Do you know how much money you want to make — or deserve to make?

Write down that number and go from there.

Business Insider reporter Erin McDowell understands that asking for a salary can be tricky. For a recent article, she interviewed several career experts to chime in on finding out the salary of an attractive position before applying. If you’re lucky enough to get the hiring manager’s attention, try not to ask what the pay is. Instead, say that you’re considering opportunities in a specific range and would not want to impose on them if their targeted number happens to be lower. No one wants to waste time, and your courteous candidness will go a long way. Ms. McDowell offers excellent insight on this subject.

I have known incredibly talented women who have asked for reasonable salaries but were rejected. Janet Nguyen, who writes for Marketplace, reports, “Women are asking for raises just as frequently as men do, but men receive them at a higher rate, according to the latest results from our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.” While the pay gender gap still exists, it comes down to workplace discrimination — yes, even in 2020!  After conducting numerous studies on gender inequality, researchers found that things are improving for women, and for sure, women are writing better cover letters than men. Those who succeed are persistent. They believe that they’re just as qualified as their male counterparts for jobs, raises, or promotions. But those who were able to document their track records had better luck. Seeing things in print goes a long way.

So, when you negotiate, be sure to have documented proof of your accomplishments and productivity. You have done the work. Now get rewarded for it.

To read about the wisdom and journeys of successful women, click here.