Learn to negotiate in your professional life.
As a woman, if you were to negotiate anything at work—be it your starting salary at a new job, a promotion, etc.—you would most likely be met with more resistance than if a man were to negotiate the same thing in the same way. So, don’t negotiate like a man. Negotiate like a woman instead, and you will have a higher chance of getting what you want.
- Come across as being nice, concerned with others, and “appropriately” female.
If you were to take an instrumental approach and say, “This is what I want and deserve,” you would most likely be denied. Instead, when negotiating for a higher starting salary, for example, begin by explaining that you know women often get paid less than men, so you are going to negotiate rather than accept the original offer.
- Substitute “I” with “we” wherever you can.
For example, use, “We had a great year,” not, “I had a great year.” In the eyes of the listener, you are now connected to a group and aren’t just out for yourself—you’re out negotiating for all women.
- You must also justify your request.
You can do this by suggesting that someone more senior encouraged the negotiation (e.g., “My manager suggested I talk with you about my compensation”) or by citing industry standards (e.g., “I understand that jobs that involve this level of responsibility are compensated in this range”).
- Be relentlessly pleasant.
Smile frequently, express appreciation and concern, invoke common interests, emphasize larger goals, and always, always approach the negotiation as if you are trying to solve a problem.
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