Let’s get in the time machine and go back to your last job interview where the hiring manager asked you the question you knew was coming but were still dreading: "what’s your salary expectation?"
Or maybe it was “what were you making in your last job?”
Or “we’re looking to hire someone at this range, does that work for you?”
If you’re not ready to answer these questions, you're losing a ton of money.
Not just today, but over the course of your career.
I didn’t negotiate my first salary because I didn’t know that I could negotiate. Only 32% of women negotiate their salary, with a whopping 68% accepting the salary they were offered. This is especially interesting when you compare it to the 48% of men who do negotiate. So don’t feel bad if you accepted what you were offered.
You’re so not alone!
There are many reasons why you may or may not negotiate your salary.
But if you choose to accept what you’re offered, make it your conscious choice and not because you’re afraid to ask or didn’t know that you could ask (like me!).
Most employers expect you to negotiate and are pleasantly surprised when you don’t.
Like many women I work with, Kelly told me that when she interviewed for a job in the financial sector, the hiring manager advised her to not negotiate. She trusted him and accepted the salary she was offered, only to find out later that they had budgeted additional money for her salary assuming that she would negotiate.
This is very common! You are the only person truly looking out for you.
Imagine you’re offered $50k for a job.
You know that the range for that job is $50-75k.
What if instead of just accepting the $50k that you were offered, you said that you’d expect to get $65k based on your experience? And you got $60k. That’s $10k/year, or $833/month.
What would your life look like with an extra $833/month?
You didn’t have to work any harder for that money. All you had to do was screw up your courage and ask for what you know you deserve…based on your research and confidence in your skills.
Although I didn’t negotiate my salary when I started my first real job, I soon learned that I could and in fact had to do it.
No one is looking out for you except you.
As much as your manager loves you and thinks your work is top notch, he/she is responsible for keeping costs down. If you’re waiting for your manager to say, “You are amazing! Let me give you a gigantic raise!” it’s very unlikely to happen.
You have to ask. Here are some ideas about how to do it.
WHAT YOU THINK (before the negotiation):
You have to believe that you deserve it. But how do you get that belief?
WHAT YOU SAY and HOW YOU SAY IT (during the negotiation):
This sets a higher number up as a starting point, which influences what the other person is considering offering you. When you give that higher number as a starting place, they may recalculate what to offer you in order to come closer to your number. Same for when you get any of those dreaded questions about your past salary, like "what were you making in your last job?” You can say, “Based on my research, I was underpaid by up to 20% which is one of the reasons I am leaving that company.”
WHAT YOU DO (after the negotiation):