As women, we often take care of the needs of others ahead of our own. This narrative plays out in our careers and keeps us from asking for what we may want: more money, more responsibility, more flexibility and many other elements of our careers.
On the money front, we fear many things:
- creating havoc in our relationship with our future or existing boss
- asking for more will not work and is useless to even try
- finding the words to ask in a rational, compelling manner
These fears are valid. On the flip side, there are compelling reasons we should consider asking for more. The first is the amount of money we stand to miss out on if we don't negotiate. I've seen figures cited from $500,000 up to $1,000,000 in lost earnings over the course of our careers. It reminds me of compound interest and the value of starting to save and invest early on in life. The same is true in our careers. A powerful way to think about this is a $5,000 raise in 2017 is not a one-time increase to your earnings. You'll be receiving the benefit of that additional $5,000 in 2018, 2019, 2020 and so on.
The second reason to negotiate is it's expected. A study conducted by salary.com found 84% of hiring managers expect candidates to negotiate. Most hiring managers leave wiggle room when they make an offer in order to have flexibility if a candidate does ask for more.
A third reason to consider negotiating is due to the wage gap in the US. This topic is getting quite a bit of press in the news based on our volatile political climate. Caucasian women earn 79% of what their their male counterparts earn, African-American women earn 65% and Hispanic women 54%. McKinsey&Company has released information stating it will take us 100 years to have parity between genders in C-level roles and 25 years for parity at the VP level.
These numbers make my jaw drop. It's incumbent on us (and many others) to change this trend. I'd love to hear your sentiments on what has held you back from negotiating and how we could partner to help you earn more.