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $150 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

It’s critical that you follow a clear path in your studies if you’re a beginner. Often this involves choosing a basic poker strategy and following it without deviation. While this may seem a tad inhibitive, it will get you in the right mindset, which is essential for building your self-confidence.

Once you’re on the right track, you’ll notice that within a short time, your ability to make snap decisions will improve a great deal. You’ll start thinking ahead and planning strategically, which are skills that while aren’t quite so useful at the negotiating table but will help you a great deal at the office.

Negotiate Like a Pro

When you think of poker, the first thing that springs to mind is bluffing, but this is something that you should avoid at all costs in an interview or job offer scenario. It’s one thing to misdirect your opponent at the poker table and quite another to lie to an employer about your previous salary or responsibilities.

Leave bluffing to the times when you’re playing for a few dollars in the pot and not when discussing your future career. Now, that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the ways that your newfound poker skills can help you negotiate a better deal in salary.

Understand the Value of Your Hand

In poker, it’s essential that you understand the value of your hand and how you can use it to win the game. Likewise, at the negotiating table, you should understand how much value you can bring to the company and play to those strengths.

Even if you don’t bring much to the table as far as skills and qualifications go, you should be able to use what you’ve got to impress the employer. In other words: learn how to play a poor hand well.

Keeping Your Emotions in Check

negotiation skills

Poker teaches you to make decisions based on rational and logical thought rather than emotions. As any seasoned poker pro will tell you, the ability to keep your emotions in check is what separates the average from the great players. At the negotiating table, this means not letting anything the employer says play on your emotions.

They may try to ruffle your feathers a bit and unsettle you, giving themselves the upper hand, or they might stroke your ego in such a way that you’ll accept a lower offer. Remember that all negotiations are like a game of poker: there’s nothing personal about it. Your poker skills will allow you to keep a level head and make the right decision based on the facts at hand and not on some emotional trigger.

Learn When to Fold

One of the most interesting aspects of poker that can affect a player’s success is the ability to know when to fold. It seems like a paradox but knowing when not to play is as critical as knowing when you should. And this skill is applicable to the negotiating table.

Salary negotiations won’t always go your way, so know when to concede on certain items. Do you need those extra three weeks of vacation when the employer has already offered two?

You should also know when it’s time to walk away from the table. It’s unlikely to feel better on the first day of work if a deal doesn’t feel right to you now. Use those poker skills to know when to fold and cut your losses.

Play with Your Bankroll in Mind

Poker players learn fast that playing to a budget helps minimize losses. They set themselves a limit and stick to it no matter what. And this skill translates well into salary negotiations.

Choose a salary range and never drop below the minimum no matter how many perks the employer offers. While this may seem like common sense, many job candidates looking for work lower their salary expectations based on the promise of future earnings or potential promotion. And if the employer doesn’t follow through on their promise, a feeling of resentment grows, and they stop enjoying their work.

Your poker skills will teach you to always keep an eye on your spending, which in this case, means sticking to your salary goals at all costs. And as you can imagine, this is one of the most useful skills you can master. Stick to your guns if you want $50K or a high paying job, and the chances are you’ll get it.

As we mentioned earlier, poker can be many things, and as a cash-making side hustle, it seems like a most intriguing prospect. However, if you’re hoping to make money at it, we should warn you that it takes a hell of a lot of hard practice and dedication.

But when it comes to improving your self-confidence and those negotiating skills, even the newest of players can benefit in no time at all.

Want to get started playing poker for free? Join one of the world’s most popular online poker games with more tables, more tournaments, more jackpots, and more players to challenge than ever before! Whether you prefer casual Texas Holdem Poker or competitive tournaments, Zynga Poker (iOS or Android) is your home for authentic gameplay.


Want Free Money?

Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $100 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Learn more

The Best Apps to Save You Real Money

We are on our phone a lot, right? Wouldn't it make sense to save money with the best money saving apps?

AppAt a glancedownload
Get a $100 bonus at Aspiration when you open and fund an account with $10 or more. Then use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within 60 days of account opening.
Open a new account in the next 24 hours and you could get up to $200 in free stock.
Truebill reviewTruebill
This free app delivers on its promise to save you money effortlessly. You can use it to lower your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and bill negotiations.

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

On a similar note...

Explore More On

7 Best Bank Bonuses and Promotions of April 2021

aspiration★★★★★This Company Will Give You $100 for Opening a Free Account
Boost your savings and earn up to 1.00% APY interest on your savings. Get up to 10% cash back on your purchases. Get $100 bonus when you spend your first $1,000 with your new Aspiration Plus Card.
personal capital★★★★★
The First and Only Interest Earning Crypto Account
Receive up to $250 Bitcoin bonus when you make qualifying deposits over the first 30 days. Receive up to 8.6% annually on your crypto. Join the most trusted financial services for crypto investors on the market.
personal capital★★★★★Get Up $200 in Free Stock for Joining
Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades. Get a free stock worth up to $200 when joining (must complete application). Simple, easy to use investor platform with no account minimums.
sofi★★★★★All-In-One Investing That's Easy to Use
Tired of Robinhood? Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, or automated investing in all one app. No commissions for stocks and ETFs. Complimentary access to SoFi Financial Planners.
personal capital★★★★★The Smart and Free Way to Manage Your Money
Take control of your finances with the perfect union of technology and highly personalized service. Get access to free online financial tools, including retirement planner, investment checkup, net worth calculator and more. Digital-first wealth management advisor with 24,000 clients in 50 states.
blooom★★★★★401K and IRA Management
Start your free 401k and IRA management now. Find and reduce hidden fees. Improve your diversification.
cit★★★★★Enjoy the Benefits of a CIT Bank Money Market Account
A CIT Bank Money Market Account helps you get more from your savings with interest rates for maximum growth. Earn over 7x the national average with high-interest rates. It now pays to open a money market account with CIT Bank.
My Millennial Guide