Let's make negotiating a lot more fun

By Marleen Mulder

Have you ever negotiated your pay? Feeling all sweaty and nervous just thinking about it?

A 2020 Randstad study found that 60% of women have never negotiated their pay! EVER!

Say you have a meeting coming up with your manager and after a few years now working for the same salary, you feel a raise is really really overdue. You also know, if you don’t take action, this is going to take several more years, or worse, will never happen for you at this company at all.

Will you ask for a raise? Or will you just wait another 6 months to see what happens?

When I have to do something I absolutely dread or fear even, I procrastinate too. But I know at some point, I need to act. If only ‘to get it over with!’.

So here’s what I do. I ask myself: how can I make this fun? I discovered that however horrible the task ahead, you can always do something to make it more fun (= less dreadful).

This got me thinking about negotiating too. If 60% of women have never negotiated their pay. And the gender pay gap is still at 14% in the Netherlands. We ought to make negotiating A LOT more fun!

We sat down to figure out how we can make negotiating more fun. Conclusion: by becoming kick-ass good at it!

Go figure, would you hesitate a second to ask your boss for a raise, if you knew you had negotiation skills like Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen?

If you would feel super confident and capable you will get what you ask for and on top of that also be more appreciated for managing your career and going after what you want? Then wouldn’t starting this conversation be a whole lot more fun?

So if you are among the 60% who has never negotiated their pay, because avoiding it felt so much more appealing, yet you always kept wondering, what if… Here’s what you’re going to do next.

  1. Know your worth. Many women have a tendency to underestimate their worth. By not asking for your worth today, you potentially deprive yourself of sizeable earnings in the future.
  2. Be fully prepared. It’s essential to do your research. Know what you want and why, think about acceptable alternatives, develop strategies for persuasion and spend time developing a pitch.
  3. Choose the right time. Some times are better than others. Factors such as individual performance, company performance, and the external job market could have an impact. (But don’t let this be your excuse to procrastinate, constantly finding excuses to postpone!)
  4. Cultivate positive emotions. People in positive moods prefer collaboration over competition, which will increase the probability of reaching an agreement. Go into your negotiation with confidence and positive anticipation. You got this.
  5. Don’t give up. Even if this negotiation will not lead to the desired outcome, it’s important not to give up. More opportunities will follow. Your manager now knows you are very much aware your value has increased and that you want to have this value reflected in your salary. If not in this role or company, then in the next.


Want to start working on your negotiation skills? Contact us to be the first to know when The xGen Negotiation Training goes live!

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