How women kill salary negotiations

I mean kill as in kill to end not nailing to succeed.

This is my favorite reaction from my very dear friend who is in a senior position, who is a hard worker, committed and deserves the high rating she gets; her reaction to a hike offered when she got a new job, “OMG! that’s very high, I don’t know if I deserve this, and I don’t know how am I going to justify this hike.” One part it’s her humility on the other end it also shows how women (many if not all) think when it comes to salary. Sometimes men think in this way too – but that’s an exception. Mind you she was offered a hike at the market rate; when we discussed it we understood what it meant. It meant she hasn’t been negotiating a good hike in her previous company, the reason for the big jump in the hike in the new offer.

Let’s look at the next best attitude from working women when negotiating salary.

“My manager knows what I do. Let them give me accordingly.”

This is the most common attitude I’ve come across, I am guilty of it as well. This is all fine if as working women we don’t care about salary or hike ever. The problem is we wake up one day on the wrong side of the bed or we have the veil lifted from our eyes and compare our salary to our peers, then realise how less we get against them. Then we get angry with our managers, the system, the organisation and then sometimes call it out on bias.

Negotiation is a skill. It’s a skill of asking delicately, persistently, with confidence, with alternatives, with backup, head held high, unashamed to take a NO and more. When it comes to salary negotiation our ego gets the better of us.

When we think our manager should know what we did and reward us accordingly, they have 20 or 30 odd people with them who probably do the same or similar tasks. The manager needs help from you to show what edge you brought to the delivery that others didn’t. So why not do that? Whoever does that gets the rise. If not the rise at least a shot at it. If you don’t tell what you did and ask what you want, you don’t even have a shot at it.

Moreover, we often treat salary negotiation as a regular transaction, where I say give X and the other gives back an agreed Y. It’s negotiation, you ask for X, they offer X/2, and then you find some middle way. We treat the denial of Y as an insult.

Without asking we expect it to be done for us. It is often done for us except not to our expectations. If we want to earn as much as our peers, the first step is to ask. The next step is to master the art of negotiation.

Lesson, I keep reminding myself often.

Image : Pexels

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