I had a house guest a few weeks ago. She was staying with me to interview for a position that was not too far from where I reside. She lives 90 minutes away in another state. I gave her my advice on typical interview questions and how she should respond. While discussing the interview she said when she spoke on the phone to the interviewer prior to the meeting he mentioned a salary of 50-55. I began to ask her what was the average salary for someone with her experience and if she planned to negotiate.
Now gather around girls and boys and let me tell you a story. At my current job I make 18K more than I did at my last job. How did I do this? Well… I NEGOTIATED
I decided as I began the job search process that I would not accept the 1st offer given to me. I would request either more pay or more vacation time. Most companies will pay people as low as they are willing to take. I personally believe most women of color do not negotiate and they aren’t encouraged to do so either. Back to my story. I had no experience negotiating, I decided to phone a friend. I reached out to a guy I know who recently became a manager. I explained to him the offers I had received and how it would be perfect if they offered me 2K more. His response was, “Ask for 5K”. He continued, “Always negotiate! Have a number in your head and add to it” I was completely shocked. I took his advice and made a counter offer. It went something like this.
“Thank you, I appreciate your offer. With my experience and certifications the average salary range for this position is 2K to 7K. An offer of 5K would be ideal. I look forward to your response.”
I’m not sure why it never occured to me to ask for more than what I actually wanted, but knew I deserved. I felt a sense of guilt, almost as if I was being greedy. Where do these emotions come from? Why aren’t we taught to negotiate? Are we not worth and deserving of more than we could even imagine?
Well my Rays of Sunshine, I don’t know the answer to all those questions. I only know this, YOU’RE WORTH IT ( in my Loreal voice).
So, how does this story end? I did not get the 2K, but I was able to secure a benefits package that I don’t have to pay into totaling a little over 2K.
Moral of the story… ALWAYS NEGOTIATE!
They will either say yes or no. You don’t have anything to lose, only much to gain.
Let your salary negotiating light shine!