Updated: May 7, 2021
As a modern professional Latina mom navigating the corporate world as a corporate recruiter and Human Resource professional for over 11 years, I have learned that negotiation is key to life mastery and happiness not only in work but in life. I am not talking about negotiating with yourself saying you will not eat bread today if life allows you to fit into your jeans comfortably. No, I am talking about the art of professional negotiation. The money, career, and life talks we need to have to move our mountains and step into our power, passion, and purpose.
According to a study by global staffing firm Robert Half, in 2018, 68 percent of men and 45 percent of women negotiated their salaries. In 2017, 46 percent of men, and 34 percent of women did so. Robert Half also learned that 70 percent of 2,800 managers surveyed expect candidates to negotiate.
Something to note from this study’s finding is that fewer women than men are negotiating their salaries. It’s time to stop leaving money on the table ladies! It’s time to have some crucial conversations and step into our power because as the study states, it is expected. I can say from delivering many offers over my years of experience that this is true. And from my own personal experience, when I deliver offers to men, they almost always negotiate, whereas women say yes on the spot.
I want to offer you three strategies when negotiating your job offer that can lead to a better family, life, and career outcomes. As a modern professional Latina mom, you have to negotiate… A lot. This isn’t just about money; this is about negotiating for the important and necessary things in your life. Drawing a line in the sand so to speak and knowing what you bring to the table and what you offer.
According to Merriam webster the word “negotiate” is defined as, “to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter.” Negotiation doesn’t have to be a tug of war or have a masculine edge. No, it’s about arriving at a settlement just as the definition states. So how do you in fact arrive at a settlement when negotiating your career and or a new job offer?
Step 1: Own your worth and speak confidently.
This isn’t about being cocky, rude, or demanding, far from it. It is about speaking power and truth to the person you are negotiating with and creating a settlement that works for both parties. It is the art of give and take. No one party should hold all the control in a relationship and negotiation allows you to work out a deal that also works for you. Before you can speak confidently you have to prepare. Negotiation is not something to fear, it is about knowing what you want and why you want it. Sometimes it isn’t all about money. It may be about flexibility. If you gain a large paycheck, but you are working more hours than you ever have and are expected to work nights and weekends, is this a win? It may be depending on what stage of life you are in. For me, large payouts with major hours are not sustainable or doable with a small child at home. That does not mean I am settling for less money, no what it means is that I have to negotiate for my best life. Before I ever land a job offer, I need to understand and prepare for what I want from a company and what I want for my life. Side note, I teach modern professional moms how to tackle this step so that when they get to the negotiation phase it is easy, seamless, and powerful. If you want to learn more about this reach out to me and I can help you.
Step 2: Understanding and expressing your core values and beliefs.
Negotiating is about understanding your core values and beliefs and then articulating them to the person that can close the deal. When you are preparing to negotiate your salary, you have to know your value. You have to pay attention to the market and what competitive rates are in your industry. One place you can go for information is Glassdoor. Glassdoor is exactly what it sounds like. It is a peek into companies to understand what their employees are saying about working there. Often companies have some of their salary ranges listed. Another way to understand the salary range is to ask the recruiter that is working with you. Often times the question about salary is framed in a way that can throw you off in an interview. Something to be mindful of, even the best companies want to find the best talent for the least amount of money.
Here is an example:
Recruiter: “I am so glad we had a chance to connect. Before we proceed to the next step in the interview process, tell me what salary range are you looking for?”
You: “That is a great question and I am so glad you asked. I would hate for both of us to waste our time and get too far in the process and not be able to land on a number that works for us both. Can you let me know the range you are looking to pay for this role?”
Here is where it gets the conversations can get interesting. For the sake of this conversation let’s assume you are working with a good company that has quality recruiters on their team.
Recruiter: “Well depending on experience, the role will pay about $65,000-$75,000. We also offer additional benefits that add value to the total offer.”
Here is where you use your power and leverage your experience. Instead of saying that is good and moving on without asking more questions.
You: “Oh, I was doing research and learned a little about the additional benefits, but can you give me more details? When are benefits effective, do you offer additional perks not mentioned on your website?”
Recruiter: “Sure, we offer medical, dental, and vision, first day on the job, and we offer dry cleaning services and discounts on local childcare providers and other options. I can send you some of our benefits so you can review them.
