Get The Salary You’re Worth

April 3rd, 2012

In “Equal Pay for Equal Confidence” I argue that women earn less than men because they settle for less. I myself still battle this culturally-ingrained female trait.

My advice used to be: Ask for what you’re WORTH. Now I recommend asking for MORE than you’re “worth.” Let me explain…

I call my husband my “Jerry McGuire;” he’s my “coach” on salary negotiations. He’s made a steady climb in earnings by fighting for what he knows he’s worth. And he’ll be the first to say, “You know how to do more than I do, honey!”

When a company interested in hiring me asked about compensation, I planned to propose a 20% increase from my last salary. My husband told me to make it 40%. “Are you nuts? How can I justify that?” Him: “Didn’t you just interview at another company offering that?” I answered, “Well… yes. But my last job wasn’t at that salary.” Hubby: “You were paid less than the industry standard. And with your additional freelance work, you do earn that actual amount.”

Gathering my strength, I asked for X + 40%. I argued that I had been paid less than I deserved at the last job (and the one before, actually) and described all my job responsibilities and skills, as well as the increased sales my good work had rendered. I said I’d dedicate all my time to this job, losing my extra earnings from freelance work. I said this salary was comparable to offers from other companies.

Wondering if I took that job? I didn’t. But what’s important is that the company accepted my terms. We were negotiating in a MUCH higher window.

Remember: All a potential employer can do is say no to the money — they’re not going to withdraw the job offer. They’ll simply say, “We can’t meet that salary.” And that’s when you negotiate, girls!

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