You already know how to negotiate. You’ve been doing it since you were in diapers.
”Uh-uh, not me. I don’t negotiate for myself.”
“I’ve never asked for a raise or anything like that…”
“If I knew how to, I wouldn’t be here reading this newsletter!”
Before you object with any of the lines above, hear me out.
Negotiation is simply a conversation with the intention of reaching agreement where everyone has the right to say no.
Humor me. How old were you when you were first able to utter that dreaded word: No?
Ever since the terrible twos, when you first learned to express your individual whims and needs (“No, playtime now! WAHHHH!”), you’ve wanted things and asked for them.
Since then, you’ve been negotiating for years and years, non-stop. Yes, you.
First with your parents and your siblings. Then with your fellow playground dwellers and your teachers and other rule-bearers. Later with your fellow commuters, your significant others, your local car salesperson, your real estate agent, your boss, your children.
And how can I forget, even with the competing desires within you (“I want to eat again. Nah, I want to go back to bed. Scrap that, gotta stay focused so I can win the Nobel prize!”)
But fear kicks in and confidence plummets…
Blend this fear with equal parts structural inequities and gender norms that pressure women to take up as little space as possible with our bodies, our voices and our demands, and what you get is the stinking wage gap.
According to a recent study by AAUW, women in the U.S. are still making only about eighty percent of what men are paid. The gap hasn’t budged in a decade, and at this rate, women won’t reach pay equity until 2152.
Huh? What the F#&%!
Hey, are you going to accept that?
Say it with me: HELL to the NO.
It’s time to put fear aside and let anger fuel action. It’s time to call yourself what you are — an experienced negotiator.
If we don’t take action, we will be cheating the future generations of women — our daughters and their daughters — of their chance at equal pay.
Still not convinced?
Here are three ways you can close your wage gap:
1. Next time you’re asked to price your products and services, find out what men are charging and ask for the same. If you can’t find our men are making, add at minimum 20% on top of whichever number you arrive at.
2. Cultivate alternative options and contingency plans, like a competing offer, a profitable side hustle or a financial cushion. Spread your eggs in a number of baskets, so you never have your back against the wall in one rotten deal.
3. Get prepared with a strategic plan and custom script for your big discussion.
Let’s close the friggin’ wage gap.
Originally posted on She Negotiates on October 5th 2016