How to Negotiate Your Salary

BlogHer Original Post

It has been shown over and over that women tend to leave hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) on the table over the course of their careers simply because they did not ask for more. Whether it is because of the gender wage gap or some other phenomenon, the bottom line is, if you don't ask you definitely won't receive.

Today I was having lunch with a new professional connection, a woman in business banking. We got to talking about wages, confident pricing, and negotiating to get paid what you are worth. It was a lively discussion complete with me owning up to the fact that when I was in the corporate world I rarely negotiated for anything. I wonder how much money I left on the table because I was:

1) Afraid to ask.

2) Didn't know how.

3) Likely doing it all wrong when I did ask for something.

4) Really wanted the job and didn't know what to do if they said no as I didn't want to push too hard and lose what I did have.

This conversation inspired me to write this roundup on how to negotiate your salary. If you're an entrepreneur you could easily apply many of these concepts to your sales conversations. The difference being you don't really have to conform to some expected salary range (though you do need to be competitively priced or at least be able to demonstrate all the extra value you bring to the table compared to your competitors).

how to negotiate salary

Credit Image: jabberwocky381 via Flickr

Let's start with determining with accuracy what you salary range is. This is a step that always mystified me despite my otherworldly mathematical prowess. Here's the most direct yet detailed explanation I've found to determine your salary range (courtesy of Fabulously Broke) - it even uses the ...gasp!...standard deviation word:

BASIC STEPS TO FIGURE OUT YOUR SALARY:

Collect the data of all the salaries for job descriptions that match what you do
Get the average of these salaries
Find the range using standard variance

It’s not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have Excel.

She lays it out step by step with easy to follow math examples. If you have Excel or a calculator or a computer (hint: if you're reading this blog post, you can do this!), you can do it.

Next up some definitive and expert advice on how to negotiate your next salary from the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Step by step with case studies this post will get you feeling more empowered about stepping up to the plate. Think you can't because of the economy or because you should just be happy for an offer? Think again!

Regardless of the state of the job market, you should always negotiate. "You don't ever want to just say thank you," says Katherine McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and co-author of "When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?" Getting a new job, or a new role, is an opportunity to increase your compensation, one that doesn't come around that often.

Negotiation is not a one way street. It is a two-way conversation. She Negotiates has some excellent tips for negotiating your true salary. They are experts at having these types of conversations and address one of the biggest fears:

But What If I Lose the Deal?

Here’s the thing about negotiation. It’s not a multiple choice or True/False test. It’s a conversation.

If you say your rate is 10 and your bargaining partner blanches, you have the opportunity to ask whether 10 is a problem and why.

Get Rich Slowly has an excellent and personal piece on how to negotiate your salary. April Dykman spoke with Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and the interview and video alone will get you moving forward. I know it struck a chord with me. Here's the biggest mistake people make when it comes to salary negotations:

Ramit: They don’t negotiate at all. We concoct all kinds of reasons why — “The economy is terrible!” and “I’m just lucky to have a job,” and “They don’t have a budget this year,” but really, we don’t know if it will work because we rarely try. In our research of 20,000+ people, we found that most of us are afraid of negotiating for two reasons: We were never taught how, so we don’t know what to say, and we worry what will happen if they say “no.”

So there...another reminder that it starts with the ask.

I hope this roundup inspires and empowers you to the confidence to negotiate the next time you have an opportunity to impact getting paid what you're worth.

What has been your experience? Have you negotiated? Do regret not doing so? Would love to hear from you...


Paula Gregorowicz is a life and business strategist who helps women tune into and turn their intuitive knowing into practical action for better results in their life and business.

Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.

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