What to (Not) Do As a Young Woman Networking and Job-Hunting: Neglect Your Chances to Negotiate and Advance

Happy Friday! It’s Naomi Ahsan again with the third post in my series about networking and job-hunting for young women. Feel free to comment with your insight and experiences, and make sure to check back tomorrow for more. You can visit my expository post to learn more about me and my motivation to write this series. My task in this blog is to list some things young women like myself often do—and shouldn’t—on their track to career success.

2. (Don’t) neglect your chances to negotiate and advocate

It’s possible to negotiate a salary? That brainwave happens sometime in every person’s career, and the sooner you realize it and start preparing, the better. This is just one of many situations where you need to be your best advocate so that you do your best work and are compensated accordingly. Bear in mind here, that women tend to negotiate less than men and there are reasons why.

Dr. Kathleen McGinn describes research on the “entitlement effect” as showing that, “in conditions of ambiguity, if you bring men and women into the lab and you say either one of two things: “Work until you think you’ve earned the $10 we just gave you,” or “Work and then tell us how much you think you deserve,” the women work longer hours with fewer errors for comparable pay, and pay themselves less for comparable work. But if there’s a standard [that men and women know], then this result goes away.”

A friend with extensive experience in organizing and advocacy work has seen the entitlement effect in action across her work experiences. She says that her past male colleagues usually “felt like they deserved their job, left on time or early, and arrived on time or late”. In contrast, most women she has worked with “felt like they have to earn their job, come in early and leave late, and work from home”.

Pay and hours are some of the easiest measures of difference between in male and female employment, but the entitlement effect is not always so tangible. Your value and worth to other people are not just a function of how well you do your work, but the way you talk about it and whether or not you negotiate.

About Kaitlin Legg

Former Program Assistant at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rochester.
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2 Responses to What to (Not) Do As a Young Woman Networking and Job-Hunting: Neglect Your Chances to Negotiate and Advance

  1. The “entitlement effect,” I like that. I had never read or heard a name for that phenomena before. You see it across other privilege relationships too. The PoC I have worked with have been far more conscientious about their jobs than our white counterparts. Thank you for your insights Naomi, I will be sharing this with friends and family.

    • Naomi says:

      Thank you so much for your input, Christine! I hope that you have some good conversations with friends and family on this!

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