Not negotiating your salary early and often can cost you more than $US1 million in lost earnings over the course of your career, according to a recent analysis by Salary.com.
And when it comes to salary negotiations, women can be their own worst enemies. Research shows that women are significantly less likely to negotiate for higher salaries then men, especially when it’s unclear whether negotiating is expected.
According to one NBER working paper by Andreas Leibbrandt of Monash University and John A. List of the University of Chicago, researchers posted a variety of jobs in markets around the U.S. Some had an explicit option to negotiate, and others left it unsaid. When the ability to negotiate a higher salary is ambiguous, men are significantly more likely to negotiate for higher salaries then women.
Further, men actually applied to the job postings with ambiguous salaries at higher rates. It seems that men apply more to these jobs, negotiate more, and reap what the authors term a “disproportionate amount of the surplus, relative to women.”
Yet, interestingly, the researchers found that if negotiation is given as an option in a job posting, women are more likely to negotiate.
Here’s their chart of the application effect:
And the effect on negotiation:
To all readers, and women in particular: Negotiate. Negotiate a job offer, and negotiate every one to three years at your current company. You’ll have more to spend and stock away in retirement. Your future self will thank you.
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