By Giselle Galper
Congratulations, you’ve landed a job offer! Whether this is your dream job, a stepping stone in your career, or something to pay the bills, give yourself some credit for this accomplishment. Receiving an offer means that this employer wants you to work for them, and that means they’re probably willing to negotiate your offer to ensure that you actually do join their team. But does that mean you should negotiate your offer, salary, benefits, etc.?
We say yes. Absolutely and unequivocally. First of all, this company probably expects you to negotiate your offer and is open to navigating that process with you. In fact, a 2021 report from XpertHR found that a whopping 89 percent of organizations are willing to negotiate about some or all aspects of a job offer. So, your prospective employer is very unlikely to be offended if you negotiate—and even less likely to rescind an offer just because you negotiated.
But there’s another reason why chea seed encourages people, and women in particular, to negotiate their job offers. And that’s the simple but unfortunate reality that negotiations aren’t happening nearly enough.
According to a 2020 study by a staffing firm called Randstad US, 60 percent of women (and 48 percent of men) have never negotiated with an employer over their pay. That’s just incredible. When you don’t even try to negotiate, you’re leaving money on the table—not just in that job, but for the rest of your career. Over time, your salary will stay consistently lower than many of your peers’, contributing to both the infamous wage gap between men and women and the lesser-discussed wealth gap.
As Katie Shonk put it in a 2021 blog post for Harvard Law School, “If men ask for and receive slightly higher starting salaries than women . . . and continue to negotiate more assertively for themselves over the course their careers, the gender gap can add up to millions of dollars over time.”
It’s time to change those statistics, to close the gender gaps and empower women everywhere to ask for what they deserve. But don’t worry if you’re still a little nervous or unsure about the actual process of negotiating. We’ve developed a simple, four-step approach that will help you bring your A game to every negotiation.
1. Research Market Compensation
The best way to frame your negotiation is in terms of the market compensation you deserve. This is the salary that you would receive based on your experience, training, skills, and potential if the person providing your salary had no bias or agenda.
You can pinpoint this number using sites like Glassdoor and by consulting real people who either currently hold your job or hold a similar one. You could ask your coworkers, if you feel comfortable asking them, but you could also reach out to people in your network who hold roughly equivalent roles.
2. Come in With a Short Script
By prepping a script, you can not only practice but also implement advice from pro negotiators into your script and thereby boost your chances of success.
We recommend starting by warming up the conversation (2 min). Then, respond to the offer they made by making a brief note of the number you’re asking for. Refer to your requested pay and benefits as “market value” or “market compensation,” not as something you need or want.
If your prospective employer accepts this number, great! If not, you need to be prepared to push back on their next offer. We recommend pushing back up to three times, but you should feel free to push back as much as you feel is necessary. After all, this is your money for rent, utilities, transportation costs, food, and clothes.
3. Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More
Don’t skimp on this step. If you’re feeling at all nervous or awkward, practice will help you feel more calm and confident.
4. Aim High
Remember, you’ve already received the job offer. You know this company is eager to have you as part of their team. Even if you’ve decided to take the job no matter what, the ball is in your court.
So use your imagination. Set your ambition free and don’t impose arbitrary limits on yourself. It’s quite likely that even the highest numbers you’re thinking of aren’t as unachievable as they may seem.