Negotiate As If Your Life Depends On It

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You should always negotiate your job level and salary if they aren’t where they objectively should be. The upsides are clear: more respect and more money.

A third reason to pro-actively negotiate your career and salary, is less known and discussed, AND I would argue, potentially the most important one of all.

Your health.

If you are a woman with a full-time job, your health will be impacted if you don’t set clear boundaries at work and at home. Here’s how we know this:

Across the world, in heterosexual couples where both partners work full time, on average the men do only 1/3 of the housework, whereas women do 2/3. On top of that, women are also responsible for the emotional workload, ie keeping that to-do list in your head that makes everything at home run smoothly, up to date. The presents that need to be bought, the doctor’s appointments that need to be scheduled, the holiday parties and vacations that need to be organised, etc.

Interestingly, this 1/3 vs 2/3 plus statistic is incredibly consistent, whichever part of the world you check.

And this bigger workload puts massive stress on us women. One “fun” study, in which they checked stress levels of full time employees at the end of their working day, showed this clearly. The stress levels for men went down at 5PM. They had done a hard day’s work, they were now going home to relax.

It was a different story for the women. Their stress levels jacked right up at the end of the day in the office, since they were going home to their “second shift”.

And these higher stress levels have a significant and measurable effect on our health. For starters, it leads to higher blood pressure. A chronic elevation of blood pressure is the # 1 killer of women. Severe stress furthermore contributes to a weakened immune system, arthritis, diabetes, depression – a whole host of nastiness…

So when you are neglecting to have the conversations at work about your work conditions and salary, and at home about the division of labour there, you are not just impacting your employer’s and partner’s respect for you. You are not just leaving money on the table.

You are also likely to impact your health, the most important thing you have.

Please do yourself a favour and have the damn conversation. If you want my help in making sure you succeed, let me know. The WIN Way, the communication framework I have developed for women in corporate, gets amazing results, builds relationships and ensures you feel confident and competent in handling even the trickiest conversations and negotiations.


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