5 Negotiation Tips Every Career Girl Should Know

eye exam

You found out you got the job offer and you couldn’t be happier. Now it’s time to negotiate your pay and the happiness turns into anxiety, confusion, or maybe both. Many women are still paid less than their male equals across all professions. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women would lose $418,800 over the course of a 40-year career based on today’s wage gap. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the work force, the challenges of negotiating pay affect all of us.

Just ask Redfin Chief Economist, Nela Richardson.

Nela Richardson, whose resume reads Ph.D. in economics, adjunct professor at John Hopkins, and Senior Economist at Freddie Mac, didn’t think she would ever be underpaid. She was caught by surprise while working as a government economist, to learn a male coworker in the same position was paid over $60,000 more than she was!

That was a pivotal moment for Nela and it changed the course of her career. She left her underpaid job to find one that paid her the amount she was worth.

How did she do it? Lucky for us, Nela is sharing her top tips for women about to head to the negotiation table.


Knowledge is power. Networking is crucial to make connections with people in your field to get more information about the positions you are applying for. Attend events and schedule coffee with someone you meet. Ask what companies are paying for certain positions. Networking with people in your industry will help you understand what a competitive wage is for someone in your position. Knowing your market worth gives you the greatest negotiating power.

redfin article june 2017 1

Do your Research

Again, knowledge is power. And knowledge comes from research!  Sit down and research different companies and the salaries they offer. Use sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to find out what positions are worth in your area. Using factual data is one of the strongest tools to use during a salary negotiation meeting.

Be Realistic without Selling Yourself Short

Without settling for the bare minimum, don’t request for a salary that is unreasonably high. Ask for five to 10 percent more than the industry standard, but be prepared to explain WHY you are worth that much more. Maybe you have additional skills that would benefit the company, or you have a connection that makes you a more appealing candidate. A good company will value an employee who knows what they are worth, especially if they can deliver on the promises made during salary negotiations. However be cautious, your company could regret hiring you if you ask for a lot more money and can’t deliver on your promises.

redfin article june 2017 2

Learn to Negotiate Benefits other than Pay

There is always a chance a company is unable to give you any more money than what they are offering. But don’t lost hope. There are other benefits you can negotiate. For instance, they might be able to give you a few extra vacation days, pay for your transportation costs, or let you work from home once a week. To be safe, make sure you get those other agreed-upon benefits in writing.

If the hiring manager says they can’t pay you what you’re asking, ask what you would need to do in the role to reach your desired salary. You could also request a guaranteed raise percentage annually or within a certain amount of time. Good employers will respect your drive.

Discuss Your Career Path

A respectable company will value an employee’s personal career goals. Make a point to ask about the upward mobility in a company so you can visualize what your future would look like. You might not want to take the position if there isn’t much room to grow. Employers appreciate a driven candidate who wants to turn her position into a career!

Source: Via Redfin



Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

You may also like...