How I Bungled My Salary Negotiation So You Won’t Have To
Learn from these mistakes with salary negotiation
About ten years ago, I bungled my salary negotiation and ended up getting paid only about half of what a typical hedge fund analyst makes.
I made several, embarrassing mistakes.
One was not doing my homework and not finding out the going market rate for my position. Another was giving a low number ($50K) as my minimum salary requirement, which immediately became my starting salary.
I was under the dangerously naive misconception that the hedge fund manager would reward my unarticulated, unproven future potential by paying me fairly. I didn't know about the gender pay gap, gender bias or sexism in the workplace. [Tweet "I didn't even know I had power."]
Unconsciously, I assumed that all I had to do was say the magic words, "Can we negotiate?" and he would not only praise me for my negotiating wisdom (ha!) but reward me with tens of thousands dollars more in salary.
"No," came the terse reply. "I don't negotiate. Take it or leave it."
I took the job. But the fit wasn't right. I was the only female staff at the trading desk. The hours were long; the growth potential never made clear. I never felt I belonged where my gender was a barrier, not a strength.
Two years later, I quit. I left the paying job for an unpaid internship with Golden Seeds, an angel investment fund that invests only in women-founded companies.
I voted with my feet, and it was the right move for me.
Interning at Golden Seeds connected me to a powerful network of powerful women. One connection helped me land a job in the tech start-up field where I eventually earned a six figure salary.
My wish for you is that you won't make the costly mistakes I made early in my career. So please, do you homework. Research. Prepare. Practice. (There are free resources and consultants to help you with that.)
[Tweet "Don't be too quick to give away your power or ask permission to negotiate"] because they'll say no. If you can, avoid using the word "negotiation." Instead invite the other side to a "conversation."
Most importantly, be motivated by something bigger than money.
Act and negotiate in alignment with your personal values. Find your allies and find ways to add value to their projects. Vote with your feet.
For me, it was about opting for feminism - that radical idea that helping women achieve economic equality is good not only for women, but also for families, societies and businesses. When I went to intern at Golden Seeds at age twenty-eight, I chose a feminist enterprise over a paying job where I was more often judged by the choice of my blouse than my contributions.
It was the right move for me. Eventually the money followed.
[Tweet "So do the right thing for you. The money will follow."]
Originally posted on She Negotiates on March 17th 2017
Need help negotiating your worth? Contact 3Plus now!
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
We have Remote Learning Programs available
Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Even the most seasoned of speakers get nervous before making a presentation. Here are 8 tips to conquer those presentation nerves.read more
Dr. Tanvi Gautam is an award winning diversity and inclusion specialist and HR thought leader splitting her time between Asia and the US. Read her words and thoughts of wisdom in this 3Plus Women Who Inspire series.read more
Virtual event promotion is important, but this is especially true for online events as they are new for many people, here is what to try, and to avoid!read more