How much money do you make?
I was taught asking someone how much money they made was a rude question. You just don’t do it along with talking about politics and religion and a myriad of other somewhat taboo things. But why? Equal pay day wasn’t that long ago and a contribution to the reason that women don’t get paid as much is because we don’t know that we aren’t…so let’s talk about it! I got the motivation from this great article by Ellen Pao. Check that out for more ideas.
When thinking about what I know about negotiation and the experiences I’ve had negotiating my salary I’ve learned a thing or two. First off, if you’re moving companies, what you make now is irrelevant. They don’t need to know that so put some bogus number in there or N/A. It’s not about what you made, it’s about what you’re worth. Don’t know? Check out www.glassdoor.com or ASK someone. Yeah it’s awkward but whatever. I got a message on LinkedIn from someone asking around the idea and I straight up told her what I made in a similar position and what I would pay if I was hiring someone for that position.
I’ve not tried this but someone suggested when an interviewer asks how much money you’re looking for to say “How much do you have budgeted for the position?” I think I’m going to try that next time.
I really hate playing the negotiation game – how cheaply can they get you for? That really shouldn’t be where it’s at. Once I just said to the woman who was hiring me “Pay me what you’re paying the rest of the team I will be working on – pay me what my experience is worth.” Neither of us wanted to play that shit so we didn’t. And then I asked for a sign on bonus (hey – why not? I got it and those who didn’t ask didn’t).
One more story – I was negotiating contract rate and said my number. The guy accepted it immediately. “Well shit, I should have asked for more.” I chortled. He said we could erase the last-minute and I could put out a new number – wow! Jabe Bloom is awesome everyone!
So practice having the conversation, negotiating and do your research. You’re going to get out what you put into it. Obviously there are a lot more considerations that you smart folks can think about with this and trade offs that can happen. It’s always best when you are in the driver’s seat and sometimes that does mean walking away from an offer. It’s not greedy to want more money if you believe you’re worth it.
Oh and for full transparency on my various salaries and experience levels associated, please contact me directly and I will share/consult.