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Women don't ask - how to succeed at negotiating

It seems that we women have a problem negotiating...Apparently we're not as vocal or as demanding as men when it comes to asking...for a promotion, a raise, or even a 'golden handshake' (also read 'Get Fired like a Man').

According to a new book called 'Women don't ask - negotiating and the gender divide', women fall into one of three categories:

- "I don't knows" - women who unaware of opportunities and their rights
- "I don't asks" - women who think asking will jeopardize getting the job or promotion
- "I don't boasts" - women who feel it is impolite to spotlight their accomplishments

Most of us will recognize ourselves in one of these profiles. But that's not the point really. The question is: what are we going to do about it?

There are lessons to be learnt here:
- Know your market value before you negotiate a new job
- Ask while you still can. It is a well-known fact that you are in the strongest position to negotiate your pay-check, perks, etc BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Once you're in, negotiation becomes even harder...
- Keep on knowing your market value...even after 2 or 3 or more years in a job. Experience and proven performance are worth money to companies. Know your evolved market value as well as your internal value!
- Sh*t happens. If you are retrenched, don't take it lying down. Don't take the first offer you are presented. Negotiate your severance package until you are happy with it too.

A well-known female executive puts it so well:
"We often take what we can get. We compromise instead of negotiating."

Compromise vs negotiating...that's a thought to ponder...

Surviving (and having fun) in the corporate jungle

Today I discovered an interesting blog that I can recommend to all professional women out there. It's called The Ladies Room and contains lots of funny and interesting information on the challenges we face as professional women today.

Also well worth a visit: 'Barrieremeter voor Vrouwen' - a simple 10 minute test that analyzes wether your work/life balance is still in the green...(yeah, right...sure!)