In part one we talked about how we start out earning equal pay and how over time, salaries start to shift. We also discussed how and why this happens. (Read Part One Here)
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
In my experience, women in the workplace work really hard. They put their head down and focus on doing a great job. Then one day they pick their head up, they look around and suddenly realize that all of the people who were around them have somehow bypassed them and moved on. The problem is you can’t just work really hard; you have to let others know what you’re doing.
Likewise, you need to focus on adding value to the company bottom line. I read a study that found that women leave half a million dollars on the table over the course of their career. Why? Because they don’t ask for the money they deserve.
You may need to figure out what you can do to gain more visibility. Then spend your time and energy doing those things. I help my Executive Coaching clients first understand what their winning qualities are and then identify areas where they might need a spruce up. Rather than relying on women rating themselves, which almost always scores lower than they really are, I offer assessments. Armed with accurate information, women are in a better position to negotiate what they need to be successful.
Often I see that women don’t know what questions to ask to get the answers that will make a difference in their success. It’s imperative that they know their role in the company, how to up level it and finally, how to get paid what they’re worth. Once they learn the strategy, everything else falls into place.
Women are Terrific Promoters
Women are wonderful at talking people up. We promote our spouses, children, siblings and friends. We even rave about the great jobs our coworkers and teams have done. The shift comes when it’s time to promote ourselves. One of my biggest pet peeves with women is not even that they don’t self-promote, they actually self-demote. That’s the root of the problem. While promoting would be great, I would settle for neutral. Unfortunately women tend to self-demote and that is extremely detrimental to their career.
Let’s be honest here. When someone gives you a compliment, is your first response to say something negative about yourself? I see this all the time. Women come down hard on themselves and it costs them clout, promotions and money!
Another issue is that women aren’t using the positive aspect of office politics to get ahead. We’re relational yet we don’t use that asset to our benefit. When we’re trying to promote ourselves and talk about our successes, it would be beneficial to share the credit without diminishing our own value. Sometimes it feels more comfortable to people, especially women, to over emphasize the team and underplay their input.
Here’s an eye-opening question I ask, “What would your results be if you promoted yourself like you promote your best friend?” Imagine the power and the impact it would have on your career! I help my clients find ways to promote themselves and get the money and benefits they deserve while still supporting others.
Being a Good versus Bad Girl
Women grow up in a culture that teaches them not to promote themselves. We hear messages like, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Women take that to heart. Another dreadful one is, “Be a good girl. Don’t overshadow your brother.” We get these messages and we grow up not quite sure how we’re supposed to act.
Another issue is that women don’t like to boast. We are trained not to brag about ourselves. I frequently re-train clients to think about their successes in a different way, I teach them that, “If it’s a fact, it’s not bragging.” Look at it as if you’re stating facts about yourself, not bragging. Guys do a great job of this. They’re doing the high five, “Hey I did this, and I did that,” and that’s great. As women, if we do that, we tend to be put into a different light, not nearly as glowing.
Stay tuned for Part Three where we pull it all together and offer solutions and strategies for getting the money you deserve and leveling that ‘paying field.’ Also, if you haven’t seen my Focus Forward, LinkedIn article, Power Tips and Social Media posts, you might want to check them out. I offer lots of valuable information that you could use to get paid what you deserve.
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- Posted by Regina
- On April 17, 2018
- 0 Comments