I’m a firm believer that what we focus on grows. And that’s why I don’t bring attention to men making more money than women (when and where that remains the case).
However, I am feeling compelled this evening to speak to my gal pals about advocating for getting paid what you’re worth.
Too often I hear from my lady friends that so and so won’t pay them what they’re asking for, or they had to take a pay cut to get a job, or something along the lines of them feeling like they either had to take a step back, down, or out.
This can lead to feelings of marginalization, oppression, and inferiority.
I adore my male colleagues; they’re wonderful. But I must ask, are they having these same experiences?
Do men get what they ask for up front? Do they have to take a cut in pay, reduction in title and responsibilities, or walk away from a job offer feeling disappointed because there not being recognize for their worth?
I don’t know. I’m just asking.
What I do know is that my highly skilled, qualified, and educated girlfriends don’t all seem to be getting paid what they really should be getting paid.
So before I tell you to go out and demand a higher salary, let me preface that by saying, you have to do your homework first.
What I mean by homework is researching industry norms. Investigate what your industry is paying someone with your same education, experience, and qualifications, for your particular type of organization (e.g., non-profit, for-profit). You can find this info online at places like Glassdoor and salary.com.
As well, ask people you know, who are in your industry, what the salary ranges are for the position that interests you. Interview your friends. Ask your friends. Interview your colleagues and leadership chain. Make inquiries.
Once you know the salary range to which you fall, then you will be better prepared when you get offers.
No, you do not have to take the initial offer. In fact, it’s normal—especially in leadership positions—to negotiate salaries.
For example, if the salary range for a particular job is 40-50K, and you have experience above entry level for that job, then shoot for mid-range (45K). You might get a counter offer of 42-43K.
However, if you really want a particular job, be willing to accept a lower offer. Depending on where you live, your industry might be saturated, and people are taking lower salaries just so they can work.
But at least try. Advocate for yourself. It’s reasonable to do so.
And unless we ask–and expect–to get paid what we’re worth, we won’t. We set our own bar.
So do your homework, and get out there and make that money! You deserve it!