Monday, October 13, 2008

Asking for What You Want: Can I Have a Book Deal?

As Broadsheet reports:

This past July, a woman calling herself La Roxy was inspired by the book “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide” to start a project in which she explicitly asks for something every day for a year. According to the book’s authors, women’s reluctance to ask for stuff can result in massive financial losses over the course of a career, slower advancement and way more grunt work in the home, among other unpleasant things. La Roxy was so struck by their message that by the time she got to Page 7, she’d already decided to try her asking experiment. And of course the next natural step was to blog it, hence the Daily Asker.

“The point is to simplify my life by and boost my financial situation by asking,” she writes. “The point is to try to benefit from the type of situation where ‘it can’t hurt to ask.’ The point is to start thinking about asking in the first place...”

Now, when the 'women just don't ask for higher salaries' argument started being frequently bandied about, I wrote about some research that explains exactly why we don't ask - we're more likely to be punished for seeking more. Yet, like La Roxy, I did start thinking more about the need to be proactive in negotiating higher salaries for myself. And when I got my next job offer, I did negotiate for a higher salary. Sure, I was treated with a bit of hostility by one of the people privy to the information that I'd convinced the boss to pay me more; but, trust me, the money was worth the couple of snubs and rude comments thrown my way.

So, I've decided La Roxy is right - the only way to break the common perception that women who ask for the things they want are 'less nice' than the men who act in the same manner is for all of us to start asking for what we want.

I want a book deal - what will you be requesting?


Maggie said...

In law school I took a Negotiations class where we had to do several mock negotiations. On our first one, I settled for the lowest amount in the entire class. (To me, it seemed like more than enough. I guess I'm not greedy enough?) But that was enough to embarrass me out of submission and I subsequently ended up with some of the best results in later attempts.

Sometimes just knowing there's a problem can help you address the problem.

Not-So-Normal-Mom said...

I do ask. I'm what one of the professors likes to call me-brassy. That being said, I was once told by that same professor that I would never be hired in the English department if I retained that same brassiness. However, I haven't slowed down, and so far, so good...

Habladora said...

Hey, NSNM, brassy sounds good to me. Keep it up! I'm planning to be tons more brassy in the future. You'd expect university English departments to be a bit more forward thinking than that, though - its disappointing to hear that you're being discouraged by fellow professionals.

Renee said...

I'll join you in requesting a book deal as well as an opportunity to do some more freelance writing. This is what I want to do as my career, I just have to figure out how to make it work.