According to a recent study by Salary.com, 55 percent of women felt nervous about negotiating their salaries, compared to 39 percent of men. Some common reasons for this are that many women feel as if they need permission to ask for a raise and they lack confidence with their negotiating skills. There are other reasons for women not asking to get paid what they are worth, but for now my focus is to provide you with tools for effective negotiation.
To insure women get paid what they are worth, following are six tips for effectively negotiating salaries and total compensation packages.
- Raise your expectations: Take charge and know that salaries are always negotiable. Nothing is set in stone and everything is subject to change. Once it is ascertained that the company really cannot give you a higher salary, ask for other perks such as more paid time off, etc. and a follow up conversation in a few months.
- Do your research and know what you’re worth: Understand your monetary value to your company and back it up with cold hard facts and figures from your research. Your employer may not listen to what you think you should earn but they will listen to research on the value of your position from credible resources.
- Be Positive: Your attitude may be the key for getting the financial compensation you are seeking. Rather than being nervous or anxious, enter into your negotiations with a positive, confident (not arrogant) attitude. If you feel yourself begin to get emotional – remember this is about business not emotions.
- Use a Collaborative Approach: Let your company know that this raise will not only benefit you, but also the company. If they know the company will get something out of this negotiation they may be more likely to give it to you. Remember in business it’s often the question: “what’s in it for me?” that must be answered for you to get what’s in it for you.
- Role Play: Before going into your negotiating meeting, you might find role-playing to be helpful. Go through the different case scenarios that might occur and rehearse your answer to any objections that you can anticipate. In this way, you will be as best prepared for the expected (and perhaps unexpected) as is humanely possible.
- Create Higher Goals: Don’t just settle. Ask for more than what you think they are willing to pay, so you have some room for negotiation. If you begin with the financial number that you want, unless the company immediately responds favorably to your request (which is rare), you will have nowhere to negotiate other than below the number you want.
Many times, for women, just making the decision to negotiate in the first place is half the battle. So just do it!
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