What would you do if you found out your employer had underpaid you by $10,000 over a two year period? By happenstance, you’d overheard a coworker, who held the same position as you, mention her annual salary.

Would you be triggered?

What if I told you that the extra $10,000 you’re not getting is your own fault. That the only reason you were underearning and she was not was because of one thing.

She negotiated.

According to a study conducted by staffing firm Robert Half, less than 40% of job seekers negotiated their salary during a job offer.

The truth is women and people of color start off at a wage gap, and by not negotiating beyond one’s base pay, you are cutting  yourself short.


Underearning, receiving less than you are capable of while working at a job, isn’t just about money. When your potential new employer makes you an offer, it’s important that you negotiate your total compensation.

In episode 8 of C_CRETS, you’ll learn the long-term negative impact of not understanding total compensation, including how it affects the overall quality of your life, from having stock options to choosing a childcare provider.

Now, more than ever, it’s important that you negotiate your salary when starting a new job. Next, positively phrase why you should receive the total compensation you’re aiming to receive. Don’t be afraid to ask about bonuses. And most of all, share the value you can create for your potential employer.

The easiest time to ask for more money or benefits is during the negotiation process. Think about it–you were chosen to be interviewed. The company has already shown that they’re considering you as a best fit. 

Listen, it’s no longer about not making a fuss when you receive a job offer and collecting a check.

If you come in the door behind, which is going to be typical for women and people of color, if you don’t come into the door on equal footing, it’s only going to get worse with time.”

Now, in these uncertain economic times it’s important that you ask. Otherwise, don’t expect to receive.

Through a little research–visiting, reading up on the organization and their benefits package to employees, talking to someone on the inside–you can better understand your total compensation, and make a strategic decision before an offer is made.

This one choice will significantly impact your life and your family’s life.


Gone are the days when the most important consideration might’ve been the base pay offered. Consider what’s important to you so you can go in eyes wide open and negotiate.

Think about the side effects of knowing you’re not being fairly compensated at work, including resentment towards your job.

More and more, companies are being deliberate in their hiring, including hiring persons from underrepresented groups. By knowing your salary and what compensation options are available, you can leverage this knowledge.

Once you’re in the door, the reality is the average pay increase for most employees is 2-3 percent. By understanding total compensation, you’ll avoid the common pitfall of accepting the first job offer and move forward as a more satisfied and productive employee.

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