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How to navigate a salary negotiation

Here are some tips to make salary negotiations go more smoothly.
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Arming yourself with information makes you ready to present data supporting your salary demands.

Women are vital components of the global workforce. Despite the contributions of women, A Living in Canada analysis of median hourly wages of both full- and part-time workers indicates that women earn less than their male counterparts — even when they’re doing the same work and have the same educational backgrounds.

Salary negotiations can be intimidating for any employee. But for women already at an earnings deficit, such negotiations can be even more difficult. Here are some tips to make salary negotiations go more smoothly.

Speak up

It would seem that any promotion would automatically come with a pay raise, but this is not always the case. When the time comes to consider taking a promotion, it is important to have a salary number in mind. Saying nothing may not earn you a raise, or your boss may not give you what you believe you deserve.

Do your research

Some jobs come with a standard pay rate across the board. These include government and civil service jobs, union jobs, or hourly positions. However, you can determine if a job is negotiable by researching data on sites such as Randstad to figure out what positions are worth. Arming yourself with information makes you ready to present data supporting your salary demands.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Even if an offer seems acceptable, it is alright to ask for more money. A company may actually increase the base pay or offer other perks such as larger bonuses, stock options or full RRSP matching.

Avoid “Imposter syndrome”

Thoughts, beliefs and feelings can hold you back, especially when it comes to salary negotiations. Most professionals at some point in time experience what’s often referred to as “Imposter syndrome.” This is a name given by a team of psychologists in 1978 that referred to people who had difficulty acknowledging their achievements, although their peers respected them. Doubting capabilities, worrying about someone calling your skills “fake” or discounting your achievements are symptoms of imposter syndrome.

Comparing yourself to others — especially those who are more advanced — may lead to uneasiness as well. Focus more positively on what you do at work and be proud of what you have achieved. This will help you sit more confidently in front of employers negotiating for your benefit.

Women need to advocate for themselves and ask for salaries they believe are commensurate with their skill levels and positions. It can be daunting to negotiate for a better salary, but there are many ways to simplify such negotiations.

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