Jun 19 / Mercede Barnes

I Like More Money, and I Cannot Lie!

A few years ago, I went to Disney – a place where dreams come true!

As my 9-year-old daughter, Mia, and I approached the reservation desk at the Disney Resort, we were smitten by the most magical place on earth. As the friendly receptionist began to check us into our “royal princess” room, I got teary-eyed. Mia turned to me and said, “mom, are you crying?” and we both started giggling over my emotional moment.

I explained to Mia that Disney World was a place I had always wanted to visit as a little girl. Moreover, it was a place I had been hoping to take Mia to since she was born. What I didn’t share with her was that my single parent salary simply could not afford such a magical adventure until that year.

The year before, I took a decision that I always thought was wrong and would lead me down a bad path. I turned my back on my first employer of 7 years and left for greener pastures and greener paychecks! The company was nice, the work was good, but I needed to grow my compensation. By allowing myself to be motivated by money, I improved my total compensation package by 67% - which was life-changing. Not only did my quality of life change overnight, but the things I was able to do for others expanded considerably, including the experiences and opportunities I was able to provide my daughter.

Looking back at my career and associated income trajectory, I have held six positions over the last 13 years. I have increased my base salary by over 176% in the process (this does not include other incentives, i.e., commission or bonuses). I have also received various monetary awards, equity awards, college tuition reimbursement, and extra vacation time. All of this was possible because I worked for it, earned it, and asked for it.

“At first they’ll ask you why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask you how you did it.” – Unknown


In general, women tend to have difficulty valuing their contributions and asking to be paid fairly for those contributions. Even if we ask for higher compensation, we are quick to accept recognition and praise as an acceptable substitute - and we do this with gratitude. We convince ourselves that something is better than nothing (I certainly have done this). Gratitude, humility, grace - these are all wonderful attributes that women are expected to possess and demonstrate, even in the workplace. Yet our male colleagues do not wrestle with these expectations, and therefore, they continue to demand more, and they continue to earn more. To add, being motivated by money is commonly expected of men and widely rewarded.

“Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society.” - Candace Bushnell

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO NEGOTIATE TO A YES?

Sign up for our upcoming workshop Negotiate To A YES! on 15 July 2021 at 5pm EST.

Join this class to: 
  • Learn why women may need to approach negotiations differently than their male counterparts 
  • Discover techniques for negotiating effectively
  • Prepare agile strategies that go beyond facts, options, and counter-responses
  • Prepare and practice techniques for an upcoming negotiation


Turn to PIVOT - our platform for virtual, instructor-led career training, for unlimited access to live professional development classes.

So why should women be motivated by money as well? Why should we be more vocal about our salary expectations, and why should we ask for more, and more often?  

Money is an enabler for almost everything we claim to value in our lives. However, when we are passive about our compensation, we yield our ability to improve the quality of life for ourselves and those around us. This is unacceptable, and therefore, I challenge every woman reading this