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Welcome to The Salary Chronicles, where were bringing transparency to negotiation and salaries, one story at a time. We ask women to share their experiences negotiating their salary and what their advice is for others doing the same. We share these stories anonymously so they feel comfortable speaking as openly and as freely as possible.
This week were speaking with a woman who waited until just the right moment to ask for a raise.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Old Salary: $74k
Negotiated Salary: $80k + an additional week vacation
What was the situation when you decided to negotiate your salary?
I had been working freelance for a few years. While I loved the flexibility of making my own hours, I didnt like the unpredictable income and not having employer benefits. I was doing tax and accounting work for a number of small businesses, and the workload had grown tremendously with one of my clients. The part time work I was doing for them was no longer enough to keep up with their growth.
The owner approached me about a permanent position with the company. He was nervous about bringing on another employee, but he knew it was necessary. He asked what would I need to make in order to work for him full time.
I was charging $65/hour, but with my inconsistent workload, I was making around $80,000 per year. On top of that, I was paying for my own healthcare and didnt have an employer sponsored retirement plan.
I knew that $80,000 per year would be a stretch for them and I likely wouldnt be offered that much. Because I really liked the company, the hours, and how close it was to my house, I was ready to make a little less in order to get some benefits of working full time. I also knew that hiring someone else with my experience to do this job, they would be paying $80k – $90k.
I decided that Id ask for $78,000, full medical and dental coverage, 2 weeks vacation, and 401k matching.
How did the conversation go?
I brought him all of the information: what market value for a role like this was, and what I could see accomplishing in the role. I wanted to sell him on the improvements I could make to his business.
He was hesitant, but I knew he liked me and was nervous about continuing to run his business without someone looking after all aspects of the finances. He offered me $74,000 and all of the benefits Id asked for.
While I wanted to push him more right then, I knew that he would be really uncomfortable paying more at that moment. I told him that Id accept his offer, but I that I planned to show him just how valuable it will be to have as a full time employee and that my work would be worth more. I wanted him to know that the conversation wasnt fully over.
What happened next?