Unfortunately, it’s a fact that there continues to be a disparity between what women and men earn. Women only earn 78 percent of each dollar earned by men annually, and oftentimes it is because men are more comfortable with negotiating. Doing so is tough for both sexes, but women typically have a tougher time asking for a raise or negotiating a better job offer. Rationales for not asking for what you want can range from “If I do a good job my boss will reward me” to “It’s just not a good time for the company to ask for a raise.”
Learning to negotiate requires confidence, empowerment and letting go of limiting assumptions. Practice, practice, practice! Do it in a mirror or try it out on a friend or family member. And be prepared for the conversation that may follow. The biggest stumbling block to negotiating is often a fear of conflict. Hearing the word “no” is enough to make some people not want to even ask the question in the first place. If the answer is “no,” so what? If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. And, most likely, it won’t be a “no” if you ask some strategic questions along with your negotiating:
- What are the company’s bottom line concerns right now?
- What can I do to help grow the company?
- In what areas is the company doing well?
- When is a good time to discuss this again?
- Are there measurable results that would make it possible for us to agree on a raise?
- If I could (improve sales/raise funds/bring in a new client) in six months, how would that impact my salary potential?
The answers you get to your questions will help you connect to something specific and provable that can be showcased as a benefit to your boss. You will walk away with the tools to formulate a plan to ask again and turn that “no” into a “yes.”