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Negotiation & Self-Advocacy


By Ashley Paré - November 04, 2023

If you haven’t heard the word “no” when asking for a raise, you haven’t actually negotiated.

I know, I know – this sounds harsh, right? The biggest fear holding you back from negotiating could very well be hearing the word “no”!  But I believe going for “no” is one of the most important negotiation strategies there is, especially for women.

One of the main things that held me back from owning my worth and negotiating for more as I grew my career was my fear of hearing “no” from a boss or potential employer.  The higher the stakes felt, the more I shied away from asking for what I really wanted, and instead I said yes to mediocre job offers and opportunities.

My fear of hearing “no” cost me not only money, but also my job satisfaction.  I was so worried about potentially “ruining” a relationship by “pushing” for more – even when I knew what the job market was paying – that I sometimes settled and eventually felt resentful.  For a while, I convinced myself that I should just be happy with what I had because I was making “good” money and in general I loved the work I did.

At the time, I had attached so much of my value to what I was earning, my career, and general external validation, that the possibility of hearing “no” when self-advocating felt personal to me.

I made someone else’s response to my ask mean something about me as a person:  that I wasn’t “good enough”. 

This fear based belief prevented me from asking for a $20,000 increase to be paid fairly because I thought if my boss said “no”, it probably meant I wasn’t worth it.

So I waited. Instead of building my case or gathering more information from my boss about what I could do to receive a pay increase, I stayed silent.

I didn’t consider that hearing “no” might not have anything to do with me at all!  I didn’t consider the business, the impact of my performance, or my boss’s relationship with money, their own boss or the organization.  All of these factors play into negotiating at work but it can be hard to see beyond ourselves when fear is present.

What I’ve learned about negotiation from building a corporate career in Human Resources and a business is this:  when you ask for everything you want/need/would like and get a response of “no”, you’ll always feel better than if you stay quiet, accept less than, and harbor negative feelings. Making the ask is so important!

Negotiation is a conversation between two parties attempting to find a mutual agreement.  It’s important to show your cards and share not only what works for you, but also understand what the other side of the table needs and will offer as well.

If you negotiate and receive everything you ask for, did you really negotiate the best possible deal or job offer?  If you don’t face any resistance, you may be leaving money, benefits, or options on the table. 

In order to get to a place where you feel confident in your ask, you have to be prepared to handle potential objections and be emotionally ready to face rejection.

If you ask for what you want and hear “no”, you still have options.
“No” may actually mean “not right now”, or “I need more information” but if you avoid asking, you’ll never know.

If you want to make 2020 the year you finally break free from your fear of “no”,  then my upcoming ‘How to Ask for a Raise without Fear’ webinar is for you!

In my webinar, I will walk you through the steps my clients have used to 2x their salaries, get Director level titles, grow their own businesses and make the best decisions for their careers, lives, and paychecks.

I will also share the 3 most common objections you may hear when you negotiate at work so you’ll have the tools, language and confidence to “go for no” in your next negotiation – and land on a “yes” that makes you excited, motivated, and proud of what you’ve received.

If you’re ready to build your case and make your ask in 2020 – for more money, a new job, or a promotion, then register today and join me on January 16th at 3pm ET, 12pm PT for my free webinar – How to Ask for a Raise without Fear!