You’re probably already negotiating before you apply and you don’t even realize it.

And there’s a good chance you’re negotiating against yourself.

l was just discussing this in a Career Confidence group coaching call. Women in particular do this a lot. Women are early compromisers. We negotiate in our own heads, consider both parties’ perspectives, compromise early and decide what’s fair and manageable or the least uncomfortable.

As a result, frequently, we end up presenting a compromised outcome as our ideal outcome, while the other party is presenting their ideal without giving concern to our ideal in their initial offer.

Did you know…

…that men will apply for jobs when they meet only 6 out of 10 of the requirements? Women on the other hand, only apply when they meet 10 out of 10 of the requirements.

So before we even begin our job search, we’re compromising…and probably not aiming as high as we could and should be aiming. Why? Well, it’s complicated, but here’s the most common reasons I see among women professionals in the program:

  • I don’t meet the requirements, because the job I really want is a career change or a step up, and the job description has them listed as “requirements” for a reason, right?
  • I’ve been told by other people that I need more experience.
  • I’ve submitted a ton of resumes for jobs at that higher level, and never got called, so I stopped trying.
  • My own company won’t promote me, so I need to go somewhere else and put in a couple of years and then I can get the promotion I want.

Negotiation starts before you even hit the apply button.

We always think that the negotiation begins when we’re first asked about our salary expectations, or when we’re asked about what we’re currently earning.

But negotiation starts every time you talk in a meeting or talk to a network connection, and when you start creating your resume.

From the kind of jobs you’re applying for, to the way you communicate your value on your resume, and how much weight you put on the things you love doing most versus the things you don’t like doing at all.

Every time that you communicate your value, the other side is using it as an anchor, to figure out how much they have to pay you. The way you talk about yourself (on paper and in person) determines how you are valued.

If earning what you deserve is important to you, then you need to be thinking early and often about how you position yourself for the job you want.

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