“Why would you want to put yourself on sale? You want to put yourself into the luxury product bin. To do that, you need to create a really shiny marketing plan around yourself. And that’s hard because we’ve been programmed to be people pleasers and to be likable. It takes a mindset shift,” said Jenny Galluzzo, Entrepreneur, Advocate and Career Expert.
Be Confident and Value Yourself
There’s been a rise in employee power. Mostly, driven by worker shortages. But if you’re ready for career change, how can you navigate this new dynamic? Jenny said, “Internalize your own worth and needs. And know that there’s a lot of opportunity out there. If you devalue what you’re worth, ultimately, you’re devaluing how that company sees you. It’s lot like the way we market products.”
Historically, women don’t get the same outcomes as men when we negotiate. And Jenny explained that as a result, we live in fear of the backlash from asking for too much. “We’ve been taught, ‘well they’re giving me this so I shouldn’t ask for that’ and that mindset is not going to get you what you want. If you put yourself on sale your perceived value is lower.”
Collaborate Your Way to Better Compensation
If you like your current employer but want to improve your circumstances, it’s possible. But it still means you have to be strategic about the negotiation. Jenny advised, “Saying ‘pay me this or I walk’ is just not intuitive to women and it’s also not going to be successful. Studies show that women are not poor negotiators, that is a myth. But we’ve not been taught how to negotiate and often base our decision making on fear, low self-worth, and insecurity. So, take a different approach and think about it in terms of collaboration.”
Employers are More Flexible… But
Most of us have felt powerless about the conditions at work. So, this change is freeing. And, after Covid’s devastating impact on women in the workforce, it has potential to uplift Moms. “Employers are becoming more flexible on everything. On how and where you work and experience levels for people seeking career transitions,” Jenny said.
“You don’t have to match exactly what’s on the job description. I think it’s a great time if you are looking to transition or to come back into the workforce. But you still have to make a compelling argument for yourself. You can’t just say, ‘well I was home with my kids and that’s what I was doing’ that’s not a compelling argument for why they should hire you,” she explained. So, how can you best set up that conversation?
You Need to Make Your Business Case
“People have taken time out of the workforce. And now that the pandemic is over two years old, that’s a long period of time on a resume. A pandemic sabbatical is understandable and justifiable. We’ve all had to do what we’ve had to do. And because of that, people are more willing to overlook what they might not have before,” And that’s liberating. But she reminds us to shine bright lights on our gifts. “Tell them what your past accomplishments are and what you bring to the table. Make the argument for what you can do, your future vision and how you’re going to be successful.”
And Set Your Boundaries
Work didn’t work for most Mothers pre-pandemic. Certain norms, however, are changing. Jenny said, “So, if you want some flexibility like taking your hours down or work from home, sell them on what you’ve done in the past. And how this is going to be beneficial. Ask. And then, come up with hard parameters and boundaries for yourself, around what you’re willing to accept. Because this moment it is a really great time for people to renegotiate and to do it in a kind, collaborative, and empathetic way.”
Find Your Community
Self-esteem is critical for career growth. But the persistent leadership and wage gaps, along with the bias Mothers still face, can drain morale from the most confident among us. But whether it’s career change, upgrade or reentering the workforce, you can get support.
Jenny said, “Having community is very important. Because you might feel nervous to go in and ask for something that you want. But your friends are going to tell you something very different, they’re going to be your ego boost.”
She added, “Sometimes you need to hear the voice of the person who’s your pumper upper in your head. The person who says, ‘you’re worth that.’ And that’s what community does.” If you lack that support among your friends and colleagues, there are many places, including the Second Shift, where you can find it online.
As with any important negotiation, Jenny advises that you do your research in advance. “You need to know all of the valid data on your worth, to sell the company on why they should hire you. Be very prepared. And if you’re going for a job interview and don’t know what to ask for, ask other people because the data is out there.” Excellent points.
She added, “Don’t rely on the hiring manager to tell you what you’re worth. Find out from other people and not only women because then you’re only hearing from the same side of the playing field. You need to hear from everybody! And know what the man next to you is getting paid for in the same job. Because then you’re going to know what you should ask for. Or at least have some ballpark parameters.”
Ask for what You Really Need
Jenny said, “Know ahead of time what’s going to make you feel confident and comfortable to take a job or to stay in a job. You should not take just any offer. There are so many things you can negotiate for, including benefits, like parental leave. You can also negotiate for an assistant or that you need X amount of hours, from a particular team, to make it work. Think about how you set yourself up for success.”
Jenny reminds us that shifting your mindset is key. “Often women are so nervous about their ability to negotiate, that what they accept is not really going to set them up for success. They’re not asking for all of the things that they need. So, create the wish list of what it takes to really kill it in the job.”
Make Sure They’re Ready to Support You
“We work with a lot with consultants and freelancers at the Second Shift. And even for those jobs, it’s hard. Because you have no idea what you’re walking into. People are often so happy to have gotten the job. But if you want the job to be successful, so you’re hired again and the client is pleased, it’s harder for the company than it is for the freelancer. If that company is not organized enough to have someone come in as a consultant, it’s going to fail.” Wise!
She added, “So, don’t just be happy to have that job. How are you holistically going to be successful in this role? Maybe it’s asking, ‘Okay, I need one person from this team dedicated to work with me. Or I have to come into your office X number of days a week. You’re better off asking for more and doing a better job than asking for less and having it fail. You might get paid but it’s not going to be a great experience and you’re probably not going to get hired there again.”
Play the Long Game
Jenny explained this approach is well suited to corporate jobs and senior roles. It won’t work for every industry. And this level of preparation may feel daunting. Like preparing to negotiate a peace treaty instead of fair compensation. But the workplace isn’t set up for us to win yet. She said, “We want to see women rise into positions of leadership. And we need more women in business ownership and positions of power in government.” Amen to that!
Many thanks to the talented Jenny Galluzzo!
- Ready to reclaim space from the never-done list? Take a TimeCheck.
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As the co-founder of The Second Shift, Jenny Galluzzo lives her life committed to the empowerment of women through work. She is fiercely dedicated to shifting the path forward for women, encouraging them to forge their own career paths with confidence, intention and optimism. Jenny is responsible for the member community and all things brand, overseeing messaging, communications, and content channels. She curates events across the country to bring members and business partners together, and with her team, is in close contact with members during the multi-step application process. Beyond connecting women with jobs, Jenny is also in regular contact with members, advising about career transitions, gender equity in the workforce, and becoming an agent for change.
Prior to starting The Second Shift, Jenny spent many years in journalism, researching, writing, hosting and producing for Good Morning America, News 12 and Plum TV. Jenny holds a BA from Duke University and an MS from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She lives in New York City with her two young sons.Tags: Career Development for Moms, career negotiation, Moms Career Growth