Negotiating Equality: How and When to Discuss Sensitive Salary Issues

negotiatingFinding your dream job isn’t easy. Negotiating the salary you want is even harder. For many of us it’s not even a feasible option. However, two traits that are absolutely essential to your job searching success are patience and persistence. It’s so easy to become discouraged when searching for a new job, especially if you are in a bind. Yet, the sense of accomplishment and security you can feel when you land a great job is priceless.

What’s more, landing a new job (even if it is not your forever job) entails a great deal of dedication to your new employer. Basically, if you’re going to be spending 40 plus hours a week doing said job, you should be respected as an employee and be compensated according to your expertise regardless of gender, race, or religion.

The fact of the matter is, the pay gap is real. Statistics show that men are being paid significantly more than women. Raising awareness about this issue is the only sure-fire way to end such inequality, but in the meantime negotiating your salary is one way to even the playing field for all those involved in the employment game.

Who is Negotiating?

Men. 42% of men age 18-24 are negotiating job offers as opposed to only 26% of women in this range. Although, the success rates are actually quite telling. Of those 42% of men, only 21% are actually successful. Of the women, 16% percent were successful. This shows us that women are equally as skilled at negotiating, we’re just not doing it as much as men.

Know How to Properly Negotiate

Do your research before sending your counter offer. Check out the competitive pay scale within your desired job market. If you know that you have a sought after and desired skill set that you are bringing to the table, then it’s time to negotiate. This doesn’t mean trying to tap out the maximum pay scale because you know that you are a valued employee. Be reasonable with your new endeavor. Make sure that your resume matches the starting number you are asking for.

Know When to Negotiate

First things first, you should have already received an offer before you negotiate. Going into an interview with a number in mind isn’t a bad thing, but it can let you down. At least hear what your potential employer has to say before stating your bottom line or throwing back a new salary.

Many employers will say right up front that they won’t take negotiations. This is not code for “negotiate harder”. Know your boundaries as an applicant and respect the guidelines that the employer has set. This way, no time is wasted if it’s just not a good match and you’ll already know if negotiations might not be received kindly.

Many applicants, male or female, have said they are too afraid that they offer would be rejected. So, they just avoid the conversation altogether, but around 80% of those who simply try to negotiate are actually successful. With that being said, there are so many wonderful reasons why you should at least consider negotiating your job offer. Trust us – you’re worth it.

You Have the Upperhand

Since you should really only begin negotiations after you have received an official detailed offer, (otherwise it’s not really a negotiation) chances are that you already know the company wants you for the job. At this point, take some time to evaluate the offer. Are all of your concerns addressed? Time off, sick days, pay structure, health benefits, and more should all be up to your liking. Now, this doesn’t always mean that each of these aspects will have some leniency, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

You Might Miss Out on an Otherwise Great Opportunity

Sometimes you take a look at a job description and think, “Wow, that sounds perfect”. Then, you look at what they’re offering and dismiss the job immediately. If the only thing that is holding you back from applying is the number, then why not take the time and see what their flexibility is? As long as you have the research to support why you are worth a pay bump, then there is no reason not to state your case. Who knows, they might end up being receptive to your preparedness. If not, there are always more fish in the sea.

You’re Setting a Standard For Your Future Pay

Negotiating your salary for the first time can be stressful. Just keep in mind that you are paving the way for your future self. Not accepting less than you are worth now means that you won’t have to down the road. Continuing to accept lower pay due to fear of rejection or desperation creates an unflattering image that allows employers to tell you what you’re worth and not the other way around.

In conclusion, everyone has an equal ability to negotiate and we should all be taking advantage it. Think of it this way, negotiation is a skill that has to be practiced. Not everyone will be perfect the first time. Every interview gives you the capability to try your best and be that much better the next time you decide to give it a go.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Gen Y Girl.




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