Negotiating is a four-letter word.
Most women are uncomfortable asking
for what they want because:
But sometimes you just have to do it.
Neither their parents nor their teachers taught them how to do it.
They feel greedy or ungrateful not taking what's been suggested.
Conflict is unladylike.
They're afraid their potential employer might get angry, create a scene or
even withdraw the offer.
If you don't go after what you want now:
Your employer's stinginess may become a constant source of resentment.
Your performance may suffer because you feel exploited.
Your future compensation may fall increasingly below the norm because
most raises and bonuses are a percent of current salary.
Your may continue to be underpaid, even when you change jobs/employers.
If you are unhappy with the package you've been offered, you're entitled to
ask for more.
Keep in mind, you are the number one candidate. The company
has chosen you versus all your competition. You are the only person they want
for the position. At this moment, you have a lot of leverage. If you don't
negotiate now, your next opportunity will be a year or more down the road.
Start by determining 100% of what you want.
Put together a
comprehensive package of income, benefits and perks we'll call Plan A.
(See the Compensation Calculator for help with this process.) Make it a very
reasonable, well documented request or add an extra 10-20%, if you're gutsy.
Whatever your approach, be prepared to justify the numbers.
Talk to your potential boss, using the Sandwich Approach: good news, bad
news, good news, to state your case.
Tell her you are very interested in her
offer and give specific reasons why you want the position. Then mention that,
based upon your research on what the job is worth, you think (the components
of your Plan A) would be more appropriate. If she agrees, you will be
delighted to come on board.
She may accede to your Plan A or make a counteroffer.
typically be somewhere between her original package and your plan A. If you
are happy with her new proposal, take it with enthusiasm.
If you want more, go to Plan B.
This proposal should fall between her
second offer and Plan A. If possible, hold firm on the items most critical to
you and reduce those of lesser importance. For instance, you may choose to
continue asking for Plan A's base salary, but cut the amount of your signing
or performance bonus.
She may agree to Plan B or counter again.
You have the option of
accepting her offer or countering with Plan C, which will probably require a
decrease in some of your most critical elements.
Whatever you do, don't offer or agree to anything you honestly don't want.
It's better to walk away than start a position with a chip on your shoulder.