On the thirty-first entry of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder and CEO of Byrd Career Consulting, puts the finishing touches on the salary negotiation conversation she started two weeks ago. This half of the episode focuses on different aspects of salary negotiation, particularly compensation packages. Take advantage of Latesha’s advice and get what you deserve!
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to another episode of The Link Up with Latesha. I am so excited that you all are going to be listening to Part 2 of my favorite salary negotiation tips and also talking about some of the mistakes that we make when it comes to negotiating. Y’all know that I’m all about getting to the bag, knowing your worth, and going after what it is that you deserve. State your price, sis, or sir. State your price. Thank you to everyone that’s reached out and said, “I really, really enjoyed this and I can’t wait for Part 2.” Well, you are in for a treat. I want you all to stay engaged with me as well on social media. I’m easy to find, @Latesha_Byrd. The holiday is coming up. I really don’t know how I feel about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day being an actual recognized holiday. You know, when it comes to holidays you want to celebrate them, but I think this one is more of a “Hey, let’s bring awareness to it, and let’s recognize that this is an actual issue.” So I think I can go ahead and share it now, but I am actually going to be speaking at Universal Music Group to their ERG on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day because they’re like, “We want our employees to get these salary negotiation gems.” So I’m really excited about that. Oh, and other news as well before we hop into today’s episode, my company is officially relaunched as a talent development consulting agency. What that looks like, we are focused on creating solutions to build equitable and inclusive work environments and safe spaces for black and brown people. So what I want you to do is to follow me on social, get on my newsletter, so you can really get all of the updates as they come in. We are really working on advising companies through culture engagement, making sure that they don’t have any exclusionary practices when it comes to recruiting, hiring, advancing, you know, promoting, and also retaining diverse talent. More to come on that, but let’s go ahead and hop into today’s episode, y’all, and enjoy.
Latesha: So salary is just one very small part. Depending on where you are in your career and in your life, your needs likely will change. You know, I have a lot of friends that are turning 30 this year or are in their 30s. They’re starting families. What’s important to them? Maternity leave, paternity leave, having really good healthcare benefits. But when we first graduated from college, wasn’t nobody thinking about that. We was trying to get all the PTO because we wanted to travel, you know? We wanted all the professional development because we wanted to go to conferences in Vegas and Miami. At least I did. I don’t know about y’all. And I definitely did, which I’m thankful for my travel time, but understand that where you are in your life, your needs will change. Those benefits and things that you need will change, okay? Let’s talk about all the different things you can negotiate. I can’t talk about all of them, but I’ll talk about a little bit of them. Bonuses. Now, there are different types of bonuses too, and if you join the Member’s Club I will tell you more about that, but just so you know the different types of bonuses – you can get a sign-on bonus. What does that mean? When you accept your offer, you get a 10K, 20K–one of my clients got a job at Amazon, she got an 80K signing bonus. Like, yeah. Let me get the signing bonus, and then I don’t even gotta work. [laughs] So signing bonus, companies will do that. That will just further incentivize you to [leave?], right? I see that more offered in the tech industry, but it is something that’s typically a common practice. So that’s one thing you can negotiate for. There are bonuses that are based on a percentage of your current salary, right? You might have an end-of-year bonus. Sometimes that bonus is based on your individual performance or it’s based on the company’s performance, right? Some companies say, “Okay, if we hit our sales goals everybody gets a little check,” you know? Again, that’s a different type of bonus. Also though this is why it’s extremely important to negotiate that salary number, because not only will that set you back over years if you don’t negotiate, here’s why. Your bonus, most times, is based upon a percentage of your current salary, right? So let’s say year over year the average–I think the average annual raise is, like, 2.5 or 3%. Like, I don’t know why all companies are like, “You are excellent here. We don’t want you to leave. We’re going to give you a 3% bonus,” or “We’re gonna give you a 3% raise.” It’s like, for real? What the hell is that, right? I don’t know why companies always go to 3% when cost of living just tripled. Like, I need 300% and y’all talking about 3%. Anyways, I’ll get off my soapbox there ’cause I have an issue with that. So this is why it is important to negotiate a higher salary number, because your annual raise typically is–I mean, it’s based on your current salary, right? So again, you can get an annual raise. You can get a sign-on bonus. You can get a performance bonus. You can get a spot bonus, I think that’s what it’s called, where you might get a bonus for doing a good job doing this project. Here’s a 200, 300 gift card, right? Like, they might throw that at you real quick. That’s another type of obnus you can get. So outside of bonuses, PTO of course. Still ask for your PTO and negotiate for your PTO. I don’t care if we’re just sitting in the house. Get your PTO. Why do you want more PTO? Because let’s say you quit. Your PTO will get paid out, right? So let’s say I get PTO, I don’t use it all, I quit this job. Well, my PTO is gonna get paid out with my last check. So negotiate PTO. Healthcare standard matching, equity, flexible work arrangements. I think it’s so important as you’re thinking about negotiating salary to think about the type of lifestyle that you want to live. Think about lifestyle design, right? Especially with this pandemic. You might have kids at home, and you know what, you’re trying to get your kids ready for tutoring for their Zoom class and your boss is over here like, “We need you hop on this team meeting.” Like, “I can’t do both. I cannot do both.” And I tweeted about this earlier. I do think companies need to be so much more mindful and respectful and actually acknowledge the lifestyles that their employees have had to adjust to at this time. Anyways, another soapbox, but yes, flexible work arrangements I think is just extremely important. Just because you think 8 to 4 works for you, first of all, my brain isn’t fully functioning at 8:00, and I need to take a nap during the day, so I would rather log in a little bit later, take an extended lunch break, and maybe I can work later in the evening. Like, whatever work style works for you. Yes, ask for a flexible work arrangement. Now, before I used to tell my clients to negotiate for, you know, remote working. I don’t even know how I feel about that, especially if you’re working remotely right now. Like, is it worth you bringing up? You know, another reason why this gender gap is so real is because women have to take off time when they have the baby, so, like, sometimes your job, your company won’t hold your job when you get back, or you come back from work and somebody else done took over your whole team. You might have a little demotion and you didn’t even know about it, right? Unfortunately, companies don’t fully respect what women have to go through when it comes to childbirth and child labor and being a new mom. So, like, these are some other things that definitely do hold us back. Anyways, professional development budget. Please negotiate for that. I had a question that said, “Well, I don’t know how much to ask for.” Think about what do you need? What is it that you need to professionally develop in your industry? Are there certain certifications that you’d need? Are there certain conferences that you want to go to? Are there classes that you want to take online? Is there continuing education requirements that cost money to maintain those certifications that you have? Go ahead and write out your own professional development budget, right, so that you have something you can propose. F what everybody else is doing in the industry or what you think they might be paying. This is when you need to get personal and think about what it is that you need, and then you ask for it. So let me just answer some of these other questions. And also, like, let’s say that your employer doesn’t have professional development funds, I mean, you could always put together a proposal and ask for what it is that you need. I think the other thing to recognize too is that good is relative, right? Good is subjective, and sometimes what does that mean? What does good mean? You know, we throw out numbers. “Ooh, that sounds good. Ooh, six figures.” Everybody loves hearing six figure this, six figure that. But if you are leading a large team of people and you’re having to take care of a budget and a strategy and a whole bunch of [BLEEP] that you need to come up with and create, like, six figures might not always be that great. I think it’s also important to understand how your role plays into the overall team and the organization. So let’s say, sales is a very easy one to talk about. Let’s say you’re in a sales role. What’s your sales quota? What metric do you need to hit? Let’s say you’re out here managing deals that are worth $5,000,000, $6,000,000, and they’re trying