I have a good friend and client who recently confessed to me her concerns regarding the fact that she didn’t think she’d ever make the salary she wanted. She had read somewhere that women with her character traits tend to not make high salaries.
This information she based this on were the results of her Myers Briggs test and an article that suggested that others of her type, and women of that type in particular, were among the lowest earners, even with academically advanced careers.
If you’re not familiar with the Myers-Briggs test,it’s a personality test that categorizes you in a few different ways on a sliding scale. For example, you’re on a spectrum from introvert to extrovert. With these results you’re given a series of letters that are meant to sum up your personality.
Here’s a more professional description brought to us by our mutual friend Google:
“The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.”
From my assumptions her character traits are shared by several other humans in the world, and my first thought was to look for exceptions to the rule. Perhaps 90% of the people who have taken the Myers-Briggs with her similar profile characteristics tend to earn less money in general.
So then I started asking myself, why? It’s not that they don’t have the skills, or the earning potential that a Type A or (Alpha female) has. She just approaches things very differently from a completely different point of view.
It occurred to me some of the things that I’ve read and that I believe to be true:
Women for the most part still make less than men on average (Let’s face it, we still have a ways to go when it comes to being completely equal.)
Women are less likely to ask for what they deserve, for several reasons which may include:
- Lack of confidence
- Not knowing how to approach the topic
- Being afraid to ask
- Fear of seeming greedy or “all about the money”
- Not wanting to face the answer, or get into a difficult conversation
- Thinking that if they’re doing a good job they’ll be recognized and compensated without having to ask.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Have you at any point felt you should have asked for more, or should ask for more but you’re not sure how to go about it?
That’s where I can help you.
First, I’d like to propose a reframe on the topic of salary.
Often, we picture asking for a raise or negotiating salary as a “fight” for what we feel we deserve. I’d like to suggest that we not look at it as a fight, but as a collaborative discussion.
There are several things to consider here:
- Know your worth and stand behind it., There are specific ways that you can find out exactly how much you should be paid and why, so enter this discussion with the information you need to respond calmly to any objection someone may bring up.
- People who know their worth are highly respected. Think about this: whoever you’re having this conversation with has likely had to have this conversation, too. If they were you they’d be doing the same thing (that’s one of the reasons they are where they are) so naturally they would respect you for having the guts to bring it up.
- Asking for a raise or negotiating salary should be highly collaborative, not combative. It should be well thought out and it should be like a well-practiced friendly debate, where each participant respects the other. There are ways to do this that will both stump your hiring manager but also have them hold increased respect for you.
- Few people do it. Few people take the time to learn how to ask, how to respond, and to learn the psychology behind what’s going on (it’s incredibly interesting!) Once you master these skills you’ll have the tools in your toolbox to earn thousands more over the course of your lifetime. Most people leave a lot of money on the table because of the reasons I mentioned above.
So if you’re not making as much money as you believe you should or could make, consider why. Is it any of the reasons above?
Are you interested in learning the exact words to use and how to approach a raise conversation, comfortably and confidently?
In work and life,