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Salary Negotiations for Women – What to Focus on

Even today, though women have been making great strides towards equality in the world’s workplaces, most women are still making less money on average for exactly the same work than men.

These practices are still going on, despite the fact that many governments have put protections in place to avoid gender-based income discrepancies. Many experts are suggesting that among the main reasons why women are still making less than their male counterparts is that women have less experience in the process of negotiating better salaries.

Thinking back, I very well remember the moment that I got offered a position that I absolutely wished to have. Back then I took a career test and it helped me to choose a career path and I applied for a job in a well-respected company within the industry. The company’s HR manager wanted to know my previous pay and subsequently offered me a salary that was pretty much higher than what I was earning before. I felt great about it and accepted the offer gladly. I was feeling like I had just made a huge accomplishment: not only did I land my dream job, I also managed to get a great pay increase! I was in heaven.

I remained to be excited but my enthusiasm subsided when I was talked with other people that got the same job at the same I did, and a male colleague was telling me what they paid him. It appeared that they had made him exactly the same offer as they had done to me, but he had asked for nearly twice as much. He said they agreed to his request without even blinking an eye. Well, I’m really not a money-focused person; and I do believe that loving what you do is at least as important as the salary, but when I learned that my salary could have been much higher if only I had been negotiating, it made me realize that I had really struck a lousy deal. Though I tried as hard as I could, the idea that I could have been making more money doing the same job never left my mind.

It looks like that for quite a few women (including myself) negotiating about pay seems overly aggressive and a bit rude. Yet the truth really is that negotiating your salary isn’t rude at all. In fact, you are expected to do so. Fact is also that in general. employers are thinking less of those employees who are not negotiating their salaries. Because all employees that are hired for positions above entry level are expected to negotiate their pay, employers will generally not start the process with their best offer. The conclusion is that if you are not prepared to negotiate your salary, chances are that you’ll end up getting paid far less than what the employer had in mind.

Now this may seem a minor issue, but accepting less salary may have a far-stretching effect on your future career. I’ll give you an example: Suppose you are getting $8,000 less annually than what you might have gotten, it will never happen that when you ask for a pay raise, they’ll be offering you a $8,000 raise. Even If you would be getting a $600 raise, it wouldn’t even get close to the original gap. Just see that you might have gotten the same $600 raise even if you would have had the higher salary to start with. Take also into account that most employers raise salaries on a percentage basis of current salaries, so you see that your raise could have been much higher if you would have been negotiating a better deal up front.

When you are ready to take your career to the next level, which could be a job advancement within your current company or a new job elsewhere, it is commonly known that the low salary you have will be negatively affecting your negotiating position and power. In case you get offered a new position elsewhere, they will probably think that an offer of $10,000 above your current pay will be absolutely generous. But you need to see that even then, you will be making just $2,000 more than the pay you could have gotten when you were starting your current job. This is just one example of the possible far-reaching consequences if you don’t negotiate your best possible salary.

There’s just one way to make sure you’re getting paid what is deserved, and that is to research your professional field, and what the average pay is for a position like yours. By the time you have found out how much your work is worth, find a book or a good website about negotiation skills and work on that with your family or friends. Try to get comfortable with the practices so you may very well get in the best position for negotiating the salary you deserve.

Check also this article: How to Negotiate Salary How to Negotiate Salary