In today’s episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast, I talk with Alexandra Dickinson, the CEO and founder of Ask For It – a consulting company that gives people the skills and confidence to negotiate.
Alexandra started her journey in communications and training, gaining both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications. She has always been interested in gender equality and now specialises in closing the wage gap for women. Alexandra is also a certified yoga teacher!
In this episode, Alexandra teaches us ways to ask for a raise and gives us tips for negotiating a higher wage in a new job. She reminds us how important it is to be confident in your skills and experience and to value your worth in the workplace.
This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos. Laurence Bradford 0:06 Laurence Bradford 0:18 Laurence Bradford 0:34 Laurence Bradford 0:52 Laurence Bradford 1:39 Alexandra Dickinson 1:41 Laurence Bradford 1:43 Alexandra Dickinson 1:56 Laurence Bradford 2:32 Alexandra Dickinson 2:55 Laurence Bradford 4:03 Alexandra Dickinson 4:50 Laurence Bradford 6:20 Alexandra Dickinson 6:32 Laurence Bradford 8:05 Alexandra Dickinson 9:02 Alexandra Dickinson 10:15 Laurence Bradford 11:46 Alexandra Dickinson 11:57 Alexandra Dickinson 13:21 Alexandra Dickinson 15:11 Laurence Bradford 15:30 Laurence Bradford 15:36 Laurence Bradford 16:40 Laurence Bradford 17:43 Alexandra Dickinson 18:40 Alexandra Dickinson 19:36 Laurence Bradford 21:32 Alexandra Dickinson 22:13 Alexandra Dickinson 24:03 Laurence Bradford 25:30 Alexandra Dickinson 25:51 Laurence Bradford 27:58 Alexandra Dickinson 28:48 Laurence Bradford 30:33 Alexandra Dickinson 30:53 Laurence Bradford 30:55 Alexandra Dickinson 30:58 Laurence Bradford 31:23 Alexandra Dickinson 31:53 Laurence Bradford 31:56 Alexandra Dickinson 32:23 Laurence Bradford 32:45 Alexandra Dickinson 32:54 Laurence Bradford 33:12 Alexandra Dickinson 33:28 Laurence Bradford 34:33 Alexandra Dickinson 34:35 Laurence Bradford 34:42
Hey, you're currently listening to Season 3 of the Learn to Code With Me podcast. I'm your host Laurence Bradford and this season I chat with a range of individuals who work in tech.
Freshbooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new freelancer friendly version of their accounting software. To claim an unrestricted 30 day free trial, just go to freshbooks.com/learntocode and enter Learn to Code With Me in the "How did you hear about us?" section?
Flatiron school's online web developer program focuses on community actual development tools and features a curriculum that will teach you the skills you need to land a career as a software engineer. Get $500 off your first month by visiting flatironbootcampprep.com.
Hey listeners! Welcome to the Learn to Code With Me podcast. I'm your host Laurence Bradford. In today's episode, I talk with Alexandra Dickinson. Alexandra is an entrepreneur who teaches people how to negotiate. That said, our conversation today is entirely focused on negotiation in the workplace. We cover the negotiation mindset, negotiating a job offer versus asking for a raise in a current position, and much more. Remember, you can get show Notes for this episode, plus more information about Alexandra at learntocodewith.me/podcast. If you like the show, make sure to subscribe on whichever podcast player you listen on. If you're feeling particularly generous, a review would be awesome too. Enjoy the interview.
Hey, Alexandra, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Thank you. I'm excited to be here.
Yes, I'm so excited to have you too. And as I mentioned already, before we got on the call, I want to apologize. I am overcoming a bit of a cold. So that's why my voice is raspy. More than usual, but still really excited to chat with you. So could you introduce yourself to the audience really quick?
Yes. My name is Alexandra Dickinson, and I'm the CEO and Founder of asked for it and I teach people to negotiate. So what that means is I work with individuals, job seekers or people who are looking to get that raise that promotion at their current job, somebody who's looking to get a good deal at their next job. I also go into companies and do trainings on negotiation and respectful conflict management. So I really teach people to negotiate, I give them the strategies, the skills, the confidence to go out there and execute and get the best deal that they possibly can, while still remaining respectful of themselves, their own values and those of their counterpart that's really important for me.
