Salary negotiation. No words put more of a pit in my stomach.
How do I handle confrontation? What if they say no? Do I just walk away? Shouldn’t they see my worth? So many questions kick in alongside the anxiety. But why do women so often feel not good enough to ask for the money they deserve?
Women often have to deal with the “likability conundrum” where we are forced to be “nice” if we want to get ahead. When women negotiate, there is the fear that we will be seen as aggressive, demanding, or being “bitchy.” This fear can mean many women don’t ask at all. But why? Women deserve equality and if you have the research, skill set, and information to back it up, go for it.
Here are a few of our tips to get you started and give you the confidence you need to negotiate like a boss:
Know Your Value
Spiritually, but also analytically. Take into account your education level, years of experience, type of experience (what big projects have you been a part of or lead), skills, certifications or licenses, leadership experience and so on. Also don’t forget your geographic location.
Location, Location, Location
Speaking of location, research the market average in your city. What is the national average, the city average, nearby cities, and what related companies in the field are paying their employees? Having all your information in hand will allow you to back up your ask.
Find Your Confidence
Now that you have your information, start preparing for the conversation. Have talking points to help you feel confident when you go in to negotiate. Delivery is as important as the words you say.
“What Are Your Salary Requirements?”
Your salary requirements should be the market rate according to Jacqeline Twillie. “Do you want to work for a company who’s in a certain situation of financial health where they can’t pay you what the market is paying everyone else?”
If you’ve done your research, don’t be afraid to ask for the higher range of the market value. Salary negotiation is a conversation, and giving them a range shows the employer you are serious and gives a starting point for them to begin negotiating.
Be Flexible, But Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Sometimes employers aren’t able to offer you exactly what you want but they can compensate in other ways:
- Higher 401k matching contribution
- Free parking/paying for a commuter’s pass
- More vacation time
- Ability to work from home
Those can all add it to work-life balance and sometimes are worth more than a little extra cash after taxes. But if it still isn’t enough for you or you are being way low-balled then consider walking away. Do what is best for you at the end of the day.
Companies bank on the fact that women won’t negotiate their salary. If they can pay you less and save money for their company, why wouldn’t they? The gender pay gap is real and we are one part of standing up against it.
No matter how you go about getting your money, be prepared, do your research, and remain confident. You got this!