Take a Career Self-Care Moment: Tell Your Story
According to Valerie Sutton, Director of Career Services at Harvard Graduate School of Education, when you sit down to negotiate yoursalary, you are connecting your individual equity with your employer's internal equity.
To define, your individual equity is comprised of your unique talents--your bargaining advantage--but is not calibrated on what YOU think you're worth, but what your potential employer thinks the job is worth. That, alongside your employer's internal equity--the measure of how your potential salary is measured against other similar positions in the company--is the first set of considerations for understanding any job offer.
Given those considerations, your potential employer is likely to make you a first offer in the low- to mid-range of company salaries for your position. A phrase we are constantly repeating in our trainings is that you need to understand your value in the hands of not just your employer, but your market, or the external equity, if you are to be successful in breaking the anchor of that first offer, and climbing your way to the top of the salary range.
Tell Your Story
Where we see women struggle most in this process is telling your career story. This is the narrative you tell about how your unique experiences, education, accomplishments, and results serve to justify landing at the top of the range. Preparing this narrative (and later delivering conversationally and confidently) will also illuminate your priorities and help you make concessions and ask for reciprocity during your negotiation.
One of the exercises I give my students and clients to gain command of that story is something I call, "Looking Back to Move Forward." (Yes, that's a link you can download to get the exercise.)
If you'd like to hit the reset button on your career and salary in 2013, take the week between Christmas and New Year's and give yourself a career self-care moment. It's deep work that will pay off. Promise.
P.S. Like me, Valerie Sutton is a lynda.com trainer/author, and her video training course, "Negotiating Your Salary" is well worth watching. Follow this link to get a free 7-day trial and watch her course. And while you're there, check out mine, "Negotiation Fundamentals."