First, consider your own worth and value in the workplace.
Your worth is the amount of money you expect to receive for your level of training and experience, perhaps your business contacts or other attributes you bring with you. Basically,things you have accrued as you built your career.
Your value is a parallel concept. It is the combination of your unique strengths and the projection of contributions you will bring to the position and to the organization. This is really an important concept to know.
Many women still don’t get or demand the compensation they deserve. I believe that is due, in large part, because they don’t fully understand the concepts of worth and value, so they do not promote them.
The challenge of understanding and promoting worth and value begins after college when you start that first job. You are already making less than the guy who was hired with you — at the rate of 82% of what your male counterpart is being paid, according to a study by the American Association of University Women.
And, that’s just the beginning. It just gets worse over time.
What could be the reason for the pay discrepancy? The contributing factor, outside of the gender wage gap, is that women simply do not negotiate as well as men — if they negotiate at all.
Women, unlike men, don’t ask for what they want!
I have presented many negotiation workshops to help women acquire skills to demonstrate their value to decision makers.
And, inevitably there is always one woman in the room who asks:
“Do you think I should wait to discuss my compensation?
Over the course of a woman’s working lifetime, not negotiating and not promoting your worth adds up to $2M in lost revenues for the average woman climbing the career ladder.
So how do you avoid getting less than what you are worth?
Aim high- Identify the most you’re likely to achieve in terms of pay and benefits and the least you are willing to accept. Set targets that are ambitious but realistic, and know what your best alternative is if negotiations fail.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Talk to friends; search the Internet; and use connections, such as alumnae associations and professional organizations, to learn the going rate for someone with your experience and training.
Identify common goals and keep the other person’s perspective and constraints in mind. Ask yourself: “What do I bring to the table that is a win-win for the organization and for yourself.”
Know your unique value proposition (UVP) — your UVP defines the replacement value of your professional contributions. Why are you an invaluable asset as a leader-not just an employee!
Be a contributor to the bottom line; align your achievements with strategic objectives. Know your impact (both current and potential) on the ROI of the organization as well as your personal ROI.
Sing your own praises. Build and promote your brand as a confident leader. You must speak for yourself. A bit of confidence and bragging helps you stand out come promotion time.
Being a confident leader means that you have realistic self-awareness and help others to be more successful.
Look and act confident!
When it comes to YOU, you are the sales team! Be prepared to pitch yourself!
So, in the end, knowing your worth increases your value and motivates you to take control of your own career.
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