Ask For What You’re Worth

By: Jill Griffin

As a newbie MBA entering the corporate world, it never occurred to me to negotiate my starting salary. I had a handful of offers and the best two were within a few hundred dollars of each other. So, I assumed that was the ceiling.

Bad assumption. “Not negotiating the salary of your first job can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over your career,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing Carnegie Mellon Economics Professor Linda Babcock and her book, Ask for it: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation To Get What They Really Want.

That’s one of a handful of great tips I learned when I read the recent WSJ article “Even Ace Salary Negotiators Can Hate Conflict” by A.C. Shelton.

Truth is, routinely “calling out” your achievements is important in every job you have. Don’t expect your boss to always know what you are doing to meet your performance goals and to move the business ahead. Regularly update her.

You are also building a perfect foundation for when you are ready to ask for a raise. Consider these savvy tips for articulating your worth and how to leave a meeting with more money.

Don’t think of negotiation as a conflict. Instead, advises Dr. Babcock, try seeing it as an important conversation that needs to be managed. Consider a way for both parties to get what they want. You get paid what you are really worth, and they get your full focus (rather than you sharpening your resume on company time.)

Bosses expect a little haggling. For the first time in 12 years, I bought a new car. Did I take the first price my sales guy offered? Of course not! We did a friendly haggle. In our culture, it’s expected.