What Women Often Get Wrong In Salary Negotiations

Female Negotiation

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When it comes to salary negotiations, women get the worse end of the deal. Not only are women less comfortable negotiators, but their attempts to negotiate are viewed less positively than those of men. Therefore women face a number of challenges before they even begin!

 

One of the questions Linda Babcock asked people during a study for her book Women Don’t Ask is, “When you got your offer, did you attempt to negotiate?” She found that about 7% of women attempted to negotiate, while 57% of men did. Of those people who negotiated, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.

So what do women get wrong?

Firstly, they don’t prepare for them or spend time evaluating how much they should be getting and why. They also have much lower expectations and therefore will accept less as a result. Women also tend

to worry that negotiating may damage relationships and personal reputation, so they prefer to steer clear of it altogether.

Women also often think that if they do a great job then they will be recognised and rewarded accordingly, whereas men tend to pursue their career ambitions more aggressively. This strategy often fails,
unless you have
a very observant manager, because as with many of the good things you do for people – they don’t notice until you stop doing it.

Interestingly, women outperform men
in representational negotiations – that is, negotiating for someone else. As a woman, it is unacceptable for me to be greedy on my own, but it’s completely acceptable for me to negotiate for someone else because that’s taking care of someone.

Female CEOs of moderate-size to large organizations often say they have no problem negotiating on behalf of their company, but asking the Board of Directors for a raise? That is just too hard.

It’s not always women getting it wrong

Unfortunately the cards are already stacked against women when it comes to salary. A recent study showed that when managers faced a scenario in which they would have to explain raises they were awarding to staff, they were likely to give men raises two-and-a-half times as large as the raises for female workers of equal skills and experience.

However, when the managers faced a scenario in which they would award the raises without explanation, they gave equal raises to the men and the women. The reasons for this are unclear, so we can only assume that the managers felt less comfortable celebrating the triumphs of women than men.

Don’t be disheartened though. The better women are at negotiating (and the more often we do it), the more we’ll start to break down the prejudices that lead managers to make it even harder for us.

How can women negotiate better?

Start by reframing the way you see negotiations and putting yourself first. If you were representing you in this scenario (which you are, by the way) what would you ask for/accept/reject?

Raise your expectations and decide to negotiate! You have the skill set, knowledge, and experience for the job and you deserve to receive a salary that reflects this. So don’t be “grateful” for any salary offered and be prepared to ask for your worth.

Make sure you know what you’re worth by doing research. Find similar job positions at companies near your location and research their salaries. According to statistics in Women Don’t Ask, women report salary expectations between 3 and 32 percent lower than those of men for the same jobs. So do your homework.

Negotiate like a woman, not a man. Unfortunately women who aggressively negotiate the same way men do are often perceived as she-devils. Women who negotiate in gentler, more reasoning and friendly manner have a better chance of being listened to and getting what they want. Maybe someday this won’t be the case, but until then it’s best to play the game…

Want to know more? Download our free eBook ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Negotiate The Salary You Desire’ to find out what an employer’s attitude is to salary negotiations, the key principles to negotiation of salary, a step-by-step process you can follow to be fully prepared and get the result you want, and much more. Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month to get your copy.

What Salary Should You Be Getting?

Negotiation eBookWhen you are offered a job, it’s not always wise to accept the offer immediately. Salary negotiation is often neglected, feared and under-rated but think about it; right now the employer wants you but does not have you, which puts you in a privileged position. Now is the best time to try to negotiate a good salary and pay package.

Before you do anything else, you should determine what you are worth. It is in your best interests to do some research to benchmark what you could be earning.

Also, if you have been working for one employer for a number of years, your pay may be out of line with the going market rate. So check beforehand what someone of your experience could be making in other companies.

To establish a realistic salary range, you should do the following:

  • Read job advertisements – What kind of salary are other employers offering for a similar role?
  • Look at the whole package and not only the cash element. Calculate the benefits and bonus elements too. Medical insurance, use of a mobile phone or a car, gym membership, all of these could enhance your quality of life.
  • Talk to recruitment consultants and agencies that specialize in placing people with your skills and experience.
  • Look at salary surveys on recruitment websites.
  • Ask friends and colleagues in similar lines of work for their opinions.

However, be careful that you look at the right comparison groups when researching what you think you should be paid. Salary can also be influenced by supply and demand, location and company performance.

The greatest weapon in any negotiation is information, which enables you to justify the compensation, benefits, and perks you want. At the very least, you should be conversant with industry norms in any aspect of a job offer that you intend to negotiate, but the more you know about the company the better.

You’re more likely to get this sort of information from a former employee than from a current employee. It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long and hard the company has worked to find a candidate to fill the job. The more eager the company is to fill the job, the stronger your negotiating position.

