Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes offers advice on how to negotiate the best terms after you land the job.
I’m a firm believer in getting the best deal for my value in the workplace. So when it comes to negotiating for a raise, every dollar earned has to count. Otherwise, Black women will continuously find themselves behind the proverbial 8-ball. In fact, according to a report by the National Partnership for Women and Families, the median pay for an African American woman who works full time is $32,290, while the median yearly pay for a white male is $51,865. That means Black women are paid 62 cents for every dollar paid to white men. The only way to combat an institutionalized disparity such as the wage gap is to arm yourself with the right information to talk dollars and sense. Below, are five ways to get more money the next time a job offer or new role comes along:
1. Know your numbers. To help you prepare for the negotiations, purchase a Personal Salary Report from salarywizard.com. Instead of receiving random information, each report evaluates your specific background, experience, industry and location offering detailed market data and analysis. So when a hiring manager asks, “How did you come up with that number?” you can explain that you did you homework by taking all of those factors into account.
2. Let them speak first. Listen carefully as the hiring manager speaks. As you take it all in, ask yourself: What are the company’s needs? How do my skills align with them? What can I learn while providing excellent service? How will this company help me take my career to the next level? Then repeat what they are saying and show them how your skill sets suits their needs. This is where you offer two-three points on why your the best person for the job.
3. Prepare both cases. Their side: Our business is down, we’ve lost some key employees, and we really don’t have the budget to meet your numbers. Your side: You certainly understand that it’s going to take time to rebuild. Communicate how you fit into the rebuilding process and how you have a history of adding value to a company.
4. Know the “ouch point.” “This is the number in negotiations that will cause either party to break off talks,” says Patrick Collins, author of Negotiate to Win!: Talking Your Way to What You Want (Sterling Publishing). “My general rule is to never go beyond 30 percent of what they are offering; proceed with caution, because too high a demand will seem dishonest.” But remember, this is only true if your salary is competitive. If you are already making $10,000-$20,000 less than your peers, negotiate a salary that makes up for that shortfall.
5. Use silence to your advantage. During the “awkward silence, people will rush to say something—anything at all—to cover that silence,” Collins explains in his book. Upon hearing the employer’s proposal, say nothing. A few seconds later you may hear, “I guess we can do better.”
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