SALARY NEGOTIATION: Tips on salary negotiation for women in the work place


With the job market becoming healthier, more and more women (and men) are entering back into the workforce or ready to move into a higher paying positions. However, just because you may deserve more or want more you will have to learn the art of salary negotiation.

I say the “art of salary negation” because that is exactly what it is. If asking for more money was as easy as just saying “Hey I need to make more money” we would all be making more. Approaching a potential employer can be a very difficult thing. It can be even worse if you have little or no experience doing it. It also becomes challenging if you are a woman who may be soft spoken or timid to speak up and ask for what is financially necessary for you. We are going to go over 4 tips to help you negotiate your salary.

Make a financial spreadsheet:

When you are searching for a new job, some will post the salary offered and some won’t. So before going on any job interview and defiantly before discussing salary, it is imperative to create your own Financial Spreadsheet. You can use any means you’d like, from a note book to Excel. (Click here to get you own Finical Spreadsheet) The first step is to list all of you bills and come up with a total amount of monthly expenditures. The second step is to estimate different dollar amounts to see what range of an hourly rate you can except according to your total expenditures. To do this take the dollar amount times 40 working hours. Take that total multiplied by your states income tax rate. Now take that amount and subtract it from your first total. To go one step further, take that total and times by four weeks to get your total monthly take home. This will help you see what is the lowest hourly rate you are able to accept. Make sure to include a savings row to ensure you have a financial cushion.

EXAMPLE: $18.00 hr. x 40 hrs. = $720.00 week
                        $720.00 week x 32% (Illinois State Income Tax) = $230.40 weekly Tax
                        $720.00 week - $230.40 = $489.60 weekly
                        $489.60 weekly x 4 weeks = $1958.40 (your approximate monthly take home)


FIXED BILLS
$18.00 HR
$19.00 HR
$20.00 HR
Rent
$750.00
$750.00
$750.00
Cell phone
$100.00
$100.00
$100.00
Insurance
$136.00
$136.00
$136.00
Car Payment
$260.00
$260.00
$260.00
Food
$280.00
$280.00
$280.00
Utilities
$230.00
$230.00
$230.00
Savings
$150.00
$150.00
$150.00
TOTAL COST
$1906.00
$1906.00
$1906.00
TAKE HOME $
$1958.40
$2067.20
$2176.00


Look at the Benefit Package:

It is important to note along with salary negation there could also be a benefit package to consider. Good benefits could help with your decision in salary. You may be able to negotiate your employer covering a larger portion of your health care, more vacation days, or stock options. However, even if these things are not up for negotiation, but offered, it may help you choose one company over another. This can also play a part in how much is asked for. Again, with this decision, you can refer to your Financial Spreadsheet and see what your lowest take home rate can be to offset the benefits offered.

Know Your Worth:

When going into a job search it is crucial that you know your worth and know exactly what you are capable of. Do NOT oversell your abilities and ask for a compensation based on your exaggeration. However, make sure you sell yourself on everything you are capable of. Your resume will display your skill sets, but once you are in the interview it’s up to you to sell yourself. When salary negation begins, make it known to your employer that your skills and work ethic will be worth every penny you’re asking for.

Aim High:

Eventually the question will come up, “So how much are you looking for?” You don’ want shoot yourself in the foot with your answer. If you aim too high you will be out of their price rang and if you aim too low you could have under played your hand. Remember you don’t what cards they are holding. It is imperative that your response to the question is, “What is this position offering?” Put the ball in their court, smile, and see what their response is. From there you can judge your reply accordingly. It will either be in the range you are looking for or not. If the offer is not in your range, don’t give up. Explain what an asset you will be to the company and suggest the low end of your salary requirements. (Again, you now know this from your Financial Spreadsheet) If the position is something you really want, see if a compromise can be met.

Be Confident:

Confidence goes a lot further than you may think. Just imagine your potential employer just finished an interview with someone who has the same credentials as you but was lacking confidence. Then here you come, with a great smile and confident attitude. This will help you stand out from the rest. When talking about salary, be frim in your questions and answers. Be direct in what you are looking for and what you expect out of the company just as they will let you know what they expect out of you.

Job searching in any economy can be challenging and the discussion of salary even more so. Establish your bottom line and work from there. Once on your interview take note of the benefits offered, know your worth, aim high and exude confidence. This is help you get the salary you want and deserve.


By: Megan Nikole
Just a Dame in the Life

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