On the fourth installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, talks about the importance of salary negotiation – get your coins, sis/sir! She dispels a couple salary negotiation myths and offers up a few tips of her own to help you get what you ask for, not what you deserve.
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha. I am your host Latesha Byrd, and this podcast is for young professionals that need some real deal advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. If you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you’re in the right place. I am here with Living Corporate, and today we’re talking about salary negotiation. Get what you ask for, not what you deserve. Also, get your coins, sis or sir. I know we have some male listeners, but this is a special episode because this past week we celebrated a holiday–well, I don’t know if it’s, like, a celebration or if it’s more so of a recognition type deal, but this past week there was Black Women Equal Pay Day. Very, very important day, just to really bring awareness to this gender diversity pay gap. Listeners, this is not a drill. Black women make 65 cents on a dollar what a white man earns in a year, and white women bring home 81 cents. This epidemic is so real that this Black Women Equal Pay Day was launched really so that everyone could recognize some of the challenges that black women are facing as it relates to getting our coins. To break it down even further, it would have taken us working the whole entire year of 2018 and then some–like, up to this past week in August of 2019–to make the same amount as a white man in 2018. So I want to say that again – we can let it marinate a little bit. So essentially, for black women, we would have had to work all of 2018, plus up to this week of August 2019, to make the same amount that a white man made solely in 2018. Ladies, we are overworked, we’re underpaid, and we’re tired. We deserve more. That’s why this Black Women Equal Pay Day is so important and also why I wanted to talk about salary negotiation, so we can really get our coins. Let’s normalize salary negotiation. That’s something that I think is really a normal part of the application or the hiring process that, especially for women, is seen–it can be seen as intimidating. So studies show that women actually negotiate less than men. The majority of women accept their salary on the first offer, while studies show that men are less likely to accept on the first offer. If you’ve been listening each week, you know my background. I’ve spent some years in recruiting, and I always noticed how men were so much more confident when negotiating their salary offer when the women that negotiated seemed very, very nervous. And the other thing that I noticed as well is that it was always men that would ask for more money. Even when they weren’t, you know, fully-qualified to deserve, they would just ask just to ask, whereas women, I mean, we have degrees on top of degrees, we have all the experience, we have all of the qualifications, you know, yet we are less likely to negotiate. I even made this mistake very early on in my career. So I was–I’m not gonna name any companies [laughs], but I actually was really ready to leave this company, like, desperately ready to leave, and I interviewed, and I got through the final phase, knocked it out the park, it went really, really well, and about a week after that interview the recruiter called me. Completely, completely off-guard. I was at a conference. I was changing real quick to go to a session, not even really thinking about, “Oh, okay, what if the recruiter calls me?” And she just randomly called me, and she said, “Hey, we want to give you this offer, and this is what we’re paying. So yay, we’re so excited. Welcome to the team. What do you say?” Man, when I tell y’all I was just so damn happy–like, so happy to be getting out of my job, and I felt really pressured because she was just like, “Yeah, sis.” Like, “What’s good?” Like, she was like, “Here it is. What are you gonna do about it?” So I was like, “Okay, yes. I accept. I am so excited. Thank you.” Whoo, when I tell y’all I realized that my colleague who actually kind of referred to me was making more than me, whoo… I learned my lesson. And of course now I coach a lot of professionals on how to negotiate for what they–for what they deserve, for what they desire, and just never do that. Please don’t do that. Don’t make the same mistake that I did, and just know that recruiters will call you at any time of the day and they will give you that job offer, and they will try to pressure you into “Hey, what do you say?” You know, “We’re excited.” No matter how desperate you feel, no matter how excited, even excited, you are about the actual offer, don’t ever accept on the spot. You always want to say, “Hey, I really appreciate this offer. Thank you so much. I would actually like to see the full compensation package so I can look at everything that’s being offered,” and even if you want to throw, you know, this little tidbit in, for those who do have families and it is likely important to say, “Hey, I would like to see the full compensation package, and I would like to actually go over this or talk through this with my family,” you know? Or “with my husband” or “with my wife,” you know? But don’t ever accept on the spot, and always, always, always ask 1. to see it in writing, and then 2. to see the full compensation package. So I have some salary negotiation myths that I wanted to share with you all. 1. You should ask for less to get in the door and work your way up. I hope that you out there listening are like, “Ooh, no.” [laughs] That is the right answer. You should never ask for less to get in the door and work your way up, and here’s the reason why. When you are accepting an offer that is lower than what it is you know you deserve based on your qualifications and your experience, that’s actually hindering or holding you back from getting more money later down the road. That’s literally limiting your future earning potential, because as you all know, when you get with a company, your promotions, your raises, all of that is based on your current pay. So if you already go in at a lower salary, and you didn’t ask for more money, you just accept what they give you on the spot. Yeah, they may be giving you raises or bumps, you know, year over year, but that little 3% raise that you’re getting each year could be a lot more if you had asked for that 10%, that 20%, that 5% increase to what they originally offered you. So you never want to accept less just to get in the door. The second myth? “Companies will be offended if you ask.” This is not true. Like I said earlier, negotiating your salary or just, you know, negotiating for a better package, it’s really a part–it should be a part of the conversation. It’s just another step in the process. And most recruiters and companies are actually prepared to have that conversation with you, so they may be expecting you to ask for more money. That’s why they’re kind of going in at a lower offer, so that you can negotiate your way up to what it is that you should get. Companies literally save millions of dollars each year because we are not asking for more money. Next myth? “Compensation and salary are one in the same.” Hey, these are different. These are different. So salary is one part of this negotiation. I know we talk about salary negotiation, but it probably would be better to think of it in terms of compensation negotiation or full package or full