Salary negotiation is a complex professional and emotional experience. When it comes to advocating for being paid one’s value, a large majority of women experience feelings of being uninformed, underprepared to be their own champion, and stifled by personal doubt.
To honor all the powerhouse ladies that paved the way for women to ask for their value in business, we are celebrating women’s history month by addressing a 21st-century dilemma. Women deserve more money, but they don’t believe in themselves enough to ask. Don’t shy away from opportunities, use these simple strategies to empower yourself to ask for more during your first, or next, salary negotiation.
Good luck is the result of good planning
You worked hard to apply for the job, and prepped harder to show up to the interview and impress. In the golden hour of a job offer, the “good luck charm” that will help you get those extra dollars is your own proper planning.
Before starting negotiations, be sure that you’ve thoroughly researched the market value of the position. Referencing salary reports will help you understand tech salary trends in your area, and across the country.
Once you feel knowledgeable about salary ranges, write a list of everything you want from this role. Formulating priorities before the meeting can help you hold strong to your “must-haves” and help you assign value to the position outside of monetary compensation.
You know the range, you’ve outlined what’s important to you, now identify your skills and expertise, then pair them with essentials of the role. This will help demonstrate that you’re considering how your ask will benefit you and your new employer. This will also be advantageous if you’re asked to provide additional information on why your request for a higher starting salary is valid.
Wrap it all up by practicing! Put your research into action by rehearsing in a mirror, with a mentor, or anyone that supports your future glow up. Just remember: everything seems foreign when you haven’t done it before. Practice makes perfect.
Take a good look in the mirror
After careful planning, it’s important to visualize and truly see yourself for the badass tech female that you are. Use your comprehensive outline of skills that fulfill multiple facets of the role to zero in on how great, and qualified, you are. Quantify your selling points by reflecting on your accomplishments and the ways you’ve improved over time to help show how much they need you.
Pro tip: keep track of your successes and milestones at work while in the position, so when the time comes to level up, you’ve got reliable data to back you up. When you believe in yourself, confident assertive energy shines through, inspiring others to believe in you as well. Speaking to your strengths in a collaborative, qualitative manner isn’t ‘pushy’ or ‘aggressive’ –– it allows you to be your own champion.
If the thought of discussing money makes you feel awkward, return to basics--practice! If the thought of negotiating instills fear of having an offer revoked, return to your itemized list of valued attributes. Never say never, but the majority of recruiters report that offers are very rarely rescinded when employees ask for reconsideration with supporting information.
Seeing yourself for the amazing negotiator you have the skills to be, can be made easier by approaching the negotiation process as an open conversation that your employer supports. Everybody wants this deal to happen. Developing a positive mindset about yourself and the opportunity to express your desires will make all the difference.
Silence your inner critic by acknowledging her
Self-doubt is pushed by none other than your own damn self--which is the good news. The inner critic questioning your accomplishments is commonly referred to as imposter syndrome. More good news, imposter syndrome is commonly experienced by those that are self-aware and high-achieving.
If you’ve never heard of imposter syndrome, it sounds a little something like this “Pssst…you’re not good enough. You don’t belong. You don’t deserve this job, this promotion, this seat at the table…” Many women experience negative self-talk, and while overcoming it isn't fully possible, managing and subduing it is.
Elyse Yarnell, Thinkful career coach, has five tips to help regulate those nagging feelings of personal doubt.
1) Know when you’re going there.
Recognizing when these thoughts occur helps to acknowledge the script of the inner critic, so you can tell that girl to hush and focus on your technical and interpersonal skills.
2) Reframe your thinking.
Cultivating a positive mindset is easy when you focus on the unique contributions developed from every job you’ve had, even outside of tech. What would you tell your friend? What advice would you give? Give that support to yourself.
3) Create your own narrative.
Prepare a narrative about your employment history and drive your story. Come prepared with the details and be upfront with your experiences. Every experience expands your knowledge.
4) Start practicing sooner.
Salary negotiation starts at the beginning of your job search. Be prepared to continually support your goals by outlining your value, asking for your worth, and mentioning your accomplishments.
5) Hustle and keep a growth mindset.
Work hard to chase your dreams and do your best to view setbacks as growth opportunities. Your inner critic will rear her head if things don’t pan out, but keep acknowledging her and reassuring yourself that you got this!
As advocates for career-change, Thinkful is dedicated to helping women learn more, then earn more with a career in tech. Thinkful graduates aren’t finding new jobs, they’re launching careers and playing the long game. We equip you with the skills and strategies to continue climbing higher.