There are a lot of things I learned in college and a lot of things I did not. So I don’t know how to save for retirement BUT holy shit do I know about city planning in the Roman Empire (I was a history minor). Anyways. One of the big things I wish they taught you in college was how to negotiate your salary. I’d say that's a pretty big miss.
Especially as a female in the business world, I know I have felt all the things LEAN IN warns you about when it comes to asking for mo' money - intimidated, out of place, too "aggressive" and outside of my personality, etc. But ladies, if there is one thing I have learned in the business world, it's that you do not get what you do not ask for. I am no expert, but in my career span, I have successfully and unsuccessfully negotiated raises, and I'm here to share a few things I've learned along the way:
1.Timing is everything. Did your company just lose a major client? Or are they celebrating a big win? Knowing when to ask is just as important as how you ask.
2. Prove it. If you are asking for more money, be prepared to prove your value & backup your claims with numbers/ data/ examples.
3. Do your research. Know what other people in your field are making so you have some leverage. This is a great sight to check on salaries in your field & location.
4. Would you leave your company if you didn't get what you are asking for? Maybe put some feelers out to other companies and see if you cant make more money elsewhere. Even if you have your heart set on staying, it could help negotiations to have another offer on the table.
5. Be professional in your approach. Maybe you have one of those cool bosses who sends you memes in emails (#goals). No matter what your relationship is like, be professional in how you handle this. Set time on their calendar. Present them with the facts. Show that you’re serious about this shit.
6. Set your sights high. Don’t just ask for a raise and take the first offer that comes your way. Know what you want, and ask for 5-10K more than that. (I'm serious.) Don't feel like you are being unreasonable. You need to set your asking price high so you have room to negotiate because you will be negotiated down from where you start.
7. Make sure to set an effective date. I once had a boss agree to a raise.. to start the next calendar year. It was July. If there is going to be a significant time delay, make sure to add that factor into your asking price.
8. Have a backup plan if it doesn't work out. Some companies may be in a place that they simply can't give you what you are asking for. If there’s nothing your boss can do, ask that you revisit in 3-6 months. If you don't see the situation improve in that time, I ask that you seriously consider weighing your options/ values and deciding if it's worth staying or moving to an organization that can pay you what you're seeking.
In short my ladies, times have changed and #TimesUp on this gender pay gap bullshit. Doing a great job in your profession is half the battle, but you can't expect a raise without asking for one. Know your worth and add tax.