Yeah, I'm so excited to have you on to talk about this. And for the listeners, this episode's gonna be a little bit different since we're going to focus on negotiation of course, since that's what Alex is an expert in, and more so career stuff. However, it's definitely applicable to anyone looking to get into a tech job. So first and foremost, I'm so curious, how did you get into negotiation like what sparked your interest in that field?
Yeah, great question. I get that all the time. So my background is communications and training. So all of my professional experience and my education, my bachelor's, my master's, both in communications and all the work that I did, in sort of the professional world before I started my business, or to do with communications and training, I'm also a certified yoga teacher. So gone through 200 hours of teacher training. negotiation is not something that you would have seen on paper on my resume before I started, ask for it. But it is something that has been really built into me from a from a young age, something that I've spent a lot of time thinking about and doing for my whole life. So it's one of those things that, you know, it's like if you're learning to code on the side, but you're doing a job that's totally different. Somebody might say, Oh, my gosh, how did you get into coding? I don't see it anywhere in your background, but it's in there somewhere, right? It's just not necessarily on paper. So something that I'm particularly interested in, that I've been interested working towards my whole life is gender equality and helping women in particular so I work with everybody but I do specialize in helping women close their eyes. gender wage gaps and that's something that I'm really passionate about.
Yes, so so fascinate I remember, there's only ever been, I guess, like a negotiation, negotiation could come into so many things right outside the workplace, like I'm thinking about, like getting a car or something where you're like, maybe be negotiating the price or like something with like, contractors, if you're doing like your house redone or whatever. I remember when I was interviewing for my current job, or actually, it was a little bit beyond the interview stage. I spent a few days like researching so much stuff with negotiation, and then I kind of just stopped like, because like, once I got the job and accepted the offer and started it wasn't something he continued to, like cultivate. So how can people even if they're not like looking, or eat or they're not in like a period where they're like trying to get a promotion or they're trying to get a new job offer, like continue to hone their negotiation skills?
Yes, that's a great question. So I always say everything that I teach is, it works in it works at work, but it also works in your personal life. So there are so many All the things you mentioned yes are like kind of big ticket items that we think about negotiating or even you might think about negotiating like your cable bill or something. But you know, if you live with somebody, if you have a roommate or a partner or spouse that you live with, you're negotiating all the time. If you have children, you're negotiating all the time, with your family members, with your friends. It's even like what movie Are we going to go see? Should we order Chinese food or Indian food? I mean, those are sort of minor examples. But it's for me, it's really about cultivating that mindset. That is creative problem solving. And so how can you find a creative way to come to a solution that's going to work for everybody that isn't necessarily about, I'm winning, I'm getting the most you're getting screwed over, you know, I'm winning, you're losing, which is sort of more of the mentality, I think that we think of more naturally, when we think about negotiation is I get more, you get less, I get all pieces of the pie, you get no pieces of the pie, and I bring a more collaborative approach to negotiation that is really about creative problem solving that figures out what matters most to me. What matters most to you? How can we find a way to find a solution? That's gonna work for everybody? So you know, it's definitely works for those workplace situations and those big ticket items, but that mindset of how can we find a solution that works for everybody is something that you can do in all aspects of your life.
Yes, I actually had written down a question about the negotiation mindset, because I saw you mentioned it on your LinkedIn or your website or something. So is that what that is? Or is the negotiation mindset something else?
Yeah. So when I think about the negotiation mindset, it really is about creative problem solving, and how to find a solution that works for everybody. So how to use that mindset to overcome your obstacles or move your obstacles out of the way to achieve your goal and the obstacle could be the other person is stuck in that I'm gonna win, you're gonna lose mentality, right? So kind of bringing them around to a different point of view by understanding what they care About what matters to them. That's kind of the secret sauce to negotiating that isn't. I could teach you lots of tactics and counter tactics and strategic maneuvers. And you know that stuff is great. And there's a place for it. But the mindset is really excuse me about understanding your priorities and getting really close to crystal clear on what your needs are, and doing the same for your counterpart. Always like we are so focused on number one, right? What's going to be good for me and that is important. Of course, you can't get a good deal if you don't know what matters to you. However, doing that same work for your counterpart for the person that you're negotiating with and trying to understand where they're coming from, what they are hoping for, what they're afraid of, what makes them tick, what makes them mad, what makes them really pleased. Kind of stepping into their shoes and walking a mile helps you put what you want in context of what they want, because you're busy focused on your goals, but you know what? They're busy focused on their goals too. So what could you say that would make it easy for them to say yes to you?
