The Stories We Tell Ourselves

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Over the course of my career, I have spoken to hundreds (thousands?) of women about their negotiation skills and attitudes. Amongst them were lawyers, doctors, sales people, students. From recent graduates to C-suite level. Besides their general kick-assery (seriously, erm, you ROCK!), they had one thing in common: none of them very much enjoyed the process AND thought they were any good at it. Seriously, not ONE.

But not negotiating your worth will cost you hundreds of thousands to millions of EUR or USD or GBP or CHF or whatever currency you work in, over the course of your lifetime. You will miss out on amazing career opportunities. It will take its toll on your health and your relationships. This is not my gut feeling or “anecdata” from the slice of the population I had the privilege to talk to: all the research on gender in negotiation supports these conclusions.

Which is why I started Women In Negotiation, cause really, chicas, this needs to change. We need to learn this essential skill to navigate our careers and lives. We need to learn to love it, and get really good at it. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, I promise.

Having said that, I thought I would start a series on what’s holding us back from negotiating under the umbrella name “THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES”. Here’s #1:

My Company Can’t Afford To Pay Me More

“Really, Wies, you’re always talking about getting a 10, 20, 30% raise, but I work at a small company and there really isn’t any money to pay anyone any extra.” Or other winners in the same category: We’re going through a re-organisation. The budgets are done for this year so there is no more cash available this fiscal year.

I don’t believe for one second that any boss or business would choose the cost of finding a replacement for you (typically estimated to be between 150-400% of your annual salary) over the cost of a comparatively tiny salary increase for you. And if they really are that short-sighted and won’t do it, there are plenty of other things you can negotiate to increase your bank account in the near future, or your general happiness RIGHT NOW.

So what we’re really talking about here when you stop yourself from asking for more, is your LACK OF CONFIDENCE, your FEAR OF REJECTION. And please take this in the most loving way – I really am here to support you. But I wouldn’t do that properly by beating around the bush (also I am Dutch, this is how I am wired 😊).

We can’t change your company’s situation, but we CAN change your confidence levels! You can MASTER your fear, get KNOWLEDGEABLE about your situation and the negotiation process and CONFIDENTLY ASK for your worth. I have helped hundreds of women do it, and I can help you too.

Wies Bratby.

Negotiation Coach, former top Lawyer and HR Director, and unapologetic advocate for women in my tribe getting what they want and what they are worth.

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