Should you negotiate?
Upon college graduation, I had multiple job offers. All of which I failed to negotiate. I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t realize that I should or needed to maximize my earning potential until I was hired and quickly learned that others in my role made more than me and with lesser skill. My district manager even said I was their number one choice which led me to believe I could have asked for more and would have gotten it. Leading to regrets that I don’t want others to face today.
Negotiation is an essential skill we can all benefit from in all areas of life when we understand what negotiation is. Why we often fail to negotiate and how to simplify negotiations and remove that used car salesman stigma from our perception of negotiating.
In the book Women Don’t Ask, the authors share the shocking stats of negotiation averages by gender. Where 57% of men and only 7% of women are likely to negotiate for various reasons, including lack of confidence, fear of an offer being rescinded, and uncertainty about how to negotiate as some of the most notable reasons.
Why are learning negotiating skills important?
Companies and recruiters set aside money, anticipating that employees will negotiate their salary or raise. That is why 70% of hiring managers expect you to negotiate, so if you don’t, you leave money on the table that was earmarked for you.
Those who do negotiate to earn 7.6% more on average., That means a one-time negotiation of a $60,000 salary will earn you $140,000 more in salary alone than the person who didn’t negotiate over a 30-year career.
One of the best ways to overcome a fear or obstacle is to get to the root of the problem. I’ve identified seven top obstacles that stop us from negotiating together. While some face just one obstacle, many people can relate to a number of the obstacles; once they are equipped with this knowledge, they can more easily overcome their fears and negotiate confidently.
The 7 Obstacles That Stop Us From Negotiating
You’re just not sure how to negotiate or when to negotiate. Being uncertain about anything causes our minds to go into fear mode. To overcome this obstacle, you want to learn more about how simple salary negotiations work.
Not being aware that you should be negotiating. It’s uncertain when the negotiation will happen or if we should be negotiating it. Is this even necessary? Knowing that 70% of managers make their offer expecting you to negotiate, it’s easy to understand that you should always be negotiating.
3. Misplaced Trust
This is especially true for women and can be tied to obstacle number two, unawareness. We have this tendency to see people as fair. I know I did, and I still do. If we’re not careful.
Perhaps you’ve developed a great relationship with the recruiter or hiring manager; this relationship can lead you to believe that you’ve done such a great job that they’ve, in fact given you the best offer already.
We will think that others have our very best interest, and while they may be good and fair people when it comes to negotiations, they are part of a system that requires them to consider that you may negotiate.
Giving that misplaced trust away prevents us from negotiating because we think they offered us the best they could. Why wouldn’t they? This can be especially true when pay bands (pay range) are involved, but studies show those who negotiate are at the higher end of the pay bands (pay range).
You’ve been working towards this new opportunity for some time now, so when you finally get that job, offer, promotion, or raise, you are ecstatic, especially if it’s been a long, drawn-out process. In a split second, you’re given the offer with the adrenaline rush and excitement, and you lose sight of the opportunity to negotiate. Which can lead to future resentment and remorse, especially if you learn others received more than you.
When it comes to happiness, it’s important to remember that it’s not only your salary that’s up for negotiations. You could also leave additional vacation time, flexible work schedules, or a signing bonus on the table.
We are afraid that our offers will be rescinded if we negotiate, and therefore, we choose not to. But the truth is, people’s offers are often not rescinded because they negotiate. Most salary negotiations are low-risk negotiations, but we tend to see salary negotiations as high risk because we take rejection personally and because a job is often necessary to provide for our families.
To ensure you keep the low negotiation risk, go in with a grateful, genuine, and positive attitude. Try reframing your thinking by asking yourself what you would want if you didn’t fear the offer being rescinded. Then remember that the company that’s hiring you has also put forth a significant effort and time to hire you, so they won’t want to lose you because of a five, ten, or fifteen-thousand-dollar yearly cost. This is especially true in larger organizations with more flexible budgets. It would take something monumental for them to rescind an offer because other people are excited about you moving into this position. As long as you negotiate properly, your offer won’t likely be rescinded.
Although this one isn’t common, it’s worth mentioning because it can catch us off guard, especially if you are now intending to negotiatieBullying shows up in negotiations most often when time pressure is placed on you to make a quick decision, or you are reminded of what a great opportunity this is and the number of other candidates that are lined up and willing to take the role should you turn it down.
These offers are often called exploding offers and give you little time and space to navigate a negotiation. Leading to a greater sense of fear around negotiating and a feeling of “I better take this offer. It’s the best they’ll give me.”
If you encounter one of these offers, they tend to be higher-risk offers to negotiate, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate.
You want to think about the role, the company, and the impact this position will have on your career progression. Suppose a company can’t meet your financial requirements and isn’t willing to negotiate other terms. In that case, it is a clear indicator of what you can expect once inside the work environment and your ability to negotiate future positions within the company.
We have been socialized to be grateful, accept what is offered, and allow others to give us our value. This is especially true for women. One of our biggest fears is to be seen as greedy or entitled.
We need to understand that this is the frame we are putting around ourselves and that we can be grateful and assert ourselves simultaneously.
My son had a Hot Wheel birthday party, and the favors were a bubble wand with a Hot Wheels car. We had purposefully picked out a variety since any leftover cars would go to my son.
When we were putting together party favors for my son’s birthday. He said, “ we’ll just pass them out and tell them. You get what you get and don’t make a fit.”
What a clever saying. I loved it. But as I pondered it, I realized this is part of the problem. These cute sayings in life can translate to other areas where we must assert ourselves.
Often, we think that if we ask for more, it shows that we’re not grateful or appreciative of what we’ve been given because we’ve been socialized just to accept whatever is offered.
While it is good to show gratitude, we can certainly assert ourselves and get the things we want. For example, if a child would say, “Thank you, Mrs. Guirovich, this is so great. I appreciate this gift. I had my eye on that one. Would it be okay if I swap?”
What would I say? Of course, you can swap.
Remember that you can be very gracious while still negotiating. And it is up to you to communicate and showcase your negotiation skills.
Just like we’ve encountered obstacles to negotiating, we also encounter obstacles in earning promotions. My Promotion Plan helps women all over the globe to overcome these obstacles. Check it out and join us on the journey to your next promotion.