There is no doubt that women are equally as smart and qualified for their professional lives as men, if not even more so, but this fact is not fairly reflected in the salaries that are earned, especially for those women who are going into their first job straight after college. Here is a little look at some of the ways women can go about righting this wrong.
Negotiating a salary for the first time can be a daunting task for anybody but the large disparity in starting salaries between men and women suggests that women have the most difficulties when it comes to overcoming this challenging rite of initiation into the big bad world.
There may be a whole number of old fashioned social reasons why this is the current state of affairs in the workplace, but one issue that cannot be denied is that women in general do tend to find it more difficult to negotiate than their male counterparts.
Here then are some useful tips for those women who want to even out the playing field when it comes to getting what you are due in the work place.
One of the biggest mistakes that people of both genders make when they enter into salary negotiations is the simple fact of not being properly prepared. A salary negotiation is a serious stepping stone on your career path and you need to do as much homework on this facet as you do when learning about your potential new employer and the business that they operate in.
You need to know how much other employees earn, what the cost of living is in the city you are going to work, whether bonuses will be worked into your yearly pay. All of these little pieces of information play a small part in making you fully prepared to first know what you should be earning and then, more importantly, be able to show exactly why you deserve that. Negotiation then becomes a kind of science based on irrefutable evidence rather than some blind stab in the dark.
Hold your Fire
If you enter an interview or salary negotiation obsessing about the moment where you are going to discuss money, the chances are that it is not going to work out well for you. You must try to control the conversation by first showing just how interested you are in the position that you are going for. The talk should all be about the role you will do, with you explaining just how well you are going to do it, and why you are the perfect fit for the job.
You need to make the people sitting across from you feel that they would be making a huge mistake if they let you walk out of the door without having offered you a job.
If you can work the interview in such a way, it is them who will be forced to first broach the subject of salary. When this happens it is then essential that you allow them to make the first move. You ask them what figure they have in mind and then you work from there. You never want to be the one who first puts a number on the table.
Ask for More
If you accept the first figure that is thrown at you, you may as well not have worried about negotiating at all. Even if that figure is higher than you had hoped, you should never take a first offer. A negotiation is a back and forth between two parties and you have to remember that it is in many ways all some kind of game.
You need to be realistic, obviously, but you also must be prepared to show the people across from you that you are a confident and determined person who deserves to get what she wants. Employers will respect this, and while you need to be careful not to come across as too pushy, a strong showing when it comes to salary negotiation can set the tone for the way in which you will be viewed within the company from the outset, and it sets you up perfectly for when it is time to negotiate that all important first pay rise.
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