salary negotiation, appearing authoritative, kitchens, and more

Here are links to a few articles I’ve found interesting lately … plus, I’m happy to announce that my new kitchen is finished at last! Photos are here and here.

1. This is a great post from someone who hires for a living (I can’t tell if she’s a hiring manager or HR) about how women negotiate salary far less frequently than men, which mirrors my experience as well.  An excerpt: “50% to 60% of the women I interview simply take (the initial) offer. It’s insane, I already know I can get authorization for more if you simply refuse. Inversely, almost 90% of the men I interview immediately ask for more upon getting the offer.”

2. I found this article on how to appear more authoritative right on-target. I especially like the point about having an exit strategy ready for any curve balls that might come at you in a tricky conversation.

3. Addressing something that people often have bad info on, in this article the fabulous Donna Ballman explains that one remark isn’t enough for a discrimination lawsuit; the offensive conduct has to be “so severe or so pervasive that it alters the terms and conditions of your employment.”

4. This is just a weird little article about how when Mark Zuckerberg makes job offers, he does it via a hike in the woods. I find this fascinating. I’m going to start making job offers via a stroll through a bakery. Or through my kitchen!

5. This is a really good article about self-defeating job search moves to avoid.

{ 40 comments… read them below }

  1. Wilton Businessman*

    Kitchen looks really nice. I like the backsplash, looks like a subway tile shape…

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes, it’s subway tile! I became obsessed with subway tile at the start of this project and knew I wanted it in some form. I ended up using a back-painted glass subway tile, which I’m loving because it’s slightly reflective, and is making the whole room look kind of glossy and glowy.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          It’s a pull-out spice rack! I love it; I have ten million spices and never have enough storage for them. (Still don’t, actually, but it’s an improvement.)

  2. Jennifer*

    Absolutely love the kitchen. It’s so beautiful. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for years to come.

  3. Anonymous*

    That is gorgeous! Earlier you were fretting about whether or not the cabinets and appliances would be too much white, but I think it turned out great. Against the countertops, backsplash and flooring, it just looks bright and cheerful. Good job!

  4. Jane Atkinson*

    The kitchen looks great. If I had the money, I know what I’d be doing to mine…

    How long did it take them to finish the job in the end?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      The predicted 10 days! I was sure toward the end that they weren’t going to finish on time, but they did! And not a minute too soon — I was hating all the upheaval.

  5. Frode H*

    I got a huge mathematical challenge for your spam protection. Had to use a lot of formulas and a complete whiteboard to solve it… well not really. But congratulations on you new kitchen, and thank you for som great links.

  6. ImpassionedPlatypi*

    Ya know, in the pictures without counter tops I thought that if you went with a light color for the counter it would all be waaaay too white, but the counter you chose has enough of the darker veins to warm things up a little. It’s very pretty. I think I would probably paint those stark white walls a color similar to the subway tile though, just to relieve some of the white-ness and make it a little warmer.

  7. Scott Woode*

    The kitchen is so cute! And I completely agree with your thoughts/passions for subway tile. Tres chic!

  8. Anonymous*

    I especially like this from the article on speaking with authority: “Ditch the stories and the drama. How could you possibly know the outcome? These stories are not based in fact, but are based on your fears and your creation of a future reality.” I am guilty of this quite frequently. I can work myself up into a snit in no time by visualizing all the possible negative outcomes to some imaginary situation at work that hasn’t occurred yet. Interestingly, I never do this in my personal life, only at work.

    1. Anonymous*

      “These stories are not based in fact, but are based on your fears and your creation of a future reality.”

      I object to this because some of those stories are based on past experience of working with the same people and learning their reactions. Still, I can see that changing your behavior could change their reaction/response.

  9. Jamie*

    If I could give any career advice to the readers of this blog is listen to Alison on the topic of salary negotiation.

    Her advice absolutely translates into real dollars – I cannot stress enough that she knows what she’s talking about on this.

