Okay, cup number two in hand, I’m ready to tackle today’s topic: negotiating for more money. I don’t know about you, but I inwardly cringe at the thought of even talking about these negotiations (this, in spite of the fact that I have been one of the most successful negotiators, and consequently one of the most highly paid, people in my job.) Still. Cringe.
Why does negotiating feel somehow unseemly? It’s not. It’s essential. We don’t get much practice at it, so it can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar, but it is essential.
You’ve heard about the male/female wage gap? Much hoo-ha has been made over this inequity, and many different numbers thrown around (occasionally with MUCH emotion). If you take into account the different gender percentages in different jobs, the actual differential turns out to be somewhere around 5 cents. Not as bad as some of the numbers being thrown out (which don’t take into account the fact that women typically choose lower paying careers like teaching and nursing). Still, there’s a gap.
There doesn’t need to be. Negotiating is an essential. I’ve negotiated for more pay or benefits at every single job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a job offer rescinded because of my negotiating, and ninety-percent of the time, I’ve gotten more money. In one negotiation after I’d received the offer, over the course of our negotiations, the salary jumped $12,000.
I hated the whole process. But I did it. And I’m glad I did.
And even hating it, it’s essential that we do it. Essential.
Know what you’re worth. There are a variety of free salary calculator websites out there, try a couple of them and see what you come up with. Ask recruiters when they call what the salary ranges are for similar jobs to yours. Believe what you’re worth, and be willing to ask for it.
When negotiating, whether at the job offer or your annual review, have a written record of your performance, of what you have brought to the company or what you will bring to the company that makes you unique and valuable. Also have an idea of what they can offer. Negotiate several things at once so that you can mix and match with the negotiator what the company can do and what they can’t. Let the person you are negotiating with know the relative value of each item to you (flexible schedule vs more salary). And finally, be nice about it. A smile goes a long way to easing these negotiations. You can smile and be firm.
I read one article that suggested a candidate lie when negotiating — I couldn’t disagree more. Never lie. Your reputation is the most valuable thing you own. The company is going to fact check what you tell them, and if you are discovered in a lie, they WILL pull the job offer.
Know what you’re worth, believe what you’re worth, ask for what you’re worth.
I’m going to link to an article that I like very much. It links to several other articles, all of which I found rational and helpful.
Good luck, Mamma. Go get ’em!