My last Boss Ladies post was about the right interview questions to ask in order to land the job you want. But what happens next? You get the job, they make an offer and you accept. Wrong. It’s no secret there’s a wage gap between men and women, but there’s also a large difference in who decides to negotiate their salary and benefits and those who keep quiet. I know it’s an uncomfortable conversation, but according to this book, only 7% of women are up to even suggest more than what they’re offered. Negotiating your job offer is pivotal to how the remainder of your time at a company will go. If you’re happily agreeing to what they first put on the table, chances are, you’re settling for less than what you’re worth.
Do your research
Get a good grasp of what the market is. Use websites like Glassdoor and Salary to get a better idea of what other people in your position are making. What are other companies in your industry offering? They’re going to want to know why you’re worth more than what they’re offering. I encourage you practice negotiating out loud in the mirror or with someone else. The more comfortable you become pitching it, the easier it will be for you to communicate what you want and why.
Sell Yourself as a Badass
I recently spoke to a colleague who landed a new position $10K over what they offered by doing exactly this. Being timid is for the birds. Get a list together together of all the services that you plan to provide that are outside of the job description that you applied for. I like to call it a convenience fee. If you’re hiring me to do x, y, and z, also know that I’m going to do a, b, and c to make your job a bit easier and relieve some of your responsibilities as well. I encourage you to talk about the vision you have for your position. Think outside of the box and take their requirements a step further.
Real life experience can count
This is especially true for entry level positions and I learned this first hand from actually making the mistake. When you settle for less than what you’re comfortable with in an entry level position it makes it especially hard to make up the difference over time. Try to use your real world experience as leverage. So many of our necessary skills are transferable. You gained many necessary skills while working your part-time college job or being a member of a student organization. Although I applied for an entry level position, I had experience in marketing and public relations prior to joining my current company. That’s got to account for something. Even with hefty yearly increases, 5 and 10 percent won’t bump you 10 or 15 thousand in an appropriate time frame.
There are other benefits outside of pay
Let’s say your potential employer won’t budge on salary, it doesn’t hurt to ask what other incentives they offer. Other than a paycheck, there are other things that matter to you like work life balance, commute and office policies. Is there a signing bonus? What about paid time off and sick days? Or the ability to work remotely should you need to work from home or while away from the office? Ask about things such as discounted gym memberships, included hardware such as laptops and notebooks that allow you to do your job better, and additional perks that benefit you.
In life, I don’t think we ever get what we deserve; we only get what we can negotiate. Recognize the value that you bring to your positions without being unrealistic. The worst that they can say is no.