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What is your price? Negotiation.

What is your price? This question depending on the context of the situation can be a difficult question to answer. One thing that I have discovered throughout my career is how difficult it is for women to answer this question. I have had this conversation with many different women and recently at a project management meeting. What I mean by this question is are you willing to negotiate your salary when applying for a new job? To most men this comes naturally; they feel confident in what they have to offer. 8 out of 10 times men will try to get the best offer but for us women the reality is different. We will often accept the first offer in fear of not getting the position.

Many research studies have shown that men do not fear rejection like women in a workplace setting. Most men also do not carry overshadowing responsibilities that hinder these types of decision-making. For us women, we factor in family, housing, comfort, education, and the big word fear. Negotiating your salary is one of the most important career moves you can make. The reason is, that an 8% increase can make a huge difference in a yearly salary compared to someone who did not negotiate.

Most companies work under the policy of human resources and many different job codes are linked to pay code association ranges. This means if you apply for a particular job, HR will offer the pay code range that they feel best fits your job code and those associated with your job code. It is up to you to demonstrate why you exceed what they are looking for and how you can be an asset. One way to go about it is by using the job description and qualifications. If the company is looking for 2-5 years of work experience in a related job field and you have 8 years that is a great pivot negotiation point. It is time to sell yourself and showcase everything you know with confidence. Start with a bio that explains all your work experience and create bullet points of what they are seeking. If the position has been open for more than 60 days, you have a great chance of getting what you are looking for. With this, I also say be specific on the amount you are looking for.


See the bullet point example below.

  • One to three years of experience with healthcare computer systems required.

  • I have 7 years of clinical systems experience.

  • Experience in ambulatory operations preferred.

  • I have worked clinical in an ambulatory setting for a little over 5 years.

  • Experience in training customers on clinical software applications preferred.

  • I have trained Epic users in clinical software across different hospitals in the U.S for 5 years.

Let's say salary is a non-negotiable in your job field due to education or any other factor. You can negotiate things such as a job title or job code, parking, vacations, daycare, remote work, etc. It is not only limited to salary, negotiating these things will help alleviate some of those expenses. Another thing to discuss and consider before taking any position is the opportunity for career advancement. I had a manager once that would create different goals for my career advancement and we would review them every time we met during our 1:1. Setting career advancement goals will remove the comfort/fear factor and allow you to grow.

A different perspective that I encountered while discussing this topic is the difficulties new college grads face. Many college grads go into a career major excited about what is going to come out of it. They graduate with amazing grades but reality hits. Most colleges offer work-study programs, co-ops, internships, externships, and seminars. These programs at times are not enough to secure a salary that satisfies what you are looking for. I volunteered in different places some for a few months and others yearly to enhance my work experience. I noticed hiring managers are more willing to negotiate with someone who worked for free in cases where they could have received payment. Whichever direction you take in your career ensure you are setting smart goals for your future.

Comfort will give you a sense of security but will not establish growth. The beauty of mastering something is you now have space to master something new. I have included some resources that has helped me. They all offer great tips for negotiating. - This blog gives a perspective why it is important to negotiate.


  • HR works on job code pay scale which are driven by job titles. Discuss options to change job title to accommodate any negotiation.

  • While you are in college you can volunteer in your perspective career field to again experience.

  • Discuss with your manager career advancement goals that can allow for a promotion with better pay.

Other links and books:

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