As a women in the workforce, finding your place and feeling comfortable in your accomplishments can be challenging. We’ve all heard about the wage gap. And whether you’ve seen this firsthand or not, just the idea of not getting what you’ve worked hard for can be aggravating.
However, part of this problem comes down to women who either don’t or can’t effectively negotiate for themselves. To help women feel more confident in their ability to negotiate contracts and salaries, here are three tips to make your future negotiations much more effective.
Understanding the Worth of Negotiations
While you may not think that negotiations regarding a contract or salary really make that much of a difference, nothing could be further from the truth in the long run. According to an interview of Margaret A. Neale of Stanford for Forbes.com, negotiating versus not negotiating results in a discrepancy of about 7 percent.
While many women feel that this amount is negligible when it comes to their reputation in the workforce, when this amount of money or opportunity is compounded over the lifecycle of your career, this could put you behind as much as eight years professionally, both in terms of advancement and pay. This seems like a much bigger deal than a mere 7 percent. For this reason, it’s vital that you understand the importance and worth of negotiating contracts and salaries if you plan to be serious about your career.
Attitude is Everything
When it comes to the actual negotiation process, Stephen Key, a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, shares that, before all else, attitude is everything. Because negotiations can be a tense time for everyone involved, having a positive attitude and maintaining your sense of humor can go a long way toward bringing about a positive negotiation outcome for both parties.
Key also states the importance of attitude as a reminder that, if your negotiations go about how you want, you’ll likely be working with these people for a while. If you’ve left a bad taste in someone’s mouth regarding your negotiations—even if you ended up getting what you wanted—this could make your future with this company or partner more difficult. Keep this idea in mind when planning your next contract or salary negotiation.
Be As Prepared As Possible
Going into a negotiation, it’s good to be as prepared as possible for any possible questions or outcomes. One thing that may help is outlining a document for your contract or negotiation so you know you’ve covered all your bases. Study this document and all its complexities to be as prepared as possible. Dawn Dugan, a contributor to Salary.com, also suggests role playing to ensure you’re comfortable talking about this topic in a potentially stressful situation before you’re actually in the situation. Both of these strategies will help you to be as prepared as possible for your negotiations.
Asking for what you want and deserve can make you feel uncomfortable or awkward. But without negotiations, you’ll never be able to achieve the extent of success you’ve always wanted. Use the tips mentioned above to give you the confidence and assistance to have healthy and successful contract or salary negotiations in the future.