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How To Know Your Financial Worth And Demand What You Deserve

"If the company is not willing to pay you what you are worth, do they truly value you?"

A key step in creating multi-generational wealth is knowing your financial worth and demanding what you deserve. According to an article published in Fast Company, the annual spending power of Black Americans is $1.2 trillion. However, their households held a median of $11,000 of wealth in 2013. Even more menacing is, according to statistics, by the year 2053, the median wealth for Black families will plummet to zero if the gap continues at its current pace. White Americans’ median wealth is 12 times higher than their Black counter parts at $140,000. The Institute for Policies Studies shared that in the past 30 years, white families’ wealth has grown three times that of Black families.

Securing generational wealth is now more important than ever and millennials are just the generation to make the difference. Black millennials are statistically more educated than their predecessors and have been able to secure more wealth than their parents. Millennials are on track to become the largest group in the workforce. Therefore, this is the time to start securing their financial legacies by closing the immense wealth gap.

Julia Rock, owner and creator of Rock Career Development, is a millennial on a mission to change the monetary trajectory of her peers through proper career and finance coaching. Below are tips to keep in mind before and during negotiations to assist you in securing your proper financial worth on the job.

Four Tips for Pre-Negotiations:

  1. Do your research on market rates for your position. But don’t just look at your specific industry, look across various sectors. If you are trying to determine the right salary for a Finance Manager position, look at Finance Manager salaries in healthcare, consumer goods, energy, etc.

Further refine your search by years of experience and credentials required where possible to be sure you are making the right comparison to your own work history. Be sure to also account for your geographic region and cost of living in your area (a Finance Manager position in Georgia will not pay the same as one in Los Angeles).

Online platforms such as Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com, and Salary.com have excellent free tools to help you conduct your research and determine the appropriate market value for your position.

Also utilize your network! You may have contacts who have been in similar roles or can connect you to someone who has.


Furthermore, do additional research on the specific company’s salaries. Is there available information about their compensation online? Are there current or former employees that you know that you can candidly discuss compensation with?

  1. Evaluate your own contributions and differentiators. The market rates are a starting point, but in order to ensure you are requesting the salary you truly deserve, you must account for what sets you apart from every other candidate. What contributions have you made at other companies? What kind of return on their investment can this company expect? Create a cheat sheet of the value and results that only you can deliver.
  1. Set your “walk away” number. This is the minimum salary that you will accept. Knowing this number in advance will help you to better frame any negotiation discussions.
  1. Create your salary range. Once you’ve looked at market rates accounting for the key variables (title, geographic location, years of experience, credentials/education required, etc), incorporated your own expertise and value, and determined your walk away number, you can establish a salary range that you will be willing to negotiate within.

Three Tips for Entering Negotiations:

  1. (For a new position) Don’t volunteer your prior salary information. It’s honestly none of their business, and you don’t want them to fixate on your old salary instead of offering what you are worth for what you bring to the current position.
  1. Give a specific number at the top of your pre-determined range. Instead of $130,000, request $130,650. The specificity of the number leads employers to believe you’ve done your research, and they may be more inclined to offer you a number closer to your request.
  1. Be flexible, but firm. Remember this is a negotiation, and you may not get the number you want on the first offer. It may take one or more rounds of discussion before you land on a number that will work for both of you. However, do not be afraid to walk away if necessary. If the company is not willing to pay you what you are worth, do they truly value you? Why would you want to build a career at a company that does not value you or your expertise.

With the proper knowledge, opportunities, and exposure, multi-generational wealth within the black community will be attained within our generation. To learn more about better finance and career opportunities, visit Rock Career Development by clicking here.

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