5 Tips for getting the salary you want

As part of Women’s Week, the Eccles School’s Women in Business group co-hosted a $mart $tart workshop for women to teach how to set a personal budget, determine salary benchmarks and negotiate for a first salary out of college.

The gender wage gap — which in Utah means a woman makes 70 cents for every dollar a man makes — is often immediate, meaning women often start at a smaller salary than their equally qualified male peers. That gap continues to grow as bonuses, raises and benefits are often determined by a percentage of current salary. Over a lifetime of working, women make about $1 million less than their male counterparts.

The $tart $mart workshop encouraged women to get the best starting salary they could because it affects their raises and bonuses for a lifetime.

The three-hour workshop, presented by the American Association of University Women, detailed the tools and tips necessary for women to get the salary they deserve. Here are some of the take-home messages:

Before you apply for a job

Benchmark your salary. Before you begin applying for jobs, know how much you should expect to get paid. Use resources such as wageproject.salary.com to see how much people with your desired job title make in your area. Do market research to know a reasonable salary expectation.

Determine your personal budget needs. List out all of your expenses to determine how much money you need to make to pay your bills. Visit paycheckcity.com to determine how much your take-home pay will be based on a gross salary.

The negotiating process

After you have been given a job offer — and only after — should you discuss salary. Follow the Three T’s for the best results:

Tone. Be positive, persuasive and flexible. Salary is a discussion about your qualifications and the employer’s needs. Don’t make it an argument.

Tactics. Never be the first to name a salary figure. Let your future employer do it, and then you can counteroffer. Always emphasize your value to the company. Don’t use personal reasons for why you deserve a certain wage. Show what you can provide to the company.

Tips. Be yourself; anticipate objections; don’t get personal. Remember, salary is based on four things: assessment of your capabilities, employer’s budget, market rates for the job and your ability to negotiate.

What tips have you found useful for negotiating a salary?

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