When you have a good idea of what you should be paid, don’t forget to ‘expand the pie.’ It’s not just salary you need to take into account when negotiating a job offer – there’s also pension contribution, health insurance, company car, fuel allowance, bonuses, gym memberships, time off, hours, equipment and flexible working options to mention a few…

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

What Is Your Salary Negotiation Style?

Negotiation FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many of us are underpaid simply because we don’t know how to handle the final stage of recruitment – salary negotiation. We want to try and help you with this, but first you need to know where you will probably go wrong when it comes to this last hurdle.

This short quiz we’ve adapted from Edinburgh Business School will allow you to identify whether you are a donkey, sheep, fox or owl. Write down your natural response to each question without skipping ahead to the answers.

The Questions

You subscribe to a service that your company pays for, which you rely on to do your job. However your boss threatens to stop the subscription to cut costs. Do you:

A. Offer to look at a cheaper package?

B. Warn your boss that essential business outcomes could be affected

without this subscription?

C. Suggest that you talk about why it has to be cut

D. Tell them “fine” but warn that you are paying a good rate, and may not get it back again if you want to re-subscribe later

You have been working on an important project with a colleague and the

deadline is fast approaching, but your colleague tells you that they are too busy to work on it with you anymore. Do you:

A. Suggest that you re-negotiate the amount of time your colleague puts into the project?

B. Ask your colleague what they’re working on and suggest that you could help each other?

C. Go above them and complain to senior management

D. Tell them that you are well aware of this ploy and that they won’t get away with it?

You are a package tour operator negotiating with a hotel chain on the terms for next season’s holiday bookings. The price they are asking per person per week in their hotels is $45 higher than your current offer. They offer to ‘split the difference’ 50–50. Do you:

A. Agree to their offer?

B. Say you can’t afford to split the difference?

C. Tell them it’s non-negotiable

D. Agree, if it is 75–25 in your favour?

You have been working only three weeks in a new job and had planned

to get married on Friday 18 August (which you did not disclose at the job interview). Your ‘intended’ spouse expects a proper honeymoon vacation of at least a week in Bermuda. It’s now 16 August and you ask your boss for leave for the wedding day and for the vacation. She is visibly not happy with your request and asks stiffly how long you were ‘thinking of being absent’. Do you reply:

A. The wedding day only?

B. This wouldn’t happen – I would have disclosed it

C. 3 days?

D. Two weeks?

Your Result

Mostly As: You are a sheep. You believe that whatever you get is acceptable and will probably be grateful for whatever salary you are offered. You don’t desire to (or even know how to) fight for your own interests and are therefore likely to be underpaid. It’s wise to value your relationship with your prospective employer but not above the outcome of a salary negotiation. Remember you have bills to pay! Consider asking for what you deserve and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Mostly Bs: You are an owl. Wise enough to spot the long term benefits of building a good relationship with your prospective employer whilst looking after your own interests, you are always aware and prepared for the opportunities and threats provided by a salary negotiation. Research is your middle name and you always enter salary negotiations armed with the information you will need to succeed. You have a healthy respect for prospective employers as well as yourself and you are fair, which earns you trust. Remain an owl and you will do well, just be careful not to stray into fox territory.

Mostly Cs: You are a donkey. This means you often can’t see what you could gain from negotiating your salary. Are you perhaps a little stubborn sometimes? You are likely to take an approximate wage on a job description as the final sum, and make a decision whether or not to apply based on that alone. Take more time to research industries, ask questions and consider what salary or non-cash elements you would settle for. Remember – salaries and benefits are usually negotiable.

Mostly Ds: You are a fox. Cunning and ruthless, you believe that you deserve whatever salary you demand and will probably take as much as you can get. You are likely to lose yourself in the excitement of the negotiation process instead of considering what an employer might stretch to and what you would actually accept. You are incredibly pragmatic and confident, but sometimes you only succeed because of quick-wittedness and over-promising. When this happens your success is often short-lived, so it would be wise to learn the value of building trust and mutual respect with your employer from the beginning by driving for a win-win negotiation outcome.

The Answers

You subscribe to a service that your company pays for, which you rely on to do your job. However your boss threatens to stop the subscription to cut costs. Do you:

A. Offer to look at a cheaper package?

Now that is an invitation, isn’t it? You should feel sheepish because you may well have been tricked into a panic price cut.

B. Warn your boss that essential business outcomes could be affected without this subscription?

Much better. Owls need information before they react to possible ploys. Comments like this are more appropriate and would encourage your boss to evaluate the situation against business goals.

C. Suggest that you talk about why it has to be cut

Sounds like a case of sour grapes, doesn’t it?

D. ‘Tell them “fine” but warn that you are paying a good rate, and may not get it back again if you want to re-subscribe later

A clever fox is trying to call their bluff! This is a dangerous tactic if your boss stops the subscription anyway, as you may never get it back.