You: This sounds great I would appreciate the extra information what are the next steps in the process?
Recruiter: Sure, oh but before we schedule that you haven’t let me know if the salary range works for you?
You: I am really excited about the role and can see myself adding a lot of value to an already amazing organization. I really love that you have childcare discounts and offer additional benefits for your employees. Having benefits on day one is also awesome. For this role, I am looking for a range of $70,000-$75,000. (You then must provide a range you can live with.)
See you haven’t given away your power by agreeing to any range. Even if the range is well above what you have made in the past, you don’t have to let the recruiter know that.
Companies have allocated budgets to their positions and are aware they may have to pay on the higher side for a quality candidate. Good companies pay fairly for talent. If you agree to the range without providing your range you are agreeing to the bottom of their range, so be mindful of your words. I know a lot of candidates who don’t want to offer any range and then they get to an offer after spending weeks interviewing and it is far below what they can live on and they are upset. They may still take the job, but they start looking right away, or they get stressed out trying to reduce their budgets to make the new job work. When you communicate your needs and then you get to an offer stage no one is surprised, and the conversation has more meaning.
Let’s flash forward to step three assuming you got the offer.
Step 3: Reinforcing boundaries and knowing what you will and won’t agree to.
Just because you get an offer doesn’t mean you have to take it. Do your best not to let fear control your decision-making process. Sometimes you have to be willing to turn down an offer if you can’t arrive at the best decision. Something helpful to keep in mind is you should do your best to be in multiple interview phases with companies you are interested in and aligned to so you have options and don’t have all your eggs in one basket. We can talk about this in a later podcast, or you can connect, and I can help you now.
Let’s get into the example:
Recruiter: Hey, Claudia is it so good to connect with you, thank you for being such a pleasure to work with through this process. We had two great candidates and it has been a hard decision, but we feel you would be the best fit for the role and would like to offer you the job at $68,000 starting immediately.
You: This is so nice to hear and I really enjoyed the process. Will you be sending a formal offer to review, or will you be going over the offer now?
Recruiter: I will send you the offer to review. Are you saying yes?
You: Let’s backtrack a little. As we went through the process we talked about salary and I let you know the range I was looking for is $70,000-$75,000. I really enjoyed meeting the team and believe I can add a lot of value to the company. If we can make $73,000 happen, I would love to join the team.
Recruiter: Well I am not sure, you have had some movement recently, and the last person in the role was at $68,000. We also have the benefits day one, and all the additional perks.
You: I hear you, and as I have mentioned in our conversations these things are important to me and my family, and I am still exploring other options as well. I really want to work here because this company is aligned to my core values and $73,000 what I need to accept the offer.
Recruiter: Well, the team really likes you and I do believe you have the skills we need to take us to the next level so $73,000 is reasonable since it is still in our range. Since we are moving the salary up, can you start immediately?
You: I understand the urgency and the company wanting me to start soon. I am looking forward to bringing my best self to work, but it wouldn’t be fair to not give my current employer at least two weeks’ notice. I can start in two weeks and I am looking forward to this next step in my career. If you send the updated offer, I will sign it.
Recruiter: Sounds great! I know the team wants someone now, but we have waited this long, two weeks is not too much longer. I will send the offer and I am excited to let the team know you have accepted the offer.
This is one of many possibilities and outcomes when it comes to negotiating your offer. The goal is to arrive at a solution and a compromise that works for all parties but does not give away your power. Notice that Claudia didn’t take the offer just because they paid someone else that salary before. No, she stuck to her boundaries and restated her value, even when the additional perks were offered in exchange for the reduced pay. She stated why she was a value and reconfirmed her worth. She also wasn’t afraid to walk away and let the recruiter know she was still in process with other companies. She stayed firm when the company asked her to start right away and held on to her beliefs of doing the right thing. Ultimately she got what she wanted, and the company is getting a valuable employee. The same is true for you. As you negotiate don’t forget to speak confidently, know your worth, core values, and personal beliefs, and re-enforce your boundaries. By preparing effectively and practicing your negotiation skills, you will increase your ability to come up with creative solutions that work for you and are fair to everyone involved.
Negotiation isn’t something you learn overnight, and I want to help you develop your skills in a way that works for you. Connect with me today so I can start working with you to help you align your negotiation style to your personal beliefs and core values. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s stop leaving money on the table. Until next time keep moving your mountains.