    I HATE salary negotiation for myself (although I’m VERY good at it when negotiating for someone else who I think deserves more money…weird) – so the last time I tried I prepped from this blog and literally crafted an AAM inspired game plan.

    I see the results of Alison’s advice on every paycheck.

    And now I’ll get off my fangirl soapbox…

    1. Long Time Admin*

      Jamie, I always hated negotiating and interviewing, and wished I could hire an agent to do all that for me.

      If I ever get a job offer, would you do my negotiating?

      1. Jamie*

        I would be happy to! Wouldn’t that be kind of awesome if we could bring in agents to do this for us? Like sports people have?

        A few years (and a previous employer) ago I was promoted and my boss (who was more of a mentor) wouldn’t let me go to corporate and negotiate for myself. He nicely told me he knew I would undersell myself and screw it up – so he negotiated on my behalf. Whatever damage was done to my ego with him pointing out something he thought I sucked at, was soothed by a 43% raise – which was the largest (percentage) the company had ever given at one time.

        I still don’t have his level of clout just yet, but I will always remember that and I do try to pay-it-forward for people I work with, when appropriate.

        I think it’s just easier when doing it for other people, because the back and forth isn’t personal.

  10. Nethwen*

    Congratulations on getting your kitchen done in the expected time frame.

    These were interesting articles, although I find scripts more useful than “do this, don’t do that” suggestions. Do you need to have detailed reasons why you want a higher salary? I’m imaging the conversation goes something like this:

    Them: The salary is $32,000.

    Me (Happy with $35,000): I was thinking along the lines of $38,000.

    Them: You barely meet the qualifications for this position and you have minimal experience. Why do think you deserve a higher salary?

    Obviously, I’ve never been in this position, so maybe I’m thinking into it too much. Am I making things up to expect to still have to defend and prove myself even after an offer is made?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Well, if you really did barely meet the qualifications and had minimal experience, you might not be in a great position to negotiate. Not every context lends itself to negotiating.

      But in general, you’ve got to make sure your salary request is based on something other than what number you want — it needs to be based on the market rate for that work in that industry in that geographic area. You also need to know whether or not you’re willing to walk away if you don’t get it, since that may influence how you proceed.

    2. Wilton Businessman*

      Nearly 20% higher than their offer is a big jump. $3K I’m not going to argue about, but for $6K I might get a different level of candidates that WOULD be better qualified.

      1. Nethwen*

        It looks like unless I learn alot (how?) I might be one of those people who make statistics for not negotiating. I can look at the data and see that in my industry and in my geographic area, entry-level salaries generally range from $32,000 – $38,000, but I clearly have no idea how to proceed with this information.

        No offers yet, so I still have time to learn. ;)

  11. Anonymous*


    AAM, shes neither …right down somewhere amidst 200 comments, she says she is a manager.
    Thanks for the link ….I was fascinated by the article as well the (copious) comments – enjoyed it & hopefully will apply it when I get to negotiate next!

  12. Jennifer*

    The kitchen is beautiful! The “before” isn’t bad, but the “after” definitely punches it up!

    These articles were good, and I am reminded that I need to re-subscribe to “Fast Company.” It’s an AMAZING magazine!

  13. Your friendly happy web dev*

    I guess I am the only one that is creeped out by the “walk in the woods” thing.

  14. Joe*

    Beautiful kitchen! I continue to be envious. But (I can’t believe I didn’t notice this in earlier pictures) – electric stove? Eww… We had an electric stove growing up, and I think it was one of the reasons I didn’t like cooking back then. Now that I’ve lived with gas, I can’t imagine going back. Was gas not an option? Or do you actually prefer electric?

  15. Wendy*

    What if during the interview you were told a salary range and asked if this was ok. You said yes ( I wasn’t going to negotiate yet!) Now I am going in for my 3rd interview and if offered the job can I still negotiate a higher salary? I would back it up with reasons why I would request a higher salary. The high range was at my bottom I would accept. Would I look like I wasn’t listening if I request more?

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