Yes. I love that. What could you say to make it easy for them to say yes to what you're asking for. And I also love the examples you gave a bit ago with like, some of the really small negotiations like oh, like Indian or Chinese food for dinner, versus Of course, a lot of the bigger ones like asking for a raise. Or, you know, I think a submission like the cable bill, which I guess isn't that isn't that big over time could save you a lot. So I want to kind of flip into the workplace and asking for raises. Well, I kind of actually want to, okay, maybe first sit back, is there a difference between like negotiating a starting salary? So say you just accepted a new job offer or you're about to accept a job offer you're in that stage. Like kind of was the differences between like trying to get a higher like base salary or maybe even like a bonus to pay and I guess, like the company and how that structure is, versus later in time and asking for a raise. So maybe you've been at the company for six months or a year or even longer than that. And getting a raise.
I think they're both very important. And you should, you should be doing both for sure. You know, a lot of people are concerned about Oh, if I don't get a, you know, a good starting salary, then it's going to impact me forever. Um, and to that, I would say, in some states in New York, we have a new law that if you if you work for an employer based in New York City, they can't ask you what your previous salary was, which is great, because that's kind of a way to keep wages down for everybody and say, Oh, you made x at your last job? Well, we'll give you 10% more, and you should be happy with it, because it's more than what you were making. But what I always advise people no matter where they live, and what their local laws are, it's not about, you know, how much you made at your last job. It's about what you're about to do for this company. So you want to be paid for the work that you will be doing. So that means if you're a career switcher, for example, you you know, you were a lawyer, and you decided to go back to school to learn to code and now you want to start in the tech industry. You know, you're going to be making different because you're working In a different industry now, and it doesn't matter what you were making before, what it matters is what you're going to be doing. You want to be paid for the work that you are being hired to do. So benchmarking is really important talking to people in the industry and understanding what is, you know, kind of the market rate for that position is really important.
So, you know, going into a new job, it's really all about understanding what's reasonable understanding what the market rate is, and understanding you know, how, how competitive you are within that marketplace, and then asking for a raise at a job where you've been for a while. It's all about, you know, what have you done for me lately, and the value that you've created in the time that you've been there? So value creation, you know, that could you could think of it as just like jargon or you know, how much money have you made the company but value, I like that phrase value creation, because it's not necessarily if you don't do sales, then you may not be able to have an easy concrete dollar figure that you could pull up and say, I've made x for the company, but you could say, I launched this new program or when so and so left it took over the responsibilities. Therefore I saved value for the company because we didn't hire for that position I took that stuff on. So go, you know, asking for a raise, when you've been there for a while, it's all about putting your evidence together all the great work that you've done actually taking credit for that. And, and also benchmarking always still, you know, within your company within the industry, those things are important too. But that's the main difference, I would say for a new job versus a raise new job is get crystal clear on the market rate and your position in the market. Are you really strong competitor? Are you new to the industry? factor that in talk to people and then getting a raise? It's really about putting that evidence together? What value Have you created? What value Have you saved? What skills do you bring naturally, effortlessly to the team that are a big asset for your manager?
Awesome. I love all that advice. And you mentioned a few times market rate. So what are some ways that people can figure out their market, their market rate or maybe some tools?
Yeah, great question. So You know, of course everybody wants to know, like, which websites do I go to and I'll tell you which websites I like to send people to. But I want you to go further than that. But I'll pause for a second to tell you which websites I always tell people to go to. Because you want to get a sense for you know, as many people you know, in that job in that market as you can but as as anybody who's ever looked at those know you're not always going to find your exact job title your exact company, so you have to take that stuff with a grain of salt but the kind of big three are payscale.com salary.com glassdoor.com. For qualitative workplace reviews, I like to send women in particular to fairy god boss calm in her site is another good one. And then for people that work in tech, in particular, comparable is a good one as well. They have lots of data on tech salaries. So yes, look online for sure. Don't. Don't skip that part. But don't stop there either. I know people are kind of shocked. To talk about money, especially with their friends, maybe or their colleagues, and we have a lot of taboos around that the company certainly doesn't want you to talk about it, because they want you to be in the dark so that you don't know what you're missing out on. But of course, I'm your advocate. So I want you to turn the lights on, find out what's going on. So that you could say, well, I happen to know that some folks are on here making x.
