Let me tell you a story….
It was the summer of 2011 and I was a fresh graduate. I was still living with my mom but in my eyes, I was finally free. However, I was jobless. For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a job. Look, I have always worked. Since the age of 14, I had a real life job. I love money. I loved working for the money. Even at age 10, I sold little bracelets around school. Now, I was at a place where I didn’t know what to do next. I knew nothing about having a salaried position. It was time for me to grow up. I scoured my university’s career center and applied for everything I could find that related to computer information systems. I flunked one of my computer programming classes so I made sure to skip over all of the computer jobs I saw that involved programming. I hated programming.
I remember it like yesterday. I received a call back from my university asking me if I had time to set up an interview with a new company coming to the area. I jumped on the opportunity. Also, because I was so awesome at FINDING jobs, I received another interview request from a smaller family owned business. I went to the interview with the family company first. It was great. The mother was running the company; unfortunately her husband had become very ill. Also, her son did all of the computer work for the company and he would train me on everything. I left the interview feeling great. I know I had that job. It would pay $40,000. The next day, I went to my university to have my interview with the new local company. It was horrible. There was a really big language barrier. The only thing I remember about the interview is something about “Travel and Banking.” I didn’t think I would get the job so I didn’t think twice about the position.
The following day, after the horrible interview, my car broke down. My 1997 Chevrolet Lumina finally decided to die on me. In the process of me begging a guy to fix my car, my university called me and offered me the position from the horrible interview. I was shocked. This came with a starting salary of $43,000, unlimited time paid off, gym membership reimbursement, and FREE insurance. I accepted. NO NEGOTIATION NEEDED.(I THOUGHT)
A year later, after referring my husband (he was my boyfriend at the time and we later married) and 2 of our friends to the same company, working 16+hr days, and performing computer programming we knew nothing about, we were all FIRED. What were we going to do?! Months before losing my job, I bought a brand new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. No, it wasn’t a SS, but still… We were also saving for a home and through marriage I was a brand new stepmom to 2 kids. Losing our jobs, at the same time, 1 day apart… was devastating.
I, however, had a plan. I put my networking mask on, took a trip, and within 4 months I landed a new job. However, there was still ONE thing I didn’t do before being hired as an employee.
I NEVER NEGOTIATED.
Ladies, we almost NEVER negotiate for what we deserve.
If I Negotiated, I’m sure I would have accepted the position with the family company. Why? I didn’t thoroughly do my research on this company which fired me. If I did, I wouldn’t have accepted the position or even referred my husband. I saw a $43,000 salary and I jumped. I didn’t even take into consideration that they hired me at a $43,000 salary but I was working 16 hour days. I WAS WORKING FOR LESS THAN I DESERVED. This means they took advantage. Once you are salaried, you don’t get overtime. Imagine if I had overtime. Imagine if I negotiated. I bet $80,000 would have helped a little better on my final check.
Negotiation is the #1 technique you must LEARN and ALWAYS do when speaking about money in your life. Whether you are working with prices, salaries, or buying a car.
Don’t accept the first thing that seems too good to be true….
It Definitely is….