Hello, Frugalistas! Today is National Equal Pay Day, and the numbers aren’t so fabulous. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. Meh! In honor of this day, TheFrugalista.com is running an interview with Amanda Fairbanks, who has covered for The Huffington Post how even recent female college graduates earn less than men. TheFrugalista.com believes in equal pay for equal work. Period. While we cannot change a culture over night, we can work making sure to negotiate our salaries when we get job offers. Sometimes we have to work on leveling our own playing field.
Why You Must Negotiate Q&A Interview
Why is it important to negotiate?
It’s important to negotiate because so often women don’t even know that they can. When a man is offered a job, it’s typically thought of as a right of passage to simply ask for what they believe they’re worth. All too often, won’t don’t even think to ask and as a result, not only undersell themselves, but get paid far less money as a result.
What stops women from negotiating more? How can we over come the mental road block?
I think what stops most women in their tracks is fear–both of their own self-worth and also the chance that their boss will simply say no. Also, in this economy, many workers, women included, simply feel lucky for any job they can get, let alone feel emboldened to ask for more. In terms of overcoming the mental road block, it’s important to first acknowledge that it exists. Many women are totally unaware of its existence in the first place, which is the biggest hurdle to first overcome.
In this soft economy, many people are scared to negotiate. They are just happy to get an offer for a job or work opportunity. Should you still negotiate?
You should absolutely still negotiate, even if it’s only a little bit. No matter the economy, most male workers will naturally do so. Why should women be any different? Also, if you’ve been in your job for more than six months, it’s time to start building up the courage to ask for a raise. The dance of negotiation occurs not only when first hired, but continually and regularly throughout your career.
I hear the first rule of negotiation is to let the other person make the offer first. Is that true? What can you do when the job wants to know your salary range?
Knowing your salary range is part of doing your homework. You should know what’s standard in your industry for your age and experience, and when you’re being made a fair offer. You can only begin an artful negotiation by being informed. So talk with your former coworkers, guy and girl friends. Once you start talking salaries, it can be incredibly liberating to finally ask for what you’re really worth.
How *DO* you negotiate? What are a few tips that you can share with our readers?
I think it’s a delicate balance between being forceful but still maintain the appearance of being cooperative. After all, you don’t necessarily want to begin your job with a tense relationship between you and your new boss. And after all, even if you feel as though you ultimately settled for less, there’s always time to ask for a raise. And in six months, you absolutely can and must and should. Circle it in your calendar. It’ll come around faster than you think.
What do you think about this interview? Do you negotiate your salary? How did you do it? How did it turn out?