Ask Upfront: Negotiate a Higher Salary and Earn More Money

Negotiate a higher salary, and you'll earn more money over both the short and long term. But according to Women Don’t Ask:

  • Women don’t like to negotiate. In surveys, 2.5 times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating.

  • Women suffer when they don’t negotiate. In one study, eight times as many men as women graduating with master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon negotiated their salaries. The men who negotiated were able to increase their starting salaries by an average of 7.4 percent, or about $4,000. Another study calculated that women who consistently negotiate their salary increases earn at least $1 million more during their careers than women who don’t.

  • Women have lower expectations and lack knowledge of their worth. Women report salary expectations between 3 and 32 percent lower than those of men for the same jobs; men expect to earn 13 percent more than women during their first year of full-time work and 32 percent more at their career peaks.

But It Doesn't Have to Be That Way

If you’ve ever been on an interview and held your breath until the final offer only to be disappointed, please, read on.

One of the most frustrating aspects about the job hunt has to be hoping that they will make an offer commensurate with your worth. Not only your worth but taking into consideration what the company has actually budgeted for the position. But how do you know the amount actually budgeted for the position?

You Ask!

Men ask for what they want twice as often as women do and initiate negotiation four times more. Men, socialized in a “scrappier paradigm,” learn to pursue and energize their goals at work and home. The two key elements are control and recognizing opportunity.

– Amazon Review, “Women Don’t Ask

Here’s Your Opportunity! Take Control!

For example, let’s say your current salary is $55k and market salary for your position is actually $65k.

The company you plan to interview with budgeted the position between $65k-75k but negotiates between $58k-$60k with you. I don’t know about you but that would grind my nerves.

The point? Play the game and stop wasting your own time by waiting until the last minute to find out the salary being offered for the position.

Ask For The Salary Range Upfront

  1. Break The Rules: Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine. Ask upfront for the budgeted range for the position during the first phone call with the recruiting manager. This way you get them to break one of the first rules of salary negotiation. This seems innocent upfront because after all, they don’t know if they will make you an offer but you get this information ahead of time. You get them to give you their number first and you know whether it is worth your time to interview and jump through hoops for the position.

  2. Waste Less Time. You waste less time by doing this during the first call with the HR person/recruiter. What is the point of interviewing for a position slated to pay you 5-10% less than what you’re paying now? This also holds them to their word. Get them to name a range and you gain the advantage when it’s time for negotiations. However, if you’re unemployed and desperate for work, then you may want to take it no matter the offer.

  3. You Have The Advantage. Take It. They want you, remember? There is no unwritten rule that says you can’t ask first before you interview. It actually makes more sense to do so rather than being disappointed and exploited in the end when it’s time to talk money.

  4. Maintain salary integrity. Taking a job making less than what you’re paying now shoots you in the foot down the line. During this economy it is understandable why employers may low ball potential employees, but don’t give them a reason by taking a lower salary now. Why? A future employer may look at your salary history and see that you took less than what you were making previously and offer you less thinking you’d be willing to take a hit “for the team.”

Yes, this goes against the grain in salary negotiations, but really, how many of you have gone the safe route only to be disappointed? You have bills to pay and if you know ahead of time the market range and budget for the position you walk in informed with a stiletto up on the negotiations.

More tips

  1. Research your market. Get on LinkedIn and survey your colleagues to determine actual market salary ranges for your desired position.

  2. Find a mentor in your field. They can often shed light on the field and give you more to think about when interviewing for a position. Their experience translates into leverage for you when walking into an interview.

  3. Be confident. Act as though you don't need the position. Positioning yourself as desperate for the job in order to be liked puts you in a position to get low-balled. You'll hate yourself for it when you see your first paycheck.

  4. Sell yourself. Write your resume and cover letter tailored specifically for the position. If you can't do this then don't apply. If you were the hiring manager, would you hire you based on your cover letter? If you have to stretch the truth to apply then don't bother applying.

Have you ever asked about the salary range upfront before interviewing? How did that go over with the recruiter? Did you eventually get the job? Let us know in the comments!