The Salary-Negotiating Millennial

It’s a scary thing to be in a meeting with the owners of a company, negotiating for a new job. Or, not negotiating.

When I started my current position, the person I met with skillfully told me the salary offer and continued on with some other details all in one breath. In other words, I didn’t feel as though there was a moment where I could even question the offer. Plus, I was only a year and a half out of college and was getting my foot in the door in the industry I wanted to work…I should be grateful for anything as a millennial in my position, right?

Well, not negotiating my starting salary was something I’ve regretted ever since. But, there’s really no point in regretting it, because the important thing is to make an action plan to change it.

I participated in a webinar with Cindy Gallop (the successful advertising guru and author) through the 4A’s  where she briefly touched on the topic of salary negotiations, particularly as a woman. At the end of the webinar, I quickly typed in a question about my anxiety over salary negotiating and asking for advice.

Cindy responded first by instructing me to get rid of the anxiety, because it’s entirely misplaced. She then spoke for a few minutes about her personal stories of doing research and standing up for herself in a meeting with superiors. Your bosses, she reminded, don’t want their employees to be pushovers. They want them to be leaders in their own right and to represent themselves and the company to the best of their ability.

She also spoke of how she would enter a meeting for a salary negotiation telling herself “Ask for $____, settle for $____” over and over.

The key to feeling confident in a meeting where you want to negotiate salary is research. Right after the webinar, I went full-force into conducting research, and found exactly what I needed to back up my intuition that I was being underpaid for my experience level and location.

I have an end-of-year review coming up in a month and a half, which originally caused me a lot of anxiety. However, I feel confident in my research and what I deserve. And I’ll make sure to walk in there thinking to myself “Ask for $____, settle for $____.”

Stay tuned for an update – hopefully with good news!

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