Negotiating For Money And Perks: How 3 Charlotte Women Got To ‘Yes’

By Celeste Smith
The Charlotte Observer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) During a salary seminar sponsored by the Charlotte chapter of Ellevate Network, the American Association of University Women and Wake Forest University Charlotte Center, women learned the keys to negotiating like a Boss!

The Charlotte Observer

I’m afraid of being told I suck.

I don’t want to seem greedy or ungrateful.

He already gave me a job. It’s awkward asking for more.

But here’s what happens if you don’t even bother negotiating for more job pay: you don’t get it.

So women should push through these phrases that they may tell themselves during salary negotiation time, and charge ahead.

That was a key message during a salary seminar for women last week called “Negotiate Like a Boss,” sponsored by the Charlotte chapter of Ellevate Network, the American Association of University Women and Wake Forest University Charlotte Center.

Attendees also shared strategies and insights that worked for them when it came time to ask for more money or perks. Here’s a look at three women’s stories shared with the Observer, edited for brevity:
[The one step many women aren’t taking when it comes to their pay]

Keep a kudos folder
Carolyn Malloy, 29, recruiter:
I haven’t always asked for more salary. Then I got this advice from some peers: Whenever you get a salary, you always say, ‘Is that the best you can do?’ And I did that and got a $2,000 bump.

Also: If somebody says ‘you did such a great job on this,’ I say thank you, and ask if they can send that in writing so that I can show my boss. It’s a really great tool to leverage at development time, or in salary negotiation time. Put that in a folder in your emails, and when the time comes, you use it to your advantage.

Base pay isn’t the only money
Cathea Woodley, 34, human resources information systems contractor and web design entrepreneur:

With my last corporate experience, I knew what salary I wanted to make. But I also knew the perks of working with a technology startup: a bonus, stock options, and a pretty good benefits package. So I wanted to make sure that I did my research and knew what typical people in my role were being offered.

I also thought about future earning goals. Once you negotiate that starting salary, that kind of defines how far you can go down the road. In my early career, I didn’t make good salary decisions. Because of the economic climate in the early 2000s and the recession in 2008, I took lower salaries or didn’t negotiate. This really impacted me five and 10 years later in my career, because people were looking at that salary history, and wanted to start from where I left off.

We have anxiety, because we want people to like us and think we have the skill set, but we also don’t want them to think that we’re greedy or ungrateful to have a job. Still, you want to ask for something that shows that you know what you’re worth, something that’s aggressive as well. Because those raises and things aren’t guaranteed.

Get more vacation
From a 34-year-old analyst who works in compliance and ethics:
If you don’t get to your salary number, go in with something else. I knew I wanted a position, but the salary was below what I was looking for. So I found other tangible items to negotiate.

I asked for and got an additional week of vacation. It’s valuable to go in there with a hard and fast number, but find other ways to get something you’re comfortable with.

Title is another thing we don’t argue for. Know what your organization’s hierarchy looks like. I thought I was looking at the highest position at my level, but in fact there was one above that. Had I known that, I potentially would have negotiated for that title. If you couldn’t give me salary, maybe I could get a title.

For the last three positions I’ve had, I’ve negotiated for all of them. And I’ve always made some progress. You might not get everything, but you always get something. If you get a job offer, they want you. You have more power in that situation than you think.

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