So when you're talking to people, actual people about how much money they make, which if that sounds shocking to you, stick with me, because it's really important to do. You want to talk to people who would know what is reasonable for your job. So that means somebody that does that job. Now, somebody that did that job recently and got promoted to the job recently, and then left your company to go to a different company, or somebody that hires for that job. So that could be like a much more senior person as well. If you have a mentor, maybe that works in the industry, but not at your same company. Somebody who hires for that job or somebody who's come up through the ranks and been through it already. And I always advise People, I advise men and women to talk to both men and women. So don't have unconscious bias in your data by you're a woman and most of your friends are women. And so you only ask women or vice versa. Make sure you talk to both to get a sense. So I always advise people talk to three men and three women and compare. And if you're thinking, I don't actually know six people that you know, do this job or whatever, don't let yourself off the hook so easily because we have LinkedIn. So start trolling through your LinkedIn, second, third degree connections. Alumni groups from your college are also a good word, good place to start. You know, join a meetup. There's lots of ways to meet people and it doesn't have to be like a big, you know, agonizing thing. It could be as straightforward as and this is literally what I advise people to say I'm doing research because I'm about to ask for a raise or change jobs, and you have some information that I think could be helpful. Would you be willing to share your ballpark salary with me? So, you know, asking people would you share your ballpark salary with me is you're asking for the ballpark, you're not asking for like every last nickel and dime. If they have bonus or stock or whatever, you're not asking about that stuff, you're looking for that biggest chunk, just the salary.
And if that's too much, and you think I would realistically just never say that to anybody because I'm too uncomfortable. What you could do instead is say, I'm thinking of asking for x does that sound reasonable to you? And that way, you're sharing something as opposed to asking them and they can react to it, and that sometimes feels better for people.
Sit tight podcast listeners, we're taking a quick break to hear a word from our sponsors.
So you're racing against the clock to wrap up three projects prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon, all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer challenging, sure. But our friends at fresh book believes the rewards are so worth it. There have never been more opportunities for the self employed, especially in tech. That's why Freshbooks has redesigned its cloud accounting software from the ground up. custom built for exactly the way freelancers work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive and organized and get paid quickly. Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds. Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to four days faster. See when your client has seen your invoice and put an end to the guessing games. Freshbooks is offering a 30 day unrestricted free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to freshbooks.com/learntocode and enter Learn to Code With Me in the "How did you hear about us?" section.
Flatiron school's online web developer program community powered boot camp and free boot camp prep courses are perfect for anyone interested in a career change and becoming a developer. Flatiron students come from a range of backgrounds from financial to creative. What they all have in common is the passion grit and determination to learn to love code. Flatiron's rigorous 800+ hour curriculum will teach you the skills you need to land a fulfilling career as a software engineer. Learn to Code With Me listeners can get an awesome $500 off their first month to get started on that career change. Just visit flatironbootcampprep.com. One online Flatiron student said he'd learned more in a couple of days with flat iron than a year of computer science classes. If you're interested in learning how to think like a real developer while using tools actual developers use, check out Flatirons online web developer program at flatironbootcampprep.com and claim your $500 discount.
Ooh, I love that there's there's so much great information I'm thinking about I'm thinking of asking for access as unreasonable Yeah, that's like a way to Yeah, soften the blow I think or for people may feel comfortable asking about the ballpark salary that totally makes sense. So that was some awesome advice. And also thank you for sharing some those websites actually. Actually I've heard of a few and the bigger ones like pay scales, salary comm Glassdoor I've definitely gone to I don't even think i've ever heard of comparatively, so I'm definitely going to check that out. And I don't think I've ever heard of in her site either. So thanks for that, also. Okay, so now, looking at mark, give, right? And then we also were talking about, like showing how you've provided value or not just showing actually providing value in your current role when going into ask for a raise. So do you have any advice, though, for figuring out exactly what your manager wants? So you were saying like when you're negotiating, like looking at both parties, and like, what they want and then trying to, like, align with that. So get any tips on how one can do that?
