5

Fear of Asking

Catherine, a 43-year-old lawyer from Kansas City, had worked in the public sector for most of her career. She never made much money and after almost two decades of public service she decided to switch to the private sector. Although she anticipated a large boost in her earnings, she took the precaution of consulting Linda—a friend from college—before embarking on her search. With Linda’s help, she researched what comparable people in comparable jobs were making, identified the salary she should be able to get, and practiced negotiation tactics. She soon found a job she liked, but the offer she received was significantly lower than she’d hoped. Nonetheless, despite all her preparation, Catherine accepted the offer without negotiating. ...

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