A Career Coach Shares The Best Way To Negotiate The Salary & Benefits You Deserve


As a hiring manager, I often see a substantial difference between men and women when negotiating salary and benefits. Sadly, women often sell themselves short in this area, especially young women.

In a survey, Linda Babcock of Carnegie Mellon University found that 57 percent of men negotiate salary and benefit job offers, and only 7 percent of women do the same.

If you're like most women, chances are you aren't charging as much as you're worth. Yet rightfully so, women are in uproar about fixing the gender pay gap. But we have to realize that one of the first steps in improving this begins in the job offer stage. Whether you are looking for a job or currently employed and hoping to negotiate your current salary and benefits, put a higher value on yourself, increase your confidence, and watch what happens.

I recently connected with Millennial Career Coach Jacqueline V. Twillie, who helps women prepare for performance reviews. Below she shares her thoughts on salary negotiation and what you should ask for at work.

What do you think are some of the things that women forget to ask for when negotiating?

Twillie: The top five benefits that women forget to ask for when negotiating salary are: additional vacation days, work from home benefits, mentorship, a signing bonus and equipment or software that will allow them to perform at the highest level.

What kind of negotiating tactics do you recommend?

Twillie: Prepare, Package, Practice, ASK!

  • Prepare for each negotiation thoroughly a 5-10 minute Google search is not enough. I created a negotiation toolkit with strategy exercises to help women prepare to negotiate everything from a relocation package to a raise.
  • Package wisely. Do not negotiate issue by issue. This is a rookie move and after the second ask, you can come off as unprepared or greedy. Group the things that are important to you together so that you increase your chance of getting what you want.
  • Practice with a salary negotiation coach and aloud so that you get comfortable asking a higher salary.
  • Now ASK! Once you get an opportunity do not let it go, if you have prepared and practiced you should be ready to ask. Do not be discouraged if your negotiation does not turn out exactly how you pictured it going in your head. No one comes out of the womb a negotiating pro.

So what happens when your negotiation attempt takes a sour turn and you're denied?

If denied, keep a positive attitude and ask have any exceptions been made. You will be surprised at what the response will be. After listening to the response intently then ask what will it take to revisit the topic and ask for a time frame. It is important at this phrase to find out exactly what they manager wants or needs to see from your performance for you to get what you ask for.

Some Millennial women are hesitant to negotiate salary because of their lack of experience. What are your thoughts on this?

I recently met a mother of a 16-year-old boy who applied for a summer job at a car wash. On his job application, he asked for 75 cents higher than what minimum wage. When the hiring manager asked him why he wanted 75 cents more, the 16-year-old boy said confidently that he has been washing cars for at least two years and because of his experience he should get paid more than someone with no experience.

I shared this story because millennial women must recognize the value they bring to their first job, regardless if they have direct work experience. They are many skills women will use in their first job that they gained from being in a student organization or working in their local community. Those skills shouldn't be undervalued, which is why I see a lot of Millennial [women] hesitate to negotiate because she does not realize her transferable skills.

Before you start a new job or go out for that next promotion, I recommend that you take a page from Twillie's book and Prepare, Package, Practice, & ASK. It is time for women to speak up and get what we want and deserve.

Watch Twillie's Career & Salary Negotiation Workshop below:

What has your experience been like negotiating salary and benefits? Share with us below!

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