I Didn’t Even Need to Negotiate My Salary

If you ever find yourself believing the above statement than you have missed the chance to earn more money and more importantly the chance to earn what other people in your company are making for the same job. Let me repeat this. If you ever think you were so lucky that you “did not even need to negotiate” than you have lost out since the first salary offered is typically below the budgeted salary for the job. It’s a starting point similar to a car’s sticker price.

Negotiation as a FightI had another topic I was going to write about today but this was handed to me on a silver platter and I need to write about it. Here’s the backstory. A few days ago I received an email asking for some insight in the digital marketing industry for a job interview. I responded and the woman was kind enough to follow up and let me know that she got the job offer today. Exciting news all around! I emailed back with congratulations and asked if she had accepted the job already or was she negotiating her salary. Let me paraphrase her response. It included that the offer was at the high end and that she had been ready to “fight” but was happy that she didn’t have to.

I did not paraphrase the word fight. That is her exact word. FIGHT. Do we believe a new employee/employer relationship should start with a FIGHT? That’s like preparing for a first date and thinking any time you share your thoughts, opinions, or experiences would be a reason for no second date.

If we believe negotiating is a fight (and I am certain she is not alone) than of course we will be excited not to have to FIGHT with our new boss. Fight is such a negative word. Fight is such a tiring activity. Fight is such an emotional and physical endeavor. Yet a fight is not the point of salary negotiation. The point of negotiating is to ensure that you, the employee, is paid:

• What the job is worth

• On par with both male and female employees

• The highest amount the hiring manager has budgeted for your position

What happens if you think of negotiations not as a FIGHT but as a dance, a game, a conversation, or just part of the interview process? None of these terms are as negative as FIGHT. None of these terms are as tiring. None of these terms requires an emotional commitment to finish the feat.

Stating I didn’t even have to FIGHT makes sense but when we exchange Fight for the other words does it make sense? “I didn’t even have to dance?” To play? To converse? To interview?

Next time, try thinking in terms that are not so heated as FIGHT when you think of salary negotiation. It will empower you to follow through and actually ask for the most money available for the job.

© Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited