Saturday, February 10, 2018

High-Achieving Women: Effective Salary Negotiation Skills Are Not Optional by Jacqueline Miller

Despite being educated, experienced and often overqualified, my late husband rarely asked for or negotiated compensation for which he was deserving.

He was a great man, passionate about his career, but like so many others, he grew content with receiving salary increases that by employment market standards, were average at best. He believed his performance would speak for itself and that he would ultimately receive his "just due,"  As a general practice, this is often thought to be the mindset of women in business, not men.

It took several years of disappointing annual salary reviews before he realized that the “squeaky wheel does, in fact, gets the oil.” He eventually welcomed my often-offered, never-accepted advice and applied the negotiating skills and knowledge that I was more than willing to provide.

15+ years of human resources executive experience afforded me not only the knowledge of assisting others in this arena but applying it in my own career negotiations.

He subsequently successfully marketed himself, sought new and challenging employment opportunities and together we negotiated the most lucrative compensation package of his career.

Sadly, he died suddenly one year later and didn’t enjoy the full experience of reaping the rewards of what was long overdue, or fully demonstrating why he was more than worthy of them.

Words of wisdom: Don’t let that happen to you. One way women can become more proactive in closing the gender wage gap is by learning strategies to better negotiate for equal pay. It behooves all high-achieving women to become empowered to advocate for themselves when it comes to salary, benefits, and promotions.

1. Ask for what you expect and what you are worthy of now vs. later.

2. Possess and regularly updateyour list of measurable contributions and accomplishments. Be prepared to present them during the negotiation process.

3. Know your worth, whether you are an entrepreneur or employed by someone else.

4. Stop undervaluing and discounting your worth and your services (do your research) and certainly stop leaving money on the table.

5. Negotiate confidently and efficiently to garner the most favorable results. Work with a professional in the area of salary negotiations if this is not one of your areas of strength.

Do these things (and more, if necessary) not just for you, but to create generational wealth for your loved ones. Settling for mediocre, rather than mastering the art of salary negotiation when you are leading with excellence should not be an option.

Lastly, resist the temptation to procrastinate. As I have witnessed firsthand, tomorrow is not guaranteed, nor promised to anyone.

To find out more about Jacqueline Miller, visit her at Twitter: @mogulmomdujour


  1. I seem to lose out on salary consistently. All I do give them a number and they fail to negotiate. I am taking this as a sign of a negative work culture that undervalues their team, rather than a personal criticism, for now. The numbers I have given are supported by their location, the company's size, and the salary calculator on Glassdoor.

    1. LD Krenzel,I'm sorry that your experience has been less than favorable. However, please also know that the negotiation process also requires the employee to demonstrate to the employer why they are deserving of that higher salary. This may or may not be a part of the challenge you are facing. This is an area that I work with my clients to handle more effectively. The employer can still say, "No," however, your chances of success are increased when you are able to demonstrate your value to the organization and not just the presentation of a desired salary. Hope that helps.