16 Nov 2018

Why Women Don`t Ask

Gabriella Bassi

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Negotiating can be a frightening affair, one that requires certain personal qualities and a lot more mental resilience than it may seem. To women, negotiating a job offer often feels intensely uncomfortable. The debate over pay can appear as a ferocious battlefield even to the ambitiously millennial woman who is a maximalist. There are unthinkably many reasons why women still hesitate to negotiate for their worth. Commonly, those include a lack of guidance in negotiating tactics, a low self-esteem or an inability to overcome fear of rejection. Can you think of any more?

An often-cited study by Linda Babcock, ‘Women Don’t Ask’, argues that a woman who fails to negotiate her salary upon being hired is capable of making even a greater sacrifice over the course of her career - something intelligent bosses are aware of, and also likely to take advantage of. Unsurprisingly, a secure financial future is mainly accessible to women who are able to ask for more. We are all capable and skillful enough to earn higher retirement funds, more money to pay off debt, and to have more discretionary income for spending. All we need to do is shift the mindset that tells us that we can’t.

Get the facts straight

The position you’ve applied for has a market salary range. Research it and arrive at the interview fully knowing what the appropriate offer for this role is. Showcase your current skill-set and highlight your strengths, so you are able to freely ask for your desired package. A well prepared presentation, including an updated CV listing all your previous achievements, will support your words in a way that will make it unreasonable for employers to undermine your demands. Don’t go too harsh on them though, unless you are willing to walk away from the job. Tell them what benefits your previous employers had gained from hiring you and let them decide. Count only on evidence for the legitimacy of your salary request. However, don’t state a specific number. Your employer-to-be likely has a range that they can offer, so give your reasons to request a higher salary and leave the numbers to those paying you.  

BW (1)Ask with confidence

Body language and behavior are crucial in demonstrating that you know what you are talking about. Suppress your fears with confidence, without focusing on the outcome, just the way you’ve first pressed the button of your mouse to send your resume off. It doesn’t matter if you’re asking for a raise, the window seat for your next flight, or extra sour cream on your burrito, it all needs to be done in a winning manner. Putting yourself out there is a risk, and with risk comes the possibility of actually being granted your wishes. Practice your negotiating skills with a previous colleague or supervisor who is also considered a friend. Collect their feedback on what they look for in a healthy and successful negotiation and rock the limit of what’s possible. Don’t forget the essentials, your voice should be clear and steady and you should look the employer in the eye. Demonstrate that you are 100% confident that you are worth what you’re asking for.

Know how to lose

One thing no school teaches us is to learn from losing. Being told “no” is tough but a good player knows how to lose the game with dignity. Figure out how you would react to either outcome and create a plan on how to keep the situation under your control. Advocating your reactions will only reassure your employer that you own qualities worth a future pay rise, even if now is not the right time. Don’t forget that in business interests matter and refusal is never to be taken by heart. If a pay rise is a necessity for you, start looking for new opportunities to increase your salary as you begin working in your new position.

BW (2)‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘Never’

Whether your request successful or not, keep thinking long-term. The response to your request may simply depend on your timing. Surely more opportunities for increasing your salary will arise over the course of your career. Familiarise yourself with your company policy and prepare for the next performance review. Keep a record of your successes, customer feedback and contributions to the organisation’s targets. This way, next time you schedule a meeting with your employer, you will be equipped with the evidence and justification for the raise request. Asking for what you want is not rude, aggressive or abrasive. It is a part of the process of taking care of yourself and it is fair game. Just craft an agenda, rehearse and take the shot.

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Categories: IBA Blog , Friday Buzziness

Tags: #womeninbusiness #business #skills #wokr #negotiations

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