to give you 50,000, some of this math is not adding up correctly. How do you go from a $5,000,000 deal and you’re paying me 50,000? And I’m managing that? Oh, but it’s also my responsibility to double this? Oh, heck no. So what’s the best way to negotiate if you’re switching careers and essentially coming in as a junior? Definitely think about your relevant and transferable experience, you know? I think sometimes we always think, you know, “I have to start over.” That don’t mean you gotta start over in salary. So look at what they’re offering for that particular position in that industry, just in the marketplace, and yeah, ask that. Don’t worry about what you don’t have. Focus on what you do have. Focus on the value that you can add too. If you start to think about these negotiation conversations as almost, like, a business sales conversation, then you just gotta reframe your mindset. And the thing to think about too is these companies aren’t doing you a favor when you ask for more money or when you negotiate, because remember, it’s a fair exchange, right? If y’all are able to pay me what I’m worth, you know what, I’m gonna be more motivated, I’m going to be more engaged, I’m actually gonna do my job and I’m gonna do it very well. Have y’all ever gotten a job and you didn’t make what you were worth and you [BLEEP] on that job? We’ve all been there. So remember that. How often should we ask for a raise? I think annually. Shoot, cost of living going up every year, you know? My rent keeps going up every year, Daycare. I mean, I don’t have kids, but if I did. You know, cost of living is going up. I think that we should be negotiating and at least talking about a raise every time performance evaluations come around. Y’all telling me I’m doing a great job? You’re telling me that, oh, I’m taking on these new responsibilities? This is great exposure and I’m helping the team? First of all, I’m not trying to take one for the team. Give me my money. So I would say every time performance evaluations and reviews come around–and if your job doesn’t have those, like, annually, then that is a problem in itself. So what about if your employer is iffy on your promotion? You can communicate your expectations, you can communicate your needs, and then ask them for a timeline too. Ask them for a timeline. Ask them when you can revisit the conversation. But, you know, you want to be able to clearly communicate your expectations, and then I think it’s gonna be up to you to determine how long are you willing to stick around if they continue to do that, you know? I think sometimes companies 1. they won’t take it seriously if they know that you’re going to stay regardless. I’m not saying that you need to threaten to leave… you know, I mean… [laughs] You don’t want to threaten to leave, like, you know I’m out if y’all don’t give my money, but I think you need to make it very clear that you are wanting to get promoted in the near future. Also understand those conversations aren’t, like, a one-and-done, you know? Promotions sometimes, you want to start having that conversation at least 9 months in advance to the performance evaluation time. You don’t want to wait until you get into the performance review setting and then be like, “You know what? I really wanted to get promoted this year.” Like, might be a little too late, and you might have to wait until the next year. So hold them accountable. Be very clear as to–if they’re like, “You know what? You’re not ready.” Okay. Well, ask them, like, “What do I need to grow in this role?” Like, ask them for feedback. Ask them for feedback, because you might think that you’re killing it, and then they might be like, “You know what? We don’t think you’re ready.” Now, I do think sometimes it is rooted in bias. That’s a different subject. But ask for feedback so that you can be on the same page with them. And let’s say that, “Okay, well, you don’t have this skill or you don’t have this experience. You need more this. You need more that,” start asking for projects, start asking for things where you can demonstrate that skill or where you can develop those skills, right, so that they can’t continue to bring the same thing up every single time to you.
Latesha: So that’s it for Part 2. Thank you all for listening. I hope that you had your pen and paper out and got those gems written down. Make sure you practice. Make sure you state your price. Say it out loud. Practice in the mirror with your significant other, with your pet if you must. Record yourself. Do a voice memo. And I just want to encourage all of the listeners to make sure you are constantly affirming yourself every single day and know that you have something of value to offer, therefore in return you should be getting what you’re putting in. We all deserve it, especially in this year. All right, y’all. Follow me again, social media, y’all know how to find me – @Latesha_Byrd – and I will catch y’all next time.