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5 Salary Negotiation Facts That Will Surprise You

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5 Salary Negotiation Facts That Will Surprise You

Salary negotiation is a tricky business. I’ve written about it for Lifehack before, but those were mostly tips based on my own personal experiences and the information I’ve culled from other sources. This time the folks over at Payscale.com provided me with a list of facts about salary negotiation. Here they are:

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Women struggle with obtaining higher pay–even if they have an MBA.

While I’ve written of the benefits of obtaining an MBA in the past, getting one sometimes doesn’t always mean tons of cash for everyone. Women seem to be at some sort of disadvantage when it comes time for salary negotiation. According to the brainiacs at Payscale.com, ” …21 percent of female MBA grads received no raise at all after requesting one, compared to 10 percent of male MBA grads.” Based on this evidence, it seems like the game salary negotiation isn’t necessarily played on an even field.

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Gen Y (AKA Millennials) are shy about asking for a raise.

That’s right–the audience for which I’ve written at ChelseaKrost.com, for all our talk about obtaining empowering careers, are generally unlikely to ask for raises. Whether its because we are less skilled at salary negotiation, or because we all came of career-age during the most catastrophic economic situation since the Great Depression, we just don’t like being pushy. When Baby Boomers don’t ask for raises, it’s because they don’t want to lose their jobs.

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English majors were more adept at asking for raises.

If you had to pick one of all college majors to be the ones reach out and straightforwardly ask for more money, English Literature majors would not likely be in your top ten. However, the people at Payscale.com crunched the numbers and found out that 51% of them were likely to have already asked for raises. There’s a flipside to that coin though; when English majors didn’t ask for a raise, 41% said they were just plain uncomfortable talking about salary. Maybe it has to do with an English major’s naivete regarding business practices, or because they were inspired by their favorite fictional character’s heroism to stand up for themselves, but English majors are the most likely to speak up in salary negotiation situations.

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Only 43% of people polled have said they have asked for a raise in the past.

While those numbers are limited to people who are asking for a raise within their current field, that is a surprisingly low amount to have advocated for themselves. Its surprising that in America, the land of strivers, we all are afraid to push the envelope. Amongst the reason people gave for not asking for more money are: 1. That their employer gave them a raise before they had to ask, which is amazing when it happens. 2. They were just plain uncomfortable negotiating salary. 3. They didn’t want to be perceived as pushy. I’m very surprised that Americans consistently gave this last answer on the order of 19% of respondents. Our global image is that we, as Americans, are born pushy. How come that doesn’t extend to salary negotiation?

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At every level, women are uncomfortable in salary negotiation.

At its most basic level, 31% of women state that they are uncomfortable negotiating salary. This compares to only 23% percent of men who say they are uncomfortable in salary negotiation. Surprisingly, as you go up to C-level executives, the gender gap of comfort widens. Only 14% of male executives state they are uncomfortable in salary negotiation, while 26% of female executives say they are uncomfortable. The most striking part of that data is that, even when women move up to become CEO’s, there is only a 5% drop in those saying they are uncomfortable in salary negotiation. For more information on salary negotiation and other trends in payment, visit Payscale.com’s 2016 Salary Negotiation Guide. And thanks to Cassidy Rush at Payscale for seeding me this information.

Featured photo credit: Moleskine Milan’s Office/Moleskine via flickr.com

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