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Think like a man

Women in business earn significantly less than men. This fact is well-known but the gender wage gap is very real. Why is this? I've found that women often are afraid to ask their worth or think that if they try to negotiate the opportunity will vanish. Ladies, let me tell you... men do not think this way. Most of them are not afraid to ask for what they want and are willing to walk away if the offer isn't to their standards because they view themselves differently.

Let me tell you a story of a time I walked away from an offer.

When I first moved to San Diego, I was working client-side at a gaming company. After about two years, I began to see that the management-level turmoil was so high that I was never going to have the opportunity to move up. When you have a new boss every six months, it's hard to prove yourself and get a promotion. Plus, I really missed the ad agency environment, working on a variety of projects and challenging my creativity in that way. So I put out feelers and landed a series of interviews with an agency that was looking for their head of client service. At the end of the interview process, the owner put forth an offer that was below my salary expectations. I counter-offered at a higher salary that I knew was fair in the market, especially with my experience. The conversation stopped and I was bummed that we couldn't work out an agreement, but I already had a job so I decided to stay where I was and look for opportunities within the organization to add more value.

Four months later, they came knocking again. This time it was their VP of Operations who contacted me, not the owner. He shared that they had not had any luck finding other candidates who were as good as me and they wanted to open up the conversation again, if I was still interested. He brought the three of us together again and we were able to come to an agreement.

So why did this work out in my favor? I changed my thinking to that of a man. What did that look like in my case?

1. I asked for what I wanted. I spent time contemplating what was important to me and why. In this instance, I had a certain dollar amount I wanted to make, which was fair given the responsibilities the role entailed; I did my homework about what was current in the marketplace; and I stuck to my guns when something less-than was put in front of me.

2. I wasn't afraid to walk away. It was scary saying no after months of conversation, getting to know the people there, and learning what they had to offer. But I knew I wouldn't be happy accepting something less than what was my worth, so I was willing to stick to my guns and say "thanks, but no thanks."

3. I made it be about me. One of the things that made me stand out was how I said no. I sent them a heartfelt email reply, expressing how much I appreciated their time and how impressed I was with their team (called out specific people and their attributes from our conversations), but that I know I give 110% to any company I am with and I needed to honor myself and my financial obligations in order to do that. Otherwise, my attitude would likely be affected and they deserved someone who was a "hell yeah" on their team.

Now, when I coach my clients and I see that they're willing to take jobs that are below their worth because they're coming from a scarcity mindset, I remind them to "think like a man." 9 times out of 10, something better always comes out of it, whether that's more money or a great opportunity that they were able to take on because they had said no to something else.

Be brave and know your worth!

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