There are laws that are being adjusted to make things more equitable between men and women in the workplace, and yet things still have a long way to go. There was recently a new law that was passed in Massachusetts that made it illegal to ask anyone about their past salary history. This is very helpful for the strides that are being made for women and their salaries. But this kind of planning is only one piece of the puzzle, and it means that while there is a huge amount of progress being made, there is still much more that can and should be done. A common problem is that women lack negotiation skills. There are many ways women can apply negotiation skills to their lives – from salary negotiation to credit repair and everything in between.
So, what is it that has led to such a large gap in wages for so long? Is it that women do not know how to negotiate? Women always leave this on the table, and it is important for them to learn to negotiate better. When it comes to negotiation women can be very good at it, but they need to have more skills to make things easier. Some of these tools include that women smile more than men; they also can move the conversation forward in a way that is very effective since they know how to not be adversarial at all.
Many women hold themselves back from negotiating because of the cost that they have that is associated with women discussing a topic like this. Women look at the cost that they must pay in terms of the negative impact that is out there to women because it can make them seem like difficult women. It is important to make sure that we as a culture are not placing a negative connotation on women who are learning these skills of negotiation. As a woman, you must learn what you can do in order to level the playing field. Here is what you need to know in order to do a good job of negotiating the most important thing in the world, your salary.
- Know the Cost That You Pay When You Do Not Negotiate: According to Forbes, the cost of not negotiating is way higher than you may consider. You can lose as much as half a million dollars in your lifetime by not knowing how to discuss your pay. Women end up making less money because they did not ask for more. There is no reason to get paid less than you are worth when you have the skills necessary for the job.
- Focus on What You Are Doing for the Company: Many women are much better at negotiating for others than they can for themselves. You need to think about your role as representing the role of the company and find ways that you can leverage your value to others. You need to think about how if you are unable to negotiate for yourself, how do you expect for others to be able to look up you? You will have a much better relationship with others and yourself if you are negotiating the best circumstances for everyone.
- Be Prepared for Anything: You need to make sure that you have done your homework when you walk in the door. That will make a huge amount of difference if you are taking the time to negotiate your pay. You want to look at all the sites that are out there like salary.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com which will ensure that you have an idea of the baseline of what you can expect. You also want to know all the averages that are out there per industry so that you are going to be able to know what can help you drive your value. By doing this work on the front end, you are going to know what you can do to increase your pay.
- Be Reasonable in Your Expectations: There is no reason that you should lower your expectations. But you want to look at all the data that you have as well as your past performance and your achievements to ensure that you are doing the best for yourself that you can. If you know all the information out there and you are tracking your accomplishments and goals, it will be easy for you to ask for a raise when the time comes around.
- Be Careful with Your Tone: You should look at a recording of yourself negotiating. This is probably not something that you have done in the past, but it is something that will allow you to learn about your habits as well as any shortcomings you may be experiencing. One thing that is very important to see is that there are many statements that women use that can seem more like questions rather than statements. This sense can lead women to seem unsure and that means that you are not coming across as assertive at all in this negotiation.