Women in IT: How to negotiate a job offer

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Two weeks ago I shared my experience attending the Grace Hopper conference – and how it was the first time in my career I was part of the majority, rather than the minority. Last week, in an article titled “Knowing our Value,” I talked about the one distinct way women are very different from men. I also offered some tips on how you can prepare to get a solid job offer.

As I’ve told many friends: You can’t say ‘no’ to an offer until you have one. In my post today, I’ll share some scenarios on how you can negotiate an offer – to get what you’re worth.

Here’s how the salary negotiation conversation could go:

Thank you so much for the job offer. I’m really excited about this role. I appreciate the salary offer / compensation package you’ve put together for me. I’ve conducted industry research and understand the range for this job/role is <X>. I understand you are offering less than that. I want to make sure my compensation package is competitive in the industry so I can have a lengthy career here. Would you also like me to have a long career at your company?

Note: At this point, you pause and wait for confirmation. Then you ask: Would your company reconsider a more competitive salary within the industry range that will assure me I am paid fairly compared to my peers?

At this point, if he/she says no, then you might say: Because I like what your company is about, I’m willing to be creative. Where do you have flexibility in your compensation package? Could we discuss a four-day workweek at this salary or a bonus at the end of the year based on performance or more annual vacation time to offset the deficit in salary?

Again, the power of the pause is important. Don’t feel obligated to fill the silence. Let him/her answer your questions and hold your position of confidence in what you bring to the company. Keep negotiating based on what you want and where you are flexible. If you aren’t fully comfortable with the final offer, say you’ll think about it and call back within 48 hours. If the company thinks it will lose you, you might receive a call during that time with a better offer!

You’re in the strongest position if you have a competitive offer. Then you could say: I’m very excited about this role and appreciate your offer. I’ve received an offer from a competitor that’s paying <X>. I’d prefer to take this role with your company. Is this your best offer?

Have fun negotiating. It’s a skill you will use the rest of your life. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll become more confident each time you ask for what you want and what you are worth! To read more articles about women in technology, follow me on Twitter @angelaprgirl #womenintech.

 

Women in IT: How to negotiate a job offer

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