For years we’ve heard that the number one mistake women make negotiating for a raise is that they don’t ask for one. In fact, in their 2003 book, Women Don’t Ask, authors Linda Babcock and Sara Lashever, confirmed that hypothesis based on their research at the time. Women don’t negotiate as often or as well as men.


But now there is new research that reveals that may be changing. Younger women, specifically women under 40, are asking for raises as often as men, and are successful in negotiating a higher salary. That’s great news!

If it’s true that we’re getting bolder and learning to advocate more for ourselves, we will undoubtedly be in the position to have to negotiate for a raise. And we need to know how to do it well.

Certainly, you need to do your homework and research similar companies in your industry and geography to understand comparable salary ranges, but the most powerful tool in any negotiation whether it’s for a salary increase, promotion, or new position, is your value proposition.

It has been my experience, coaching hundreds of professional women since 2007, that by far, the biggest blunder we make when negotiating for a raise is not understanding our value.

Let’s face it. How can you possibly negotiate for yourself if you don’t understand the most persuasive piece of information in a negotiation? In other words, why should a company give you an increase? It’s never about how hard you work, your challenging workload, the long hours you put in, because that’s your job! It’s the value your work brings to the organization that matters. That’s what your boss and your company care about. And if you are able to communicate that with confidence, you have a much greater chance of getting a well-deserved raise.

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