Oh, that's a super simple one. You should ask them. Ask them what it is that they're looking for. I mean, not necessarily the day that you're gonna ask for a raise. That's not the day that asked, you want to do that in advance. Right. But sometimes we we have unspoken questions that for some reason, just don't come out of our mouths. And that could be one, but I would say, you know, this is a gender thing as well. Like I said, this is a particular area of interest. For me. This applies to anybody, but it applies, particularly to women. You know, women often get less specific feedback studies show in their performance reviews. So women will get feedback, like you had a great year, or you need to be more of a team player and men will get feedback like, on this project, you should have executed, you know, the this specific task and have, you know, more efficient way of making it up here.
So I'm being a little vague, but studies show that men get more specific feedback that's very actionable and their performance reviews. Therefore, it's easier for them to make a case to then at their next performance review, say, you give me this feedback, I executed on it, therefore, I'm ready for promotion. And women get more general feedback. And there's lots of reasons why that could be but that's for a different topic, right? And so if you feel and so this would apply to anybody if you feel like you haven't gotten specific, actionable feedback, ask for that feedback. And, you know, there's lots of different ways to ask for feedback. Again, that's kind of a separate topic too. But ask for it at at regular intervals. And make note of it, get it in writing, if you can, even if that means you send a recap email saying, just to recap, we had this conversation today. And these were the suggestions you have for me, how does that sound for you? And they write back now you have it in writing, that this was something that you had talked about. So ask for that specific feedback or those specific actionable things that you could do to improve so that you can then point to them and say, You suggested that I improve on X. I did that now. I'm ready for promotion, so that it works for everybody. But for women in particular, I would say, think back to your most recent performance review, if you had one and what type of feedback did you get was actionable? Or was it vague and challenge yourself and challenge your manager to get more specific the next time around? And that's it? You have to wait a whole nother year for your next performance review, you could, you know, if you have a weekly check in meeting or whatever you it doesn't have to, again be a big agonizing conversation, it could just, you know, be something that you an agenda item that you add to your list, which is why we just wanted to check in and see you know, how things are going from your perspective, anything that I can improve on anything that is on your list that I could take off your plate, or, you know, whatever the case may be. So, don't you're not a mind reader and your manager is not a mind reader. So help your both of you by asking those questions. And then, you know, being proactive with what you get.
Yes, I love that. And that was such a simple like answer to my question. I mean, just simply asking for it. But yeah, it's something that people probably don't do enough. And I even find myself not doing enough in my own my own role and like, oh, wow, she really like asked for more feedback and whatnot. And so now what about folks who, maybe they're up for their like yearly performance review and it's time to kind of get promotion raise, but they're just don't feel like they deserve it. Even if like their work has been really great, and you know, they've been excelling in so many ways that they're in their job, they just don't feel like they deserve or give any advice for people who kind of are in that more of like, I don't know, that sort of mindset where they just don't feel worthy of it.
Yeah. So that's, that's a good question. It's something that I work with clients to unpack a lot. Because there's a couple, there's, there's, you know, we're talking hypothetical here. So there's a lot of reasons why that could be, you could feel like you don't deserve it. Because you feel like you haven't contributed as much as somebody else on your team. Right? You could feel like you don't deserve it. Because you are the type of person that just doesn't feel like they deserve anything. You know, you're struggling with imposter syndrome. It's funny when people come to me and say, I have imposter syndrome. I'm like, but you're 95% of the way there if you can already name it. And you're already saying, Well, I have impostor syndrome, then you know, that's actually a good place to be because that's your three quarters of the way there at least, I would say. But, and if you're not familiar with that term imposter syndrome is this feeling of being a fraud of Oh my My gosh, they're going to find out how did I manage to get this job? I don't know what I'm doing once they figure it out, I'm going to be exposed and it's going to be terrifying. Right? So we, you know, if you hear that term bandied about and you don't know what imposter syndrome is, that's what it is that you're you feel like you're a fraud, and people are going to find out, you know, if somebody's struggling with that, what I often advise them to do is think about, if your best friend came to you and said, Gosh, I don't know how I even managed to get this job. And I'm really not good at it. I'm not that smart. And, you know, I just, I didn't get a good score my essay tees, and it's all just been, you know, a joke from there and people are going to figure this out or whatever, you know, whatever the case may be, what would you say with love and compassion to your best friend? Because I'm sure to your best friend, you would say, of course, that's not true. Look at all of your accomplishments, look at these things that you've done, you know, look at the feedback you get from your colleagues, you're respected by your peers, whatever, right? So that's one thing is to kind of sink what you would say to Somebody who was coming to you with the same concerns.
