The most important issue to me surrounding the recruiter post that’s going around (offering $85K for a role that had a budget of $130K, and the candidate did not negotiate) is this: I want to help you be your own best advocate.

I work with many mid-career women leaders who are underpaid for the role they’re in and the value they bring – whether that’s $75K or $250K. 100% of the people I talk with need a confidence boost about their work. It says a lot about our work culture, doesn’t it?

And I want to be clear – there are inherent equity issues around salary negotiation about who is taught/learns to ask for what they deserve and how society values women and POC, and particularly WOC – and there are many people more knowledgeable than me who have written about why salary transparency is so critical.

What I can bring to you is how to be your own best advocate, how to develop confidence that will take you further in your career, and that you likely ALREADY have done the work to get there.

Are you questioning whether you’ve already done the work? Let’s see.

Here’s a quick, easy exercise to help you boost your confidence and be ready to negotiate salary, the next time you’re interviewing or recruited for a new role.

There’s more to it than this, but, you’ve got to get yourself in the mental place of, “They need me more than I need them. They need what I bring to the table, and this will be a huge win/win. I bring a lot, so they should too.”

Do this now so that you’re ready – and if you need help, reach out and ask for it.

1. Think about the impact you had in your role in 2021 or the last few years. What were the 3 main highlights? What were the steps to get there? How did you lead? (No matter where you are in your career.) What was the effect or impact of that work? Who did you help? How did the company/organization benefit from your work (think big)? What’s the bottom line? Connect these dots so you have a story of your impact from beginning to end and from you to the company.

2. When you’re looking at a job description – how does your impact and value apply to the job description? What can you do, incredibly well, that will help the organization meets its goals? How will you lead them there? Connect the dots for the recruiter/hiring manager/ CEO/Board. Make it make sense, for them.

When you do this background work about your biggest strengths and what you bring – unique just to you – then you can show up fully in the negotiation conversation.

When you have this info at your fingertips, it will boost your confidence and you will know that your work should be highly valued.

You should be highly valued.