During maternity leave, having experienced the “negative impact” on career progression, I wasn’t surprised the UK gender pay gap for women in their 40s is 25%. Anecdotally, women have suggested no formal pay structure/ appraisal system has contributed to a lack of salary transparency, and the common phenomenon of less experienced male colleagues being paid more than female counterparts to do the same job. Recent examples, like Cary Gracie, caused me to reflect on my own experiences starting a business, identifying my own value and most importantly, ensuring I get it.
1. Identify your value
Firstly, consider what your prospective employer expects as the basic offering from you or anybody else? Then ask, what makes you, ONLY YOU, different in the way you add value to their business? What qualifications, skills, and life experiences do you have, over and above, a school leaver, setting you apart, making you good at what you do? Pitch your salary expectation accordingly, without devaluing yourself.
2. Get comfortable with your value
Then, get comfortable feeling you are WORTH your own value. The question should simply be “what do YOU feel you are worth?” Do your research but don’t compare yourself negatively with others. Nobody else brings to the table your own unique life journey.
A client, holding back on making a price increase, worried that she wasn’t worth it and that clients would go elsewhere if she asked for more. Having done some research and become aware others offering a similar service were charging substantially more, she introduced a significant rate rise. Once she got comfortable with what she felt she was worth, and gained the confidence to stick with it, she found that not only were her clients happy to pay, but all remained loyal.
3. Negotiate confidently and effectively for your value
Why be afraid of pricing ourselves out of the market? Knowing our own financial worth, and asking confidently for it, generates confidence in ourselves and others. Pricing too cheaply can negatively impact upon credibility and lead others to undervalue us. Think of the value placed on attending an expensive ticketed event compared to a free seminar/ workshop. Or how differently you treat expensive “going out” clothes over and above your everyday wear. In the same way, employers, colleagues and clients are more likely to treat your services, and you, with more respect where prices reflect your true value.