Secure the Bag: Negotiations 101 for Black Professionals in Tech

negotiating your salary black professionals

Are you a Black professional who wants to learn how to negotiate a job offer? As a Black professional, you know that hard work and dedication alone won’t get you to where you want to be. But, you also know that to thrive in today’s economy, you must be able to secure the bag. In other words, you have to know how to negotiate professionally. 

Securing the bag is more than just a catchy term; it’s a mindset. It’s about being intentional with your words and actions and knowing what you’re worth. It’s about preparing for negotiations early on and doing your homework. And most importantly, it’s about staying confident during the process. 

Why do Black Professionals Struggle with Salary Negotiation?

For one, there’s a long history of discrimination against Black professionals in the workforce. This can make it difficult to feel confident and assertive when negotiating for better working conditions or higher wages. 

According to a study published by the American Psychology Association called “Bargaining While Black: The Role of Race in Salary Negotiations, Black professionals were more likely to receive lower salaries during hiring negotiations than their White and non-Black counterparts due to racially biased evaluation.

The study has found that educated African-American men earn 80% as much money as their white counterparts. ​​But what does that mean for the Black community? For every dollar a White or non-Black professional earns, a Black person only earns 80 cents. And don’t even get us started on Black professional women who earn less than 70% of their White or non-Black professionals.

Additionally, Black professionals may not have access to the same networking opportunities as their white counterparts, making it harder for them to get ahead. 

So what does that mean for Black brothers and sistas out there tryin’ to get paid what they deserve? Well, it looks like you need to up your game, so you can earn that paper.

Five Stages of a Successful Negotiation

The key to a successful negotiation is preparation. If you know what you want and what the other side is likely to want, you’ll be in a much better position to reach a deal that everyone is happy with. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success.

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation

Be prepared with research about what others in similar positions have earned. You need to know what you want before you can start negotiating. So spend some time planning and preparing so that you can be clear about your goals.

Stage 2: Opening the Negotiation

Ask open-ended questions first so that they can’t give an exact answer without giving more information later if needed. This approach allows you to understand the other person’s perspective and learn more about their priorities. Asking questions also shows that you’re engaged in the discussion and willing to find a resolution that works for both of you.

Stage 3: Bargaining and Counteroffers

This is the guts of the negotiation, where you’ll haggle back and forth until you reach an agreement. Be prepared to make and accept counteroffers.

Stage 4: Closure and Implementation

Once you’ve agreed, it’s time to close and implement the deal. Make sure that you have a written agreement that both parties can sign.

Stage 5: Follow Up

Follow up after the negotiation to make sure that everything is going according to plan. If there are any problems, be prepared to renegotiate.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Salary

  • Not knowing your worth: When it comes to negotiating your worth, not knowing your worth is like leaving money on the table. Know what you bring to the table before negotiating so that you can get what you deserve.
  • Being unprepared: If you go into a negotiation without knowing what you want or what the other side is likely to want, you’re at a serious disadvantage. Spend time planning and preparing so you can be clear about your goals.
  • Making emotional decisions: Try to keep your emotions in check during the negotiation process. If you let anger or frustration take over, it’s likely to result in a bad deal for you.
  • Accepting the first offer: The first offer is almost never the best offer, so don’t be afraid to counteroffer. By doing so, you may be able to get a better deal.
  • Not following up: Once the negotiation is over, it’s important to follow up to make sure that everything is going according to plan. If there are any problems, be prepared to renegotiate.

Despite the barriers, it’s important for Black professionals in tech to understand their value and capitalize on opportunities. If you’re looking to secure the bag, keep these tips in mind. Negotiating is a skill that can be learned, and with a little practice, you’ll be able to get what you want without giving up too much in return. So, go out there and secure the bag!

Global Masterclass by Deloitte

Have you ever struggled with how to negotiate your salary? Do you think that the playing field is tilted against Black professionals when it comes to negotiations? Come through, we’ve got something special for you.

On Thursday, August 4, 2022, BPTN has partnered with Deloitte to bring you a Global Masterclass engaging Masterclass titled ‘Secure the Bag: Negotiations 101’.

Sign up for our Global Masterclass to get the down-low on how to negotiate with confidence so that you can thrive in your career as a Black professional. Save your spot here.