benefits package compensation negotiation. There is so much that you can negotiate outside of salary. You can negotiate for a signing bonus. You can negotiate for a performance bonus. You can negotiate for relocation, you know, better benefits–insurance benefits, dental, vision, all of that. More PTO, professional development. If you want remote–the option to work remotely or a flexible work schedule–let’s say you have children, you know? And that standard 9-to-5 won’t really work for you because you have to pick your kids up when they get out of school around 3. These are things that you can ask for. Lay it all out on the table and really think about the type of lifestyle that you want to live and how this new position can help to actually benefit you and to allow you to live that lifestyle that you want. So another myth–well, I’m just gonna throw out a fact. It doesn’t matter what you made before. Now, depending on where you live, you will want to look into this law where in some states it is actually illegal for a recruiter to ask you what you’ve made in your last role. I live in North Carolina unfortunately. [laughs] It is very much so legal here, but depending on where you live, this is totally something worth looking into. I want to break this down a little bit more. So let’s imagine that you are going to the dealership to buy a new car, and you want to trade in your car. You want to trade in your car. When you are trading in your car, they’re not thinking about what you paid for this car when you first bought it. They’re looking at the fair market value, meaning what that car is currently worth. I know we have some finance, accounting, consulting listeners out here, so we all know about depreciating value, right, of assets. So, you know, typically the value of the car goes down, right, as soon as you take it off the lot, but keep this in mind – they’re looking at the market value of that car, not what you paid for it. The difference here is that as you, you know, matriculate throughout your career, your value is going to increase. So what your pay should be based on is your current market value of your experience, of your education, of your certifications, of your skills, of your leadership. Just, like, the bomb, dope person that you are now, that’s what they’re paying for. So that’s why it doesn’t matter what you made in your most previous role. So I want you to think about that. Also, you will want to do some research. Definitely do research on what salaries are being offered for the type of jobs that you are going for. My favorite resource is Glassdoor. LinkedIn, if you have a LinkedIn Premium account–which I highly recommend–you can also see some salary details. There is also PayScale. There’s Salary.com. So check those out. They may not be extremely accurate, like, right on the dot, but at least it gives you some type of basis so you can kind of gauge what the pay would be. You also would want to look by location as well, because of course, you know, my cost of living here in North Carolina is much, much, much lower than the Bay, you know? Or much lower than New York. So that’s important to keep in mind, but before you really start this interviewing process, you will want to know what type of salaries are being offered for your experience, for that job title, in your location, because not only will recruiters ask you what you’re looking for, they may even ask you this in the very first conversation. This happens much more than it actually used to, so be prepared to have that salary discussion even on the first call. All right? So my advice for that, if you are asked, is to not give a range, you know? Some sources say that you should give a range. I’ve never really understood that, because of course if you give a range, they may come back and just offer you a salary at the lower range that you give. My thought is to have three numbers in mind, all right? That top number will be your dream salary. Like, you would be ballin’ out of control if you could get this salary. That is a salary that you would love to get. That second number is–this is what you actually would want. [laughs] Maybe a little more realistic, but, like, that’s the salary that you want, and then that third number is your settle number. Like, “If I had to.” Maybe you just love the job, you love the environment. Maybe it’s in an industry where the pay’s a little bit lower but the culture is great, there’s a lot of room for, you know, potential, and you know that they’re just not bringing in as much money, like working for a non-profit versus working for a for-profit, you know? So just think about that settling number. So those are the three numbers that you have in mind, that way if they throw out a number you won’t get thrown off by them ’cause you will already have those numbers in mind of what you want. And you won’t want to ask for that number that you truly want. You’ll want to ask for something that is much, much, much higher so that you can kind of negotiate down if need be. But, like, let’s say you want 75,000, right? Like, you don ‘t want to tell the recruiter, “Oh, I’m really looking for $75,000,” because they may come back and say, “Well, here’s 65,” right? So actually ask for 85, you know? Ask for 90. Then they can–you know, maybe they’ll throw out “Okay, we can’t do that. We can do 70,” and you can kind of work up to that 75 figure. When you’re asking for the salary–well, the other thing I’ll say is try to ask–try to get a number from them first. I actually had a client who used this method, and she said that she asked the recruiter–and this is a question that you ask. You ask the recruiter, “What would you typically offer for someone with my experience and my skill set for this particular role?” And see what they say. Just ask, you know? Sometimes they may not want to tell you, or they may kind of seem like, “Um, can’t really say. You’ve just gotta give us a number first,” and at that moment you’ll just have to kind of give them a number. But, you know, just throw the question out there. My client did this, and she said that her mouth dropped to the floor because what she actually was going to ask for was significantly lower than the number that recruiter gave her. So put the ask out there. If not, you have your numbers in mind. You want to make sure that you’re confident. You want to make sure that you’re confident, and you want to back up this by facts, factual actuals [laughs] of your experience, of your skills, of what it is you bring to the table and how you can add value, not your personal circumstances. Like, “Oh, I’ve just got so many bills to pay, and I’ve got these kids to feed, and I gotta take care of my family, you know? My parents are sick and I’m helping.” Like, no. No, no, no. No personal circumstances. Trust me. You have the experience, you have the qualifications to back it up. So you get what you ask for, not what you deserve. I just want to make sure that you guys–if you don’t take anything else away from this, just know that ask–just put the ask out there or you may live with regret. Trust me, I’ve been there. My clients have been there. Ask for the amount. You deserve it. So that’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, thoughts or comments, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter @Latesha_Byrd, L-A-T-E-S-H-A underscore Byrd. Thanks for listening to The Link Up with Latesha with Living Corporate. I am your host Latesha Byrd, and until next time–and also repeat after me – you get what you ask for, not what you deserve. Bye.