How to be a Savvy, Negotiating Mom to Earn More Time and Money

When was the last time you negotiated more time off, a higher salary or a flex schedule?

Statistics would lead me to believe you might have never negotiated in your career. Will that stop you from being a savvy negotiator going forward?

No, because you can ‘Fake it until you Make It’. The more confidence you have, the more confidence your decision maker will have in you.

To build your confidence, you need to build your base. Lucky for you, I’ve got Megan Senese from MKS Resume Services breaking down the tactical knowledge you need to get where you need to be.

The end of the year is rapidly approaching and for most, it’s review performance time. You prepared for your review and received positive feedback; your hard work paid off…..Or did it?

The salary bump and bonus, while appreciated, was simply not a reflection of your contributions. So what do you do?

Don’t be Afraid to Ask

In Linda Babcock’s book, Women Don’t Ask, she states that only 7% of women attempted to negotiate their first salary, while 57% of men did. Of those that did negotiate, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.

That small increase adds up over the course of your career and greatly impacts your earning potential and retirement planning.

How to Do it

Thank your manager for the information and ask how your increases ranked compared to others. If you don’t ask, you never know if your manager already went to bat for you. Asking where you rank will give you an idea how the company is performing and will influence your negotiation.

Let your manager know the numbers are less than you expected. This will hopefully start a conversation. If you need to, ask if you can continue the conversation at a later time, allowing yourself time to prepare with the reasons you deserve more and supporting your request with facts. This will also give the manager time to (hopefully) see what dollar amount they are able to approve.

Research. Research. Research.

This will help you feel more confident in your ask. Survey other people in your industry: How do their salaries and bonuses compare?

This can be a challenge, as it may be difficult to get others to talk about money, but it’s your livelihood and your career.

Don’t be embarrassed to seek out answers. If you really don’t feel comfortable surveying your peers, connect with a recruiter. They can give you general information on what your peers in your industry are making, at the same experience level. A simple google search for salary ranges and sometimes even job descriptions will list ranges.

Exercising this due-diligence is important to ensure that you’re not demanding too little, or too much. Be prepared with an exact number (i.e. “I was hoping for a 10% increase” or “I was hoping to be earning $56,754” versus a salary range.

Managers are more likely to be able to approve a specific number than a range, and the more exact your salary request is the more prepared you will seem. Knowing your worth will impact your long-term earning potential and should influence your career decisions.

Be prepared for the ‘NO’

Practice your speech out loud with anyone that’s willing to help you. Set the high, middle and low salary/bonus expectation that you would be satisfied with. Write out exactly what you plan to say so you become comfortable and don’t forget to mention important points. Stand in a power pose before the meeting if you have to!

But don’t worry if the manager says no. Be prepared for the no and have an additional option to offer. This is business, don’t take it personally and don’t let the NO put you in the defense.

Redirect and offer an alternative that you would still be happy with. If you can’t get the 10% increase you initially wanted, can you ask for 3 more days of vacation? Would working from home 2x a month be an option? Would your manager be willing to provide an off-cycle review to get you closer to your goal?

Figure out what is most important to you and where you are willing to make trades. Ask for more than what you want. The worst that can happen is you get what you started with.

Ask for a Thursday Meeting

Psychology Today magazine suggests setting meetings for Thursday, as managers are willing to be accommodating on Thursdays (and Fridays.)

Good luck, and Ask for it!

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