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Get a Raise: 3 Highlights From PayScale’s Reddit AMA on Salary Negotiation

Topics: Negotiation

Earlier today, PayScale did its first Reddit AMA. Hosted by Senior Director of Editorial and Marketing Lydia Frank and Managing Editor Aubrey Bach, We are data geeks from who love to talk salary negotiation. We’re also two women working in the tech industry … AMA looked at the challenges facing women in tech – and everywhere else – when it comes to getting the salary they deserve.


(Photo Credit: Eva Blue/Flickr)

Here were a few of the highlights:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. sarahlawer: What are some non-salary variables that you can negotiate for? And especially, should negotiate for?

aubreybach: Benefits, everything from stock to insurance coverage to PTO are obvious, but I always encourage people to negotiate their review schedule. Ask to be eligible for promotions and reviews every six months rather than yearly (for example), and you can fast track your career growth!

laceynwilliams: I love this response. Get it in writing, though. I definitely know of women who accepted lower salaries because they were told they’d be reviewed in 6 mos. and then be eligible for significant raises… and 6 mos. later everyone acted like that had never happened.

LydiaFrank: Yes! Great advice. Document everything.

2. LydiaFrank: We had a question from someone in another string talking about this AMA – thought I’d post it here: What are your current thoughts on Ellen’s ban on salary negotiations in Reddit? Will it help end gender discrimination?

LydiaFrank: Great (and very timely) question. I think the intention is good — to ensure that unconscious bias is eliminated in salary negotiations for new hires. But, I’m really curious to see how this plays out. I think there are a lot of potential landmines. By attempting to level the playing field, are you disempowering your employees by not allowing for negotiation? How long after they’re hired are they allowed to negotiate? Satya Nadella got a lot of backlash when he told women in tech not to negotiate salary but trust in the system / rely on karma At the end of the day, isn’t Reddit’s CEO doing the same thing?

She’s asking new hires to trust that she’ll pay them fairly. She’s going to have to be super transparent and open to ensure that this is received well by potential hires.

3. captaincampfire: What should you do if you find out you are underpaid?

aubreybach: PayScale’s core offering is a free salary survey that allows you to benchmark your salary based on your unique skillset, experience level, location, job title, education, etc. That gives you a starting point, and then you can research salary data about thousands of other job titles, compare trends in pay between employers, etc.

captaincampfire: Should you ever use a competing job offer as leverage with your current employer?

LydiaFrank: Only if you’re willing to leave. Don’t dangle another job offer if it’s not real or if you’re not ready to move on. Because your current employer might not give you a competing offer. Also, you do have to be careful with this. Sometimes this can backfire and your employer may pay to keep you but question your loyalty in the future. Unfortunate but true.

aubreybach: Absolutely. Salary negotiation is based on two factors, ultimately: What you are worth and what your employer is willing to pay you. If you have a competing offer from another company, that is a huge factor in what you are worth!

LydiaFrank: Make sure you validate that assumption. We’ve found that a large percentage of people that think they’re underpaid aren’t really based on market data. If you’re making less than a co-worker, it could be because you have different qualifications (maybe they have more years on the job, a specific certification, etc.) If you truly are underpaid for your position and skillset, though, you want to approach your boss about it, but be respectful, keep it professional and back up your salary ask with data. Show market data, show a list of your recent accomplishments, etc. Also, ensure you’re thinking about timing.

Want more? Check out the full AMA at Reddit.

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What do you most want to know about salary negotiation? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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