Ladies, Are You Sabotaging Your Own Paycheck? Don’t Just Lean In, Stand Up, and Ask for What You Deserve

By Rachel DeAlto

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Women still earn on average about 78 cents to a man’s dollar, and research shows men are four times more likely than women to ask for a salary raise or a promotion. That is millions left on the table over a career’s lifetime. As a corporate coach and communications expert I have worked with countless professional women to help them become more successful in their careers, both through self fulfillment and improved financials.  

Here are some of my tips for taking it up a notch at work:

1.   Set a goal, and do not rationalize it. Do your research to determine what others in your position with your success are making. Create a reasonable goal (ie. 5-20% depending on your level and value to your company’s bottom line). Most importantly, do not rationalize that you need the money for XYZ expenses. You deserve the money because you bring a tangible value to the position. This is not personal, this is business. 

2.   Ask open ended questions. The secret to selling without selling? Ask open ended questions and let them sell themselves. Questions like, “What goals do you have for my position in the next 6 months?”, “What would the next level be for me?”, “What do you believe was my greatest contribution this past year?”. These questions allow a supervisor to subconsciously understand that you are looking to move up in the corporation, and get paid more.  (“Why aren’t you paying me what I deserve?” is a don’t)

3.   Don’t be aggressive, be assertive. Aggression, especially as a woman, has been proven to be ineffective in workplace negotiations. Whether it is blamed on society or biology, aggressiveness is a surefire way to shut down communication between you and your superior. However, be assertive. Begin the conversation with a sense of purpose, your shoulders back, and after a deep breath. Own your space, own your position, but be respectful. Many negotiations are unsuccessful because aggression can cause a fight or flight response in the other party. A successful, collaborative decision cannot be made when someone is in survival mode.

You got this. You just need to believe you are worth it, and ASK for it.


Who Pays? What a New Study Says About Splitting the Check!

By Rachel DeAlto

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Not sure if you saw the new study about dating expenses! “Who pays?!?” is a question I get all the time as a dating and relationship expert. The guys I work with don’t want to come off as cheap, and the women are unsure what to expect.

So what does the study say? According to a survey of 17,000 men and women:

  • 84% of men and 58% of women stated that the guy is paying for most dating expenses, even after dating a while
  • 57% of women offer to pay, but 39% hoped the men would reject the offer
  • 44% of women are bothered when men expect them to pay
  • 2/3 of the men believe that women should help out with dating expenses

After working with hundreds of singles, and conducting several “man panels” throughout the nation – here are my tips on the great debate:

– The guy should pay for the first 3 dates without question. Chivalry is not dead, and in fact it is still expected. Avoid starting off on the wrong foot, and pay up guys. Worried about expenses? Don’t pick a five star restaurant. All that matters is seeing if there is a connection. I receive complaints from men where the woman insisted on splitting. Let them court you for the first couple dates. Its in their nature.

– The woman should ALWAYS offer to pay. Even if it is just a half hearted attempt on a first date, reach for your wallet ladies. Show him you aren’t a prima donna looking for a free meal.

– Dating expense after the 3rd date should be split based on income. If he is a multi-millionaire, and you are a student, he pays (still do a wallet reach ladies). If you are both professionals with similar incomes, there is no reason to not split expenses. You don’t need to bring a calculator – he can buy one night, you buy the next, but try to make an effort to contribute.

– Always be gracious. No one is required to woo you! Be thankful, and gracious if someone picks up your tab. The biggest complaint I receive from men isn’t that they minded paying, it’s that she didn’t appreciate it.

It may be 2013, and women may be making good money and great strides, however, the fundamentals of courtship still exist. Let the guy court in the beginning, be grateful for his generosity, and then offer to split.


How Texting and Email Affect Your Dating Life!

By Rachel DeAlto

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We are living in a digital world, and it can make dating, flirting and any communicating pretty treacherous at times! While technology has opened up endless opportunities to meet, connect, and stay in touch with others, it has also created entirely new possibilities of overstepping boundaries and embarrassing moments. I recently had a matchmaking client accidentally send an off-color meme to a woman I had matched him with. They had been having great banter after their first date, but that oops turned her off. 

How do you date and flirt while making sure you aren’t jeopardizing your budding relationship? Let’s break it down.

Texting 
Texting is an amazing tool! It allows you to connect with people all the time in a way that is not intrusive. When I started dating in the dark ages, you had to suck it up and call them (well, call them back). The endless ringing phone call was nerve wracking. What if they didn’t answer? Were they avoiding you? Do you leave a message, or call back at a later time? Texting eliminates that stress because you can send your message off without worrying about interrupting anything. The problem with texts? They are one sided and have no tone or inflection. How many times have you had a conversation via text where it was completely misinterpreted (although you know what you meant)? Sarcasm and humor can take disastrous turns when you are just getting to know someone. Here are three quick tips to texting while flirting and dating:

1.     Keep it short and sweet. Nothing heavy should go in a text. Ever. Texting in the beginning stages of a relationship should be limited to fun banter, or confirmation of plans. That’s it. Everything else should be said in person.

2.     No naked pictures. Ever. Sure you can send off a shot of you smiling, or your bedroom eyes, but keep all body parts to yourself. I don’t even suggest sending x-rated shots between married couples. You never know where they could end up, and unless you are a reality star, it will not benefit you. Want more tips on sexting, check out my recent Access Hollywood appearance here. Don’t pull a Weiner.

3.     Don’t expect an immediate reply. Just because they didn’t write you back within five seconds doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Not everyone is tethered to their phones, and a little time between texts is completely normal. 

4.    Keep and open mind. If you are just getting to know someone, don’t read too much into their texts. This is especially important if they are remotely sarcastic. Confused about something they said? Write back with a question mark, or ask them. Many times a budding relationship can be detoured by an miscommunication over a text.

Email
Email is another fabulous way to stay connected. However, the same issue arises as with texting, as you can not insert tone and inflection with the written word, no matter how many emoticons and exclamation points you use (I am completely guilty of overuse). At some point, you have to get offline. Just keep in mind the following:

1.     Know when to stop the chain for the day. 
It should never go on indefinitely. At some point you need to say “Talk to you later” or “See you soon”. Preferably before the conversation jumped the shark.

2.     Check your “To:” field carefully. 
How many emails have you gotten that weren’t meant for you? It happens all the time, especially with most mail programs “guessing” who you want to email after you type the first letter. Just double check.

3.     Do not expecting an immediate reply.
 Similar to text messages, it is tempting to expect someone to reply immediately. Keep in mind that they have a life, and might be at work. Give them 24 hours.

4.     Always remembering that your email can be shared with the click of a button. 
The power of the forward is immense. Never send anything that you wouldn’t mind shared.

One additional rule about email is to never ever use your work email for your personal use. You don’t own it, and your employer can very easily access your very private messages. Use your personal phone to send messages – even free email accounts can be recorded real time. 


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