Today we’re picking up my conversation with Darra, an attorney from the Bay Area who recently negotiated a job offer based on the advice she’d gotten from her father and fiancé only to be accused of being “money motivated” and “not the right fit” by her prospective employer. To read the first part of our conversation, click here.
Today, we continue where we left off to find out what happens after a failed negotiation. (Edited for length and clarity).
My first thought was like, “Am I really having this retaliatory effect from having asked for more money?”
And I started thinking, “That’s not what happens because I’ve asked for more and been told, ‘No, this is the best we can do. We can re-discuss compensation at 90 days. Or we can do this, we can do that.’” And usually I say, “Great, I’m happy to accept,” move on. So I was shocked that this response was coming through.
It shifted from shock to just disappointment. Because now I have this fellow female attorney who deals with all the same BS that I deal with as a female attorney in a very male dominated space telling me not to do this in future.
And then it shifted to wow, so we have to fight extra hard as women in these professions that are so dominated by men, and now someone who I thought might be a great mentor is,“I don’t think you should do this in future”?
So it went from shock to disappointment to then anger, because I was thinking like, I don’t want to learn from you because this is not the kind of attorney I plan to be.
And then it was kind of just disbelief after that.
Related Reading: Why We Love to Hate Ambitious Women
My dad was saying, I’ve never heard something like this happen.
My fiancé said, I’ve never heard something happen like this.
And then he stated, “I hope this doesn’t deter you from negotiating in future.” And for a moment, I thought, “Yeah, this does, because I don’t want to lose another job.”
I was excited about that opportunity. Obviously this changed my mind about it. But for a moment, my first thought was, “Yeah, I don’t ever want to negotiate again because I don’t want this feeling ever again. I don’t want to have something right there in front of you and then it’s gone”.
Related Reading: The Worst They Can Say Is ‘No’ Is Bad Advice
But then I thought about it for a second and said, “No, this is not going to deter me from negotiating again. This showed me this is something that needs to be talked about and discussed. And so then I decided to tweet about it.”
So I send out this tweet. I had maybe 25 followers on Twitter. I don’t use it very often. But I tweeted this and I put my phone down and went about my day, cause I had to get back to work.
I think the last time I checked, it was like 40,000 likes. I went through some of the comments and some of the threads and the discussions happening within the tweet. And that was so interesting to me.
I saw a lot of people saying, “This happened to me too.” And that was really eye opening.
So I’d say overwhelmingly positive responses is what I saw. But then I saw some people saying things like, “Well it’s because of the way you approached it. Oh, you must have been narcissistic or something. Like you have an inflated ego and have no experience.”
But for the most part, I had a lot of people sharing similar stories and it gave people an opportunity to say, This is why I’m afraid of negotiating. This is why we need to talk about this and change this approach.
And it did break down into a lot of conversation of this is my experience as a woman, or this is my experience as a person of color, and some other, mostly white men being like, “Well, this has never happened to me, so I don’t believe this happened.”
Related Reading: This Is The Price Women Pay For Wanting More
My DMs were an interesting story as well. It was a lot of other young women saying, “This happened to me and I’m so glad that I didn’t get that job because something better came along and it never made me stop negotiating.”
And I think through the tweet, and seeing all the discussions happening there, it really made me feel empowered to move forward.
On the next installment of Ambition Diaries, I’ll be picking up my conversation with Darra to talk about how she would change the advice we give about salary negotiation based on what she experienced and what she noticed in the many stories that came in response to her tweet.
For that and more conversations like this subscribe to Too Ambitious.
And if you know someone who can relate, please share.
Image: We Are / DigitalVision via GettyImages