Earning What You Deserve: Salary Negotiation

Earning What You Deserve: Salary Negotiation

NICK BIRK

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first job out of college. In the midst of the excitement, and even the nerves, of beginning this new chapter, many thoughts may cross your mind. Of high priority is likely the amount you will be paid. Yet, only 39% of workers attempt to negotiate their salary. The majority of us take the first offer we are given, and we do not have to continue to do this.

While salary negotiation is an issue that affects every salaried worker, it is a skill which is not often taught explicitly to students. Some students may consider that an increase of $1000 in salary isn’t worth the stress of negotiation. Yet, it is important for students to remember that this extra $1000 per year can add up over time. Further, the issue of salary negotiation disproportionately affects women. One study found that while 57% of men attempted to negotiate their salary after securing a new job, only 7% of women made an attempt. (https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-women-must-ask-the-right-way-negotiation-advice-from-stanfords-margaret-a-neale).

While this issue has disparate impacts, there are also steps that employers can take to reduce this inequity. A 2014 study in the journal Management Science found that job listings which explicitly noted that salary was negotiable led to a close in the gender gap in both proportions of men and women applying to a given job as well as the proportion of men and women who negotiate their starting salary during the interview process. (http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/do-women-avoid-salary-negotiations-evidence-large-scale-natural-field-experiment)

Now, given all of this information, it is necessary that students begin to learn salary negotiation skills. One of the most crucial steps in this process is for a job candidate to research the position they are applying for. By gaining an understanding of what is typical in the industry, a person can have a clear understanding of whether they are receiving a lowball offer. Further, job candidates should be able to clearly articulate their expectations for the position. This can extend beyond salary into the idea of working hours and paid time off. In all, it is crucial that students begin to educate themselves on how to earn what they deserve so that they are prepared to put these skills into practice. (https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/salary-negotiation-guide).

To educate students on this issue, the Natural Sciences Council is hosting a Salary Negotiation Workshop on Tuesday, April 23 at 5 PM in the Union Building’s Sinclair room. Professional Development Committee member Marley Houston described the inspiration for this event, noting that “employers usually don’t make their best offer first, so it is important to negotiate. This issue specifically affects women in the workforce. Women typically earn significantly less than men, so it is important to empower women to stand up against this and get the salary that they deserve.”

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For more resources regarding salary negotiation and equitable pay, students are encouraged to reach out to their college’s career services office.

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