Negotiate Your Way to a Better Financial Situation

Negotiate Your Way to a Better Financial Situation

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Studies show that women are much less likely to negotiate for a higher pay. Read on for conversation tips that’ll help you increase your income.

Salary and raise negotiations are one of the most uncomfortable situations for most people, especially women. Although women are highly educated, running Fortune 500 companies, and taking major control of their lives, certain women are still resistant to directly asking for what they want. A study was performed stating only 12 percent of women negotiate their salaries, while 50 percent of men negotiate their salaries. Crazy, right? I sat down with Business Coach and Career Strategist, Louisa Shepherd, to get the inside scoop on negotiating salaries and raises for women. I summarized our conversation and provided all the best kept secrets.

For negotiating salaries here are the key takeaways:

  1. The best time to negotiate a salary is when you are first offered the position. It is when you have the most leverage over your employer.
  2. Go in strong and firm with your negotiation, but don’t be pushy or bossy.
  3. Never accept your first offer, ask for some time to review and meditate.
  4. Don’t feel nervous because employers are expecting you to negotiation.
  5. If the employer is not able to budge on your salary expectations, try for additional benefits such as moving expenses, working from home, flexible hours, or additional vacation time.

For raise negotiating here are the key takeaways:

  1. Before you communicate you want a raise, set your work goals. Once you have achieved your goals, outline your accomplishments, as well the value you added to the company by achieving those goals.
  2. Research how your company awards raises, as well as your value in the market. is a great website for such research.
  3. After you have you facts in order, present your case.
  4. Approach your boss strategically right after a good performance review.
  5. Put your offer on the table and allow your boss to speak.
  6. Expect some pushback, but don’t feel the need to immediately justify or continue to reiterate your value.
  7. Don’t get an attitude or backtrack
  8. Be firm and confident in your ask.

Suggestions for both salary or raise negotiation:

  1. Your deal breaker should be the higher number of your range (ie. If the range is $60,000 –  $70,000, your ‘ask’ should be $70,000)
  2. High ball your ‘ask’ because the employer will most likely give you a little less.
  3. Frame your talk as a collaborative conversation. Instead of making the conversation about how the increase will benefit you, find ways to demonstrate how this increase is advantageous to both parties. For instance, Louisa says you can explain that confidence, decisiveness and strong negotiation skills are qualities that will be advantageous to the company.
  4. Practice! If you are nervous try practicing or role playing your negotiation with a trusted colleague, friend or partner. This will help lessen nerves and anxiety.

As a financial strategist, I am always talking about ways to increase your income and if entrepreneurship is not your forte, a salary or raise is a great way to gain more income. There is no time like the present to ask for what you want in the workplace. Companies are changing with the times. Companies are more accepting of flexible work schedules, working from home, more vacation time, and more pay. If you are at a company that does not value you or your contributions, trust me, there is another company that does. If you are working at your 8 to 5, it should definitely help you achieve you financial goals; therefore, ASK FOR THE MONEY!

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Emerald Sparks is a Financial Strategist and Founder of Emerald Sparks Ltd, a personal finance consulting company where she teaches and motivates professionals and business owners to solve the misconceptions about money. She has curated personalized financial strategies based on individual’s goals, obstacles, and habits. In 2016, she authored a short-read eBook entitled Vision. Future. Reality: How to Budget like a Boss to help educate and illustrate the importance of vision budgeting. She can be contacted at or