EARN WHAT YOU'RE WORTHCareerBuilder.com
women are not getting paid what they are worth because they settle
for less; either because they lack the confidence to ask for more
or because they fail to recognize their own self-worth,"
says Mary Lyn Miller, veteran career consultant, author and founder
of the Life and Career Clinic.
women are not lacking talent, ability or education," she
says, but when it comes to asking for more money or setting aggressive
earning goals, many of the women she meets in her workshops are
quick to say, "Oh, I couldn't possibly do that."
women already earning just 78 percent of men's wages (based on
a 2003 study by the U.S. Department of Labor), how can you avoid
settling for less? Follow these steps to help you realize, and
receive, what you are really worth.
One: Explore your beliefs.
encourages women to examine their beliefs about why they are not
earning as much as they would like. She says that "In many
cases your beliefs are what brought you to where you are today."
Miller says that to attain what you truly desire you need to break
down negative programming you learned growing up - those that
made you feel that you were not good enough, or strong enough,
or intelligent enough.
Two: Take care of yourself first.
are far more likely to think of others first. "I tell women
to stop taking care of others and take care of yourself."
They may be concerned that the timing isn't right to ask because
the company is going through financial difficulties, or may be
afraid that it might seem selfish or greedy if they ask for more
money. "You have to learn to put yourself first. This isn't
about being selfish, it's about getting paid what you are worth."
Three: Know what you are worth.
counselors often say women are less in touch with going rates
in the job market than men are. Make sure your expectations are
based on realities in the marketplace.
external sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, online
salary calculators, compensation surveys and industry indexes
to determine what others in your field and with your education
and experience are earning. Talk to management recruiters and
check online job postings for salary ranges for similar positions.
Four: Prepare your case.
a nice person or a hard worker isn't reason enough to get a raise.
Document your accomplishments in writing and show how they benefit
the company. Provide concrete examples of how you have met or
exceeded individual and team goals. List your major responsibilities
and identify new responsibilities that you have recently taken
on at work.
Five: Understand what your company values.
for clues about skills and attributes your senior leaders value.
Then, position your strengths in those terms.
prepared to focus on your leadership and teamwork skills: Show
how your contributions provide a positive return on investment
to the department and the company, and talk about your accomplishments
in terms of brand building and strengthening customer relationships.
Six: Set goals.
have to intend to make more money in order to do so," Miller
says. That takes more than wishful thinking. It requires setting
goals and milestones to mark your progress. If you really want
to make $100,000 someday, the first step is to put it in writing.
Then determine what it will take to reach that goal. Is it possible
to earn that in your current job, at the company where you work,
or in your current profession? Do you need more education or more
Seven: Ask for what you want and negotiate until you get it.
earners tend to negotiate; underearners don't." Miller says
that once people discover what they really want, many are too
afraid to do anything about it. Women often find the whole idea
of asking for more money a source of great discomfort. They fear
confrontation. Think of negotiating as having a win-win discussion
with your boss. Know what you want and why you deserve it.
prepared to ask for more than you think you can get, so you have
some room to negotiate if your initial suggestion is rejected.
If you're maxed out at your current job grade, pursue a promotion
instead of a raise. Discuss what the company would have to pay
to replace you. Ask your supervisor to describe what he or she
would consider "fair" compensation for someone with
your expertise and responsibilities. Request more at-risk pay
or a bonus or incentive based on achieving personal or departmental
you've done your homework, you'll know what you should be paid
and why. In most cases you'll be surprised by the outcome. The
worst someone can say is no, or not yet. Then you must decide
whether you should stay with your current job or look elsewhere.
If you make a move, you could end up earning significantly more
than you currently make.
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