There are numerous opinions on why women make less than men in the workplace. But, let’s face it … it won’t change unless WE (women) do! So in honor of the War on the Wage Gap, here are four simple salary negotiation tips for women.
Statistics show that one of the main reasons women make less than men is because women don’t ASK. Asking for help and money seem to be the “kryptonite” of those suffering from the “Wonder Woman” syndrome.
But guess what … If we ask for more money, the world will not come to an end. There will be one of two or three answers (Yes, No or not right now). Besides, the answer will always be NO if we don’t ask! “… You have not because you ask not” – James 4:2 (The Bible). So, for God sake … ASK!
How to prepare to ask:
Ask your human resources person or department for a copy of a most recently updated version of your job description with the salary range. Knowing the salary range for the position will help you understand if there is room for more based on the maximum salary cap and your current salary. If you are at the top of the salary range, consider looking at the next level position for a possible opportunity for promotion.
Asking for more money without having documentation and justification will more than likely get our feelings hurt. So, let’s get the Brag File ready! Having a list of accomplishments, positive changes or processes we influenced, explanation and/or proof of how we made or saved the company money will be the justification for more money.
BTW … having an entitlement or bad attitude if the boss says “No” or “Not right now” may hurt future opportunities for advancement that lead to more money.
How to prepare to prove your case for more money:
Review the duties on the job description to make sure you are doing what is expected. Having a Brag File or folder will help you compile all of your awards and accomplishments to ways that you exceeded the expectations of the job description. Also, be sure to include customer or staff emails that sing your praises.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate! Most of the time, the employer may not give us the raise we desire. They may “low ball” us or refuse the request altogether. If we don’t get what we want, try asking for other benefits like telecommuting, more vacation/sick or PTO time, professional development/training, or even a salary review within the next quarter.
If the employer is open to giving a raise, know the amount that is acceptable if they choose to give less than requested. ASK… PROVE … Now let the NEGOTIATION begin!
How to prepare to negotiate:
Based on the salary range of the most recent job description and your Brag File/Folder ready, determine how much you are going to request. The pay raise request can be in the form of an amount or percentage. Whichever you prefer, determine your asking amount and how much you will accept if they offer less.
Although the goal is to get what you are asking for, you may be successful with meeting in the middle. Also, don’t forget, benefits instead of cash can be extremely beneficial as well if the employer doesn’t approve the pay raise.
When the employer present the final decision, whether it is Yes, No or Not at this time, take some time to make a decision about if it is acceptable (at least 24 hours). If it is acceptable … Congratulations! “You go, girl!”
If it is not acceptable, decide if it is worth staying at the current pay and benefits (and don’t complain about it), or … if it is time to develop an exit strategy.
How to prepare to decide:
“Plan for the worse, Hope for the best, Expect Success!”
What if your employer does not approve your pay raise request? … Is it worth staying at your current employer? Are there possible opportunities in the near future? Do you like your job, your employer and/or the people you work with? Or … Should you get back out on the job market? Should you learn a new skill for a new occupation?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself. Write out the PROs and CONs of staying at your job or looking for a new job, then make a decision based on the information. Analysis Paralysis can prolong the professional pain and reacting emotionally can distort your decision making abilities.
You may feel disappointed but use that disappointment as a learning opportunity and fuel move forward and not stop because of fear.
Don’t forget to ask your employer this question … “What can I do to qualify for a raise in the near future?” Let them tell you what they expect or need from you so that you will know exactly how to play this Pay Raise Game.
If your employer said YES to your Pay Raise Request … CONGRATULATIONS!!!