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How To Negotiate The Salary You Deserve After A Job Offer

Once the job is offered, it's time to get top coin.

Finance

Congratulations! You made it through the interview process and got the job offer! Now, how prepared are you to negotiate the salary? And be honest: Were you even planning to?

We women struggle with salary negotiation and demanding our worth. Unfortunately, this means we leave a lot of money on the table that should be in our bank accounts. Even if the initial salary offer appears to be competitive, we should still negotiate. In fact, companies expect you to negotiate!

So if you haven't gone through a salary negotiation process before or you're confused about where to start, here are four quick tips on how to set yourself up for success and get the coins you deserve:

1. Get Your Market Numbers Together.

Image via Giphy

Before entering any negotiations, you need to know your numbers. What is the average salary for the position? How does this amount compare to your current salary? Start putting some concrete figures down on paper.

If you are unsure of how to begin this process, start with conducting research on the market rates for this specific type of position. Online platforms such as Glassdoor.com, Payscale.com, and Salary.com offer excellent (and free) tools to assist you in determining the appropriate market rate for the position.

And don't just look at job titles. Be sure to factor in geographic location, associated cost of living, years of experience, and required credentials in the given field.

Furthermore, compare salaries beyond your current sector and across various industries. For example, the salary for a project manager in healthcare may differ from that of one in IT, and you don't want to potentially undervalue yourself because you didn't expand the scope of your analysis. Doing this essential market research allows you to assess how competitive the initial salary offer was and how much ground you may need to cover in your counteroffer.

2. Pull Your Receipts.

Now that you've analyzed the base market rates, it's time to value your differentiators. What makes you the unicorn this organization has been looking for? In order to make sure that your salary ask is what you truly deserve, it's important to account for the unique value and results that only you can deliver.

Image via Giphy

This starts with pulling what I call your receipts i.e. the credentials and qualifications you possess that are above and beyond the market requirements. Consider any additional training, certifications, and courses that have helped to deepen your knowledge base and add to your credibility as an expert. Evaluate any notable achievements or awards you have received that highlight your outstanding performance in the industry.

Take into account any clients, portfolios, or contacts that you may be able to bring over to the new company once you're hired.

Incorporate any additional useful skills that may further set you apart as a candidate, i.e. speaking a different language, or even specialized software or technical expertise. Once you have a holistic view of what you have to offer beyond the base, start applying some numbers to it! But you don't have to do it all on your own. Besides continuing your online research, if you have friends or contacts who are already in the industry or in similar roles, you can also ask their opinion on how valuable your additional qualifications may be.

3. Set Your Bottom Dollar.

Image via Giphy

What is your "walk-away" number? This is the minimum salary that you are willing to accept for the role, anything lower is your deal breaker. It is critical to set this floor salary as it establishes the rules of engagement and will keep you grounded throughout the negotiation process. You want to have a baseline to ensure you don't go below where you feel most comfortable. In setting your walk-away number, consider your current salary as well as any financial needs or goals. Remember that companies will always offer a number that will give them the best deal, so ensure that the lowest number you'll take is still worth it for you!

4. Create Your Range.

At this point, you should have a few numbers written down:

  • The average market rate(s) for your position (based on key variables, i.e. education, experience, certifications, etc), as well as the top of the market range
  • The additional value that your differentiators provide
  • Your walk-away number

Image via Giphy

Putting these all together will help you create the range that you are willing to negotiate within. Back to our Project Manager example: Let's say the average salary is $105,000, and top of market is $125,000. You've calculated that your additional credentials are worth another $12,000, so your desired salary figure is $105,000 + $12,000 = $117,000. Your walk-away, rock bottom number is $100,000. The salary range I would start with is $105,000 to $125,000. Always keep your walk-away number in your hip pocket, but don't volunteer it prematurely.

With this range, you have plenty of room to negotiate and still get to a number that is comfortable for you.

For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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