By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
I’ve been quietly seething since reading a shocking Catalyst study.
Despite the gender pay gap still existing, McKinsey reports that 75 percent of CEOs include gender equality in their top ten business priorities. Not to mention, there’s an Equal Pay Act prohibiting sex discrimination in the payment of wages enacted in 1963! Did you get the year… 1963!
Indeed, women have made headway, and yet, after all of these years and attention, not enough. We haven’t reached parity. That’s an awful lot of money to not have in your bank balance, isn’t it? Do I have you steaming? And more importantly, are you ready to hear the practical, workable action steps you may want to consider?
Know The Market. Understanding the value of your position in the marketplace is your job. You can’t leave in someone else’s hands. If you don’t, you’ll leave the playing field at the end of your career with a chunk of money missing from your retirement plan.
Make connections early in your career with Human Resources Professionals. And then, communicate with them several times a year, even if you leave the company. They can always:
- Point you in the right direction when it comes to competitive salary comparisons,
- Become a great coach for generating a robust dialogue regarding asking for an increase. Yes, more likely after you’ve left the company!
Solely focusing on producing for your company harms your today and tomorrow. Put yourself as a priority on your “to-do” list. If you don’t, I’m afraid you’ll regret your bank balance.
Interviewing Is A Must: Yes! I’m not kidding. Even if you’re the favorite executive of the CEO and you’re future is bright. I know you believe you don’t have time. Stop! Such thinking is why women leave a ton of money on the table. Pursuing full out is the only way you’ll honestly know your value. Your assignment—should you choose to take it on—is to interview as though you’re excited and ready to win.
You can expect two outcomes:
- They offer you the job. Just look how valuable you are…without question, you’re relevant and competitive. Yay! Bit of a confidence booster, isn’t it? You now have two career possibilities—not a bad thing at all.
- You didn’t receive the job offer. Now ask the recruiter or Human Resources, what was the gap between you and the person they chose? Or what were they looking for that you didn’t provide? This knowledge provides you with the opportunity to up the ante on your career skills.
Would you receive this level of understanding from your company? The likelihood is no. You have to realize your company’s attention isn’t in keeping you competitive. Their priority is you meeting their needs!
Be Proactive. Your responsibility is to track how your efforts add value to the company’s bottom line profitability. It is up to you to discuss your salary expectations way before your boss locks into a number where you have no chance of influencing the outcome.
Come prepared with a number that truly represents your worth based upon comparable pay statistics and your contribution to the company. Stand confidently on how great you are.
And no, don’t mention that job offer you turned down. That was a confidence booster exercise only. You never want to appear as though you’re holding your company hostage or threatening as being a team player is essential for success in every company.
So, are you going to allow your knocking knees and trembling lips to hold you back from your pot of gold at the end of your long successful career? Or are you going to step up for your future? I know which choice I hope you choose for yourself.
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