How to Use Salary Negotiation Principles In Your Real Life

We’ve spent a great deal of time covering salary negotiation in the past few weeks, but we believe the tips you learn can be translated into other aspects of your life. Learning to ask for what you are worth is incredibly powerful.

In some ways, the skills you learn while negotiating your salary are incredibly practical. Buying a car, for instance, involves negotiation. So does buying a house, and sometimes even renting an apartment. 

You may negotiate at work beyond discussions of salaries and benefits. The confidence you learn from a salary negotiation can be translated into speaking up in meetings or asking for what you need from your boss, rather than waiting for your boss to come to you. 

Perhaps one of the most transformative ways the skills you learn from salary negotiation can help you is within relationships. Growing up, girls are taught to be people pleasers, which can translate into our interpersonal relationships later in life. Some of us fear conflict, and we may not ask for what we want in relationships with our friends and our partners. The steps used in salary negotiation can easily be translated into asking a friend, a casual hookup or a partner for more. 

First, identify what you want from them via research. You can be introspective in this step, journaling about how you feel about the situation to figure out what you may need. You can talk to a therapist or a trusted confidante. There are also, of course, statistics online that can help you back up what you’re feeling. 

For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has some helpful information on household labor that can be helpful (or infuriating) for disputes with your live-in partner. Once you have your data and requests airtight, practice what you want to say a few times over. 

Then, you posit what you need to the person you’re “negotiating” with. Treat the situation like one where you both benefit. In truth, you will both benefit if you’re voicing your needs and they’re listening to them. 

Be prepared to offer things in return for the things you ask for. Compromising is important here. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to own your voice. That’s the point of this whole negotiation thing — asking for what you actually want and need.

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #46

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