Skip main navigation

Why you should always aim high

Aiming too low in a negotiation could impact our future earnings for the rest of our career. In this article, Abadesi shares an anecdote.
A board room in an office with large windows. The table is full, 7 people each side mostly Black women
At one point in the middle of my tech career I was deeply unhappy with a career move I’d made and was desperately seeking a transition out of the industry into the world of advertising.
I’d just been headhunted from a lucrative role at Amazon to an early stage startup with the promise of more responsibility and a juicy IPO (that’s tech speak for when a company floats on the stock market, it can turn ordinary equity holding employees into millionaires overnight). Turned out the startup’s culture was too toxic-tech-bro for my liking and so I wanted out.
I worked my network and got connected to a friend of a friend who was hiring in her agency. Her MD was excited by the fact I had tech experience – he was pitching to new clients in this space and could use my expertise. I showed up for a coffee date and soon realised it was an interview! Thankfully, I was able to regale stories of successful projects I’d completed in past roles. Suddenly – he asked me my salary expectations.
Caught off guard but aware that advertising paid well, especially for senior roles like the one he was pitching me, I cheekily popped £20k on top of my existing salary and threw that number out. There I was thinking I was playing it smart. Without hesitation, he said yes. “When can you start?” he exclaimed. My heart sank – his enthusiasm at what I thought was a hefty price tag made me realise that it was in fact well below what he would have been willing to pay. Lesson learned – the way someone reacts to your preferred number is a very telling sign of where it falls in their budget.

4.5

15 Reviews
This article is from the free online

Salary Negotiation for Women in the Workplace

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

close