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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

What’s Really Holding You Back from Earning 50% More?

“Be grateful you have a job, Linda. Don’t be greedy.” That’s what my parents told me about negotiating for a raise. You know what listening to them would have cost me?

✅ My company-sponsored MBA.

✅ My $25,000 signing bonus.

✅ My equity in a successful corporation.

Not to mention, FAIR COMPENSATION after calling out my then-employer. If you grew up on the same “wisdom,” keep reading. Because the career coach who’s helped countless Black and Brown women ask for and GET $50k-$100k more, Claudia Miller, is here to help you shift your mindset.

7 Mindset Shifts to Start Negotiating for What You’re Worth (& Getting It!)

If you’ve been afraid to negotiate your salary until now, don’t feel bad. Most people are, even VPs of sales and C-Suite executives, says Miller. Worse, many professionals feel guilt and shame around their lack of confidence in this arena.

This is especially the case for women of color because of the beliefs and culture in their families. Discussing earnings and money is taboo. It was for me. And it was for Miller: despite widespread recognition of her salary negotiation expertise and her track record of success, her own mother warned her, “Don’t rock the boat. Don’t be greedy. They’re gonna pull away the offer.”

Your salary and benefits, however, impact your quality of life — so it’s time to SHAKE this learned behavior and shift into a confident money mindset:

Shift #1: Understand How Family Beliefs Influence Your Mindset

You can’t change the problem if you don’t know it exists, right. Get clear on why you feel the way you do about salary negotiations, including the culture around money in your family.

Shift #2: Don’t Talk to Your Family about Salary Negotiation

If you determine that your family culture has played a role in holding you back from asking for what you’re worth, stop discussing the matter with them. It’s best not to have that negative influence on your outlook.

Shift #3: Write Down All Your Beliefs about Negotiating Your Salary

Get clear on your thoughts and beliefs about negotiating your salary. Explore the fear or apprehension around it. Is imposter syndrome to blame? Scarcity mentality? Again, identifying your current mindset is the first step to shifting it.

Shift #4: Understand Your Market Value and Make It Your Standard

You won’t know if you’re being short-changed with a job offer unless you understand your market value: the salary range for your position. Do your homework. And aim for the top!

Shift #5: Don’t Stop at Your Salary! Go for ALL the Benefits Available to You

Because there is so much more you can ask for than that paycheck on the 15th and the 30th of every month:

✅ Education stipends → whether you want a 10k certification or $110k MBA.

✅ Equity in the company → trust me, this one can pay off BIG time!

✅ Paid time off → you can ask for MORE.

✅ Signing bonuses → $20,000 is not uncommon.

✅ Retention bonuses → Yes, you can thank the Great Resignation for these!

✅ Performance awards → check if your company incentivizes performance.

✅ 6-month performance reviews → why wait a whole year for that raise?

✅ Daycare reimbursement → Attention working mothers, this one’s for you.

Shift #6: Ask for Everything Available Even If You’re a Newbie

Just because you’re an entry-level hire doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate. Miller has seen plenty of fresh-out-of-college professionals get more than they were initially offered.

Shift #7: Bake in 40%-50% More If You’re a Black or Brown Woman

Because Hispanic women make about 56 cents for every dollar their White, male counterparts earn; and African American women take home 64 cents on every dollar. Don’t negotiate this! Accept NOTHING less than the base 100% you’re worth — then some. Again, check the market rate for your position (it could be twice as much as you’re earning now!).

Remember This: Employers Expect You to Negotiate

If you feel your confidence start to wane before that final interview, remember this: employers expect you to negotiate. That’s why they come in with a low salary number, says Miller. And a lot of times, they’re disappointed because people accept it — instead of showing off their negotiation skills.

Download my FREE Guide, Workplace Confidence for Black and Brown Women, if you need help, so you can start asking for and GETTING what you’re worth.

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