You have been working on an important project with a colleague and the deadline is fast approaching, but your colleague tells you that they are too busy to work on it with you anymore. Do you:

A. Suggest that you re-negotiate the amount of time your colleague puts into the project?

Sheepishly hasty, even if you need to meet a deadline. You have let your colleague get away with it!

B. Ask your colleague what they’re working on and suggest that you could help each other?

Owls collect all the information available before they act or suggest solutions. By asking your colleague what they are working on, your are discovering whether or not they are telling the truth about being busy.

C. Go above them and complain to senior management

If you want to maintain a good relationship with your colleague, this is not the best way to solve the issue as it will make them feel undermined. Use this as a last resort.

D. Tell them that you are well aware of this ploy and that they won’t get away with it?

Very clever of you to spot their ploy to get out of working with you, but threatening them won’t help to resolve the issue.

You are a package tour operator negotiating with a hotel chain on the terms for next season’s holiday bookings. The price they are asking per person per week in their hotels is $45 higher than your current offer. They offer to ‘split the difference’ 50–50. Do you:

A. Agree to their offer?

Never. If you show negotiators that you practise ‘split the difference’ compromises they will give you bigger and bigger differences to split.

B. Say you can’t afford to split the difference?

By far the negotiator’s best owl-like move. Why should you split the difference, whether you can afford it or not? By making this offer they expose that their price is padded by at least $22.50 a person (and probably much more). Conceding to split the difference on $45 on 10 000 holiday weeks costs you about $225 000. Does this compromise look so equitable when grossed up?

C. Tell them it’s non-negotiable

Newsflash! You are currently in a negotiation – that’s what we’re doing here.

D. Agree, if it is 75–25 in your favour?

This is definitely better than agreeing to the offer and quite a reasonable offer for a fox. A possible move for an owl much later, after you have tested the padding.

You have been working only three weeks in a new job and had planned to get married on Friday 18 August (which you did not disclose at the job interview). Your ‘intended’ spouse expects a proper honeymoon vacation of at least a week in Bermuda. It’s now 16 August and you ask your boss for leave for the wedding day and for the vacation. She is visibly not happy with your request and asks stiffly how long you were ‘thinking of being absent’. Do you reply:

A. The wedding day only?

No. An abject surrender which you will spend the rest of your married life sheepishly trying to justify to your partner.

B. This wouldn’t happen – I would have disclosed it

An owl would never start a new job without previously giving details of any booked holiday, especially so close to the start date. You can be smug.

C. Three days?

That’s just weak.

D. Two weeks?

Good. Start

boldly and work down if you have to. Your boss will respect your courageous assertiveness eventually. A move for clever foxes.

Next week on the blog we will be diving into how to calculate your salary expectations. We’ll be sharing advice and guidance to get you feeling ready to answer that dreaded question about your salary expectations.

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

The Secret To A Great Visual CV

Infographic Free Digital Photos

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Visual design is a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates and it helps you to communicate your personal brand. All of us (yes, even recruiters) respond to visual storytelling and images rarely fail to grab our attention.

Remember your cv is not just a formality, it’s an important marketing document designed to convince a recruiter to buy into you, give you an interview, and eventually offer you a job. Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you get yourself in the “yes” pile with clever design.

Put Yourself Into Your CV

A creative cv that communicates your values, personality and potential allows recruiters see who you are before they meet you. Inject it with your personality in a way that tells a story and makes your experience stand out. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t

an advertising creative or a graphic designer. A well designed cv can highlight strengths such as marketing and branding expertise, writing skills, your presentation savvy, and/or

your knowledge of social media trends.

Promote Key Points

Pull out the sections of your cv you want recruiters to notice, and make them stand out. For example, if you have a great career history you could consider using a timeline to show it off. If you have some good testimonials, promote them as quotes. Consider using a headline drawing attention to your USPs. If you have any achievements based on statistics, there is a lot you can do to highlight these with design.

Don’t Exceed Your Limits

If design is not one of your strengths, do not attempt to do it yourself. A badly designed cv will do more harm than one without any visual design at all! Get someone to do it for you, as it’s worth the investment. Take a look at our own cv design service.

Know Your Industry

Are you applying for marketing or advertising roles? If so, you can afford to go all out. Are you applying for a role in engineering or childcare? If so, you may wish to calm it down a bit. The trick is to know what

you’re up against – b e original for the industry you are applying in, but don’t overdo it. A caravan might seem impressive amongst tents, but insignificant amongst castles.

Keep Multiple Versions

It’s good practice to have multiple versions of your cv anyway, but particularly if you are using a visual cv. Always keep a traditional cv as a backup, particularly if you are applying for jobs online. There is no harm in sending both as recruiters will appreciate you trying to make their lives easier.

Share Share Share

Once you have a creative visual cv, send it to everyone you know. It will no doubt be a novelty to many of your contacts, and they may even pass it on if they are really impressed. Use it as a conversation starter with new contacts and give copies to your friends and family.

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.
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