You have a great job and you love your work. The only thing that could be better is your paycheck! Women are still paid less than men in many industries to perform the same tasks and duties. Even if the job description is identical, too often the salary is not!
Too many women struggle to effectively negotiate the terms of the contract or are happy to just accept what they are offered without trying to get what they deserve. In order to become a confident, effective negotiator, here are some tips to help you build the skills you need to better represent yourself and negotiate your contract for what you deserve.
There is the belief among employees that negotiations can't make much difference and aren't worth the effort. Some people fear that if they start making demands for changes to their contracts or salary, they'll lose their job to be replaced with a person who is happy with what they are getting. One expert shared that negotiated terms vs. terms without negotiation had a 7% discrepancy rate. While this may not sound like much, over the years of a career, this discrepancy can put you behind in pay and advancement by as much as eight years! That's a lot of money and wasted opportunity. Understanding how important negotiations are to your contract and your salary is a must if you are serious about your career.
Once you've decided that you need to negotiate for better terms and equal pay, it is imperative you take the time to be as prepared as possible. Do your research to determine what about your contract needs to be changed. Create an outline of the points for discussion. The actual negotiation meeting can be stressful and many women feel uncomfortable in such a setting. Have the prepared outline in front of you ensures you'll remember to bring up each point. Be prepared for any possible outcomes, questions, or situations that may arise. Preparation is the first step to successful negotiations!
Once you've prepared yourself for the negotiation process, read over it and role play to make sure you have the confident attitude you need to be successful. Attitude is a huge contributor to the success of a negotiation! Having a positive attitude and not buckling under the often stressful and uncomfortable process can make a huge difference in the direction the negotiations go. Even if you are unable to negotiate the terms you hoped for, you still have to work for the people you met with. You do not want to present yourself in a negative way as this could impact your future in the business or company, making your daily duties or career goals more difficult to obtain. Always act with grace and professionalism, and whether or not your negotiations are successful, you'll be able to walk away with your reputation intact.
For the salary and contract that you desire, taking the initiative with a confident approach in negotiations can result in the benefits of earning what you should. While it may seem like overstepping or takes you out of your comfort zone, negotiating for what you need can have huge benefits for your career. You know what your services are worth. Now is the time to take the step to earn what you deserve!