But a more actionable, kind of next level take on that is to actually ask people that you are close to. And that could be colleagues that could be vendors that you work really closely with. Or that could be, you know, your friends, if you share a lot about your work stuff with them to you know, give you some feedback, ask, you know, ask them what they think your superpowers are the things that come effortlessly, naturally to you that you just are naturally really talented at. hearing it from other people sometimes can be a good confidence boost. And if you think that sounds narcissistic to like, ask people for compliments. Again, what you can do is kind of be proactive about it. I'm putting together some data because I'm gonna go into a performance review and ask for a raise. So I'm trying to be able to articulate what my strengths are, here are some strengths that I think you have. Would you mind sharing what you think my strengths are? Because I think it would help me get ready for this review. Right? So you're not just asking For compliments, you're giving the reason why you're saying you think they could help you and you're being crafted by saying and here are some things that I think you are really good at. So if you're struggling from a confidence perspective of I just don't know if I'm any good ask around and find out what people think you know, and then you'll have that kind of to help boost your your package that you're putting together. And if you feel like you don't deserve it, because you just don't think you've done very much. Well, that's you know, that's a different story and then that's a different answer to that. You need to just do those things.
Yeah, yeah. No hundred percent hundred percent. Yet, thank you so much, Alex, for sharing all that. That's really helpful. And he gave so much great, like actionable advice, I think that people could really could really like apply to their own life. So is there anything else as we kind of wrap up the conversation? Any kind of like basic or maybe some more of your favorite like negotiation tips, specifically, like in the workplace?
Uh, you know, I'll give you I'll give you a tactic because I've been down on tactics and more on mindset and strategy. I'll give you a tactic that I like, just because I think it's kind of a fun one. And it does you have to be in the right frame of mind and has to make sense for your conversation. But I learned this years ago from a purchasing guy, when I worked in the oil industry, this this guy was really tough. And I sat in a boardroom with him when he negotiated, you know, an enormous contract with a vendor, and I got to see him do it in action. And so, like I said, you kind of have to have the, you have to have the guts to pull it off. But the idea is, speeches, silver, silence is golden. So it's the idea of using that pregnant pause to your advantage because people feel really uncomfortable with silence. We want to feel it. We don't want it to be awkward. You know, everyone thinks, oh, silence is so awkward, but if you can get comfortable with a little bit of silence, you can really use it to your advantage because that other person probably is not as comfortable with it as you are. So a way to use it would be you know, you refer Your research about your market rate and where you are competitively in the marketplace, you give your evidence about the value that you've created and saved for your company. And for all of these reasons, I would like a raise of X percent. And then use it. But don't give in to that urge to fill the silence or to do that nervous talk that sometimes we can do easily that idea of like word vomit, you know, don't get into that, practice saying it out loud a few times so that you know when to stop, and then put the number out there and zip it and let your person that you're negotiating with come to you next, right, even if that takes 10 seconds, because they're processing what you said. How much are you willing to pay to avoid an awkward conversation? And I don't mean that rhetorically. I mean, literally, how much are you giving up in terms of your next raise or your next salary? Because you are unwilling to be a little bit uncomfortable to ask for that bigger number, or be a little bit uncomfortable to ask for that bigger percent.
Yes, that was awesome. And I Okay, you giving that tactic in that little scenario just made me think of two other things I would love your your thoughts on real quick. So I remember when I was doing research before, like ask, like what was an offer to not give the number first, right? So like they should give you an offer. This is like a starting salary or you know, salary a new job, and then you should come back with something higher or what have you. Now, when you're going in for a raise? Should you give the number first, so and also Okay, so it's like five questions. And when also, when you're giving the number should you do it based on a percentage increase of your current salary? Or should you do it like, Okay, I'm gonna just ask for like, $10,000 more, and that's like, you know, 11% of what I'm making now or whatever the math may be, but more so think of the number, not the percentage.
