I recently interviewed for a job and on the application listed my minimum salary requirements at the hourly dollar amount I currently make. Perfectly logical. Why would I put anything less?
We were wrapping up the interview and my interviewer asked if my dollar amount was negotiable. Well, I am not a fool so of course I said yes. And clearly she wouldn’t need to ask that if the dollar amount they would offer me would be more than what I wanted. So now I realize that should I be offered the job I need to prepare myself to negotiate. I am 25 and already have a regretful experience of losing out on a potential 10% higher rate simply because I didn’t even ATTEMPT to negotiate.
And that’s mistake #1. I learned my lesson. From now on I will just assume that any salary offered is negotiable. I will not “feel bad” because I want more money. I won’t underestimate my qualifications and go with the flow simply because I don’t have the chutzpah to speak up. And I will erase my pre-existing thought that I am out of line to even think about asking for more money. No. Buck up. What would a man do? He would ask for more money.
Here’s the bottom line. Whats the worst that could happen if you negotiate a higher salary? I highly, HIGHLY doubt that an employer is going to rescind the offer. Right off the bat the downside is limited; which means you can only go up. In my womanly mind I would also be afraid of how I would be viewed by my superiors if I asked for more money. I don’t want to come across as greedy now. But how can someone think you are greedy if you come to the table prepared and can effectively communicate reasons as to why you deserve $X more?
Men approach business aggressively. It’s in their nature. Gentle, social, and more friendly are in a woman’s nature. Use it to your advantage when negotiating. You can do all the things I mentioned earlier and you can do it using your woman ways and be just as successful as a man.
Yes I am 5’10” and yes I will be wearing these 5” platforms to a meeting tomorrow. I am going for the intimidation factor. I am meeting with a male engineer who is a typical male with a ego problem around females, especially when they are younger than him. Take a seat pal.
It can be self defeating sometimes when I don’t think I am being taken seriously because I am a woman. So how exactly then do we get to the point where we can be taken seriously around guys who think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread?
Answer: You walk the walk and you talk the talk.
Easier said than done right? Of course it is. Everything worth anything is easier said than done. Being a female in business let alone in really any other aspect of life isn’t easy. I have found that embracing my “femaleness” is the best way to walk the walk. And this female will be walking in 5” heels.
As for talking the talk – that’s for another post on another day.
I arrived home from China on July 14 and by August 1st I hit the ground running trying to find a job. From August through December I had submitted hundreds of online applications, went on a handful of networking luncheons, had 3 job interviews and 3 job denials. That equates to 100% failure rate for 100% work input. Great job Meredith.
I am only 26 and I can say this is one of the hardest times of my life. Never have I ever felt so defeated, unworthy, and disappointed in myself. I wanted to be strong and fight my way through it and prove to myself and everyone that I could prove I was a success by finding a great job. I thought I needed to prove that I was a strong person by fighting my way to break out of the slump.
By the second week of December, I realized that since the holiday was right around the corner the chances of my finding employment by the new year were pretty slim. I was so tired of feeling unhappy and feeling the constant pressure I was putting on myself to succeed. So I surrendered.
I didn’t surrender to give up. I thought, ‘fine. If I am not going to have a job right now then I am going to do what I love right now.’ So for the rest of the holidays I laughed with my friends and family, I worked hard on my business project, I continued to study Chinese, and I finished a couple of books I was reading.
I rejuvenated. I gained perspective. I enjoyed myself. I accepted where I am in life and the challenges ahead of me. So my theme for this year is WATCH ME.
I have a vision for myself. I have a vision for the legacy I want to leave. I know what positions I am looking for to get me there.
So the question remains . . . do I keep searching for the position I want or do I create it myself?
I am angry. I am angry because I had three job interview in the last two months and was denied for each of them. I am angry that I am in debt because I chose to go to a better college than the one I could have gone to for free and it has got me nothing. I am angry because I got my MBA right after college to get it out of the way but can’t find a job because I still don’t have any work experience. I am angry because I have worked my butt off the past few months to take advantage of every avenue to find employment only to be in the same place I started.
But for every bad in my life there is an equal good. I have a wonderful and supportive family. I have a part-time job that at least pays enough to cover the bills. I live in a warm home and not on the streets. And I have myself. So far I have been able to come out of any bad situation on top. I don’t plan on stopping now.