The Hidden Danger Of Your Comfort Zone

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One cause of the gender pay gap, is that women don’t negotiate for themselves – this is not news if you have read anything that I have ever written. Not negotiating your salary is a sure-fire way to getting paid less than you’re worth and less than your – male – colleagues.

Ergo: enter the gender pay gap.

AND… there’s a different, yet related issue that has a huge effect on how much or how little we bring home every month. Which is that, even IF we negotiate our salaries, we may still end up with less than we should.

And that is because, as women, on average we aim lower in negotiations than men. There’s a study that found that as women, we expect to be paid between 3 and 32% less for the same work and whilst having the same credentials as men.

In other words: WE don’t think we are worth as much as they are… 

And it’s well documented that lower expectations lead to lower outcomes. So if we go into the negotiation expecting to be paid less, we will most likely end up with less. 

Hello again, gender pay gap!

And when you settle for less, the difference in lifetime earnings is staggering. As my (in)famous Bob and Bella calculation shows, for the average worker in the Western World, it ends up being hundreds of thousands, to millions of euros less over the course of one’s career.


But it gets worse.

There’s another, perverse way in which lower expectations influence your career.

When you extrapolate the lower salary expectations to lower expectations to what is possible for you or what you are capable of doing in general, the real picture emerges.

By expecting less for yourself, you are keeping yourself small. You don’t get to live your purpose. You don’t get to do the work you’re meant to be doing.

By expecting less for yourself, by dreaming small, you will accept that next position that is well inside your comfort zone. Then you invest all your energy and brainspace into that small, tiny-step-forward-role. This in turn delays your next step, which you could have taken long ago, if only you had dared.

So aim high, my friend. Expect a lot of yourself, and for yourself.

If you want help in figuring out what that amazing life and career may look like for you, and how you can achieve it, PM me. It’s what we specialise in at WIN.

Book a call with my team for a free coaching session and let’s see what we can do for you!