Okay, let's take a step back to your previous question. Who should give the number first, this is my favorite thing to debunk because the conventional wisdom is always like don't give the number first because who knows what will happen right? And that's That's what I was taught initially. And it's in my view, and you know, that is based on reading tons and tons of social science research and negotiation specific research. That's not your best option. So if you've been taught, don't give the number first wait for them to give it and then react to it, I'm going to give you a different point of view on that which my clients use with great success all the time. And this is a longer conversation, but it has to do with the idea of anchoring. So you anchor someone to a high number, and then you're getting them to play in your ballpark, basically, rather than you playing in their ballpark. So you give a high number, the fear is if I shoot too high, they will rescind the offer or they'll laugh me out of the room, or whatever the case may be. If you get that's too high back from them. Usually the second follow up is but we could counter with x, right? So if you go too high, as long as you've done research, and you're not just naming a high number out of a hat, that just sounds good to you. But if you're backing it up with some research and you let them know that Typically, the worst that can happen is they come back and say, well, that's too high, but we could offer you this instead. And it gets you higher up there than you would have gotten if you had let them come with the first number. So I could go on and on about that forever. But that's kind of in a nutshell, you do want to take advantage of the opportunity to make the first offer and put the number out there. First, you have to give the justification for it. You can't just pick it out of the hat and then go with it. But, but it is your opportunity to get them to play in your ballpark, rather than you go into play in their ballpark. So that's a favorite thing of mine to debunk. And now remind me what your second question was. Yeah.
And you kind of partially answered it. I think with the answer you just gave because I was asking not for the strong side, but going in for a raise and want and knowing you know, you want to have a promotion or a raise or maybe both at the same time. It sounds like you should already have a number and have done your research in mind and know exactly how much you want to ask for.
Yeah, the percentage versus the actual number.
And that was the other thing I was curious on. Yeah.
So when you're asking For a raise, this is just my, this is my off the cuff tape. This isn't something I've done a ton of research on. So take that with a grain of salt. But I would say whichever one seems smaller, the number or the percentage, whichever one sounds smaller, which I mean, obviously, they're the same thing. But from an optics standpoint, you're asking for more money. So ask for the version that sounds smaller, you might get a little more just psychological success with that.
Yeah, that totally makes sense for you. So it's like, you know, I want a $15,000 raise. Or if you're saying I want like an 8% raise, like 8% would sound smaller, even though if it was like the same thing. Let's just say, okay, and actually the ones you began giving that answer, I realized someone else had told me that before and actually our mutual friend was, was was the one who, who told me Oh, Alex Logan asked her that question before and she gave the exact same answer about whichever sounds smaller. So that's funny. It also goes to show it was good advice if you're both saying it.
Yeah, we're both in that similar space, though.
Yeah. Awesome. And I think that was the questions I had about oh, I guess the other thing Oh, Just to go off of like asking for raises, when is a good time to ask for a raise, especially if you're like work at a company that maybe is like a startup and isn't doesn't have like a structured performance review, cuz I know there's so many friends who work at bigger companies like every quarter or every year. It's like a very structured system. And they almost know how much they're going to get. Because it's all like documented. But like, what if you work at someplace that's not like that?
Yeah. So you want to strike while the iron is hot. Basically, when the answer to what have you done for me lately is really bright in their mind. So right after you've done something really great, or you've closed a huge project, you've signed a big client, whatever that is for you and your job strike while the iron is hot. So, you know, a good time is when you just had a big success and you've received a lot of congratulations over it.That's the time to ask.
So even if it's like that's only three months in or six or nine months, or or is there ever a time where maybe a little too soon to ask for a raise?
I would say if you've just joined a company at least a year before the first time that you asked after that. Maybe it depends a little bit on what's going on. But um, you know, I think you want to have a little bit of tenure before you start asking for things because you don't want to, you know, look too greedy or lose your credibility so.
All right, awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. I've been taking so many notes as you've been talking, because this is this is stuff that like fascinates me feel like I could be so much stronger in just like learn so much more about. Anyway, Alex, thank you so much again for coming on the show. And could you let people know where they can find you online.
Yeah, I would love to connect with any listeners. If you have future questions or things that came up today that you're wanting to ask more about, feel free to reach out my website is askforit.co. Askforit.co, and we do a monthly Ask Alex newsletter. So submit your questions, and maybe I'll answer them in my next newsletter. I'm also on all the socials but you can find all that stuff on the website. And I have a great free download right now which is three, the three step script for negotiation success. So if you're thinking, gosh, I don't know how to take all this advice and put it into practice for my actual personal situation. That's a great place to start. So that's a freebie when you come over to the website. And like I said, I work with people individually, coaching them on how to get that raise promotion, how to change jobs, and it's something I do all the time. I have lots of tactics, lots of strategies, and then lots of confidence, mindset skills for you as well. So I would love to connect. Yeah, please visit the website for more information.
Awesome. Thank you again for coming on.
Yeah, my pleasure.
I hope you enjoyed our conversation. Again, the Show Notes for this episode can be found at learntocodewith.me/podcast. If you're listening to this episode in the future, simply click the search icon in the upper navigation and type in Alexandra's name is spelled like A-L-E-X-A-N-D-R-A, and her last name is D-I-C-K-I-N-S-O-N. If you liked this episode, head on over to my website, learntocodewith.me where you can find even more awesome code related content like my 10 Free Tips for Teaching Yourself How to Code. Thanks so much for tuning in, and I'll see you next week.
This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos.
Laurence Bradford 0:06
Laurence Bradford 0:18
Laurence Bradford 0:34
Laurence Bradford 0:52
Laurence Bradford 1:39
Alexandra Dickinson 1:41
Laurence Bradford 1:43
Alexandra Dickinson 1:56
Laurence Bradford 2:32
Alexandra Dickinson 2:55
Laurence Bradford 4:03
Alexandra Dickinson 4:50
Laurence Bradford 6:20
Alexandra Dickinson 6:32
Laurence Bradford 8:05
Alexandra Dickinson 9:02
Alexandra Dickinson 10:15
Laurence Bradford 11:46
Alexandra Dickinson 11:57
Alexandra Dickinson 13:21
Alexandra Dickinson 15:11
Laurence Bradford 15:30
Laurence Bradford 15:36
Laurence Bradford 16:40
Laurence Bradford 17:43
Alexandra Dickinson 18:40
Alexandra Dickinson 19:36
Laurence Bradford 21:32
Alexandra Dickinson 22:13
Alexandra Dickinson 24:03
Laurence Bradford 25:30
Alexandra Dickinson 25:51
Laurence Bradford 27:58
Alexandra Dickinson 28:48
Laurence Bradford 30:33
Alexandra Dickinson 30:53
Laurence Bradford 30:55
Alexandra Dickinson 30:58
Laurence Bradford 31:23
Alexandra Dickinson 31:53
Laurence Bradford 31:56
Alexandra Dickinson 32:23
Laurence Bradford 32:45
Alexandra Dickinson 32:54
Laurence Bradford 33:12
Alexandra Dickinson 33:28
Laurence Bradford 34:33
Alexandra Dickinson 34:35
Laurence Bradford 34:42
- When asking for a raise, put evidence together of the great work you’ve done and how much value you have brought to the company so far.
- When you have a performance review, ask for actionable things you can do to improve. You can point to this in your next review.
- If you’re looking for a new job and you want to negotiate your wage, be clear on the market rate and what your position in the market is (are you new to the market or do you have years of experience?).
- Make sure you talk to people of both genders and compare their salaries (ideally three men and three women). You can look through LinkedIn if you don’t know six people in the industry.
- When asking for a raise or negotiating a wage, use the pregnant pause after your question to your advantage; people don’t like silence so if you can get comfortable with it, the other person will fill the space.
- If you’re struggling with confidence or imposter syndrome, think about what you would say to your best friend if they felt that way. Ask people you’re close to or your colleagues what they think your superpowers are and what you’re naturally talented at.
Links and mentions from the episode:
- Ask For It
- 3 Negotiating Tips For Industry Switchers
- Alexandra on Twitter – @_alexdickinson
Thanks for listening!
Thanks so much for tuning in! Remember, you can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:
If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!
Special thanks to this episode’s sponsors
FreshBooks: FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new freelancer-friendly version of their accounting software. To claim an unrestricted 30-day free trial, just go to freshbooks.com/learntocode and enter LEARN TO CODE WITH ME in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.
Flatiron School: Flatiron School offers an online web developer program with a focus on community, actual development tools, and a curriculum that will teach you the skills you need to land a career as a developer. Visit flatironbootcampprep.com to get an amazing $500 off your first month.