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Salary negotiation tips for women
July 16, 2017, 12:52 pm

If you find yourself underpaid as do most women, the best way to improve your earning potential is to start negotiating your salary. Use these tips that have proven to work by other professional women next time you get a job offer and you will get what you are owned for the work you do.

Recognize that negotiating is an asset: Many hiring managers are prepared to give you more than they offer, but they won’t do it unless you ask.

Negotiating can even help you as you are getting started in a career. Flexing negotiation muscle can also demonstrate your effectiveness as an employee. One 2013 Harvard Kennedy School study found women experienced better salary negotiation outcomes when they said, “I’m hopeful you’ll see my skill at negotiating as something important I bring to the job.”

Research using industry contacts: You will get more reliable information from industry contacts, ideally a mix of men and women. You don’t have to ask what your contacts earn, just a reasonable base salary given your level of experience. Ask your college’s career services department to put you in touch with alumni, or search LinkedIn for current or potential connections.

Don’t rush to say a number:  Many experts suggest talking numbers only after the hiring manager offers you a salary. That way, you don’t ask for less than he or she was prepared to offer. But if you’re asked for your desired salary on a job application or during the interview process, hopefully your contacts have given you a good idea of the base salary you could expect. Consider adding 10% to 15% to that number and the hiring manager may probably go lower than that, but you have a chance of meeting each other’s expectations in the middle.

Tie your contributions to business strategy: Make the case for a higher salary by explaining how your contributions will increase the company’s profits and how you have helped previous employers. If your role doesn’t directly affect the bottom line, show your worth using another meaningful metric.

Consider creative ways to increase pay: Asking for more money might feel fruitless if your employer has a strict budget or salary band — but don’t give up. Consider asking for performance-based compensation. That could mean signing a contract that says you will receive a salary bump if you meet certain metrics in a specific period of time.

Ask for nonsalary benefits:  You can also ask for perks other than pay, such as flexible work hours or professional development funding. Explain how these benefits will improve your productivity or expertise and ultimately benefit the company. One way to phrase it: “I do my best work when I feel valued. Feeling valued would mean being given the flexibility and trust to work from 7 am to 3 pm, when I am most productive. How can we create a situation that looks like this?”

Steer clear of asking for more vacation time, though. Hiring managers might not be psyched that you are thinking about disconnecting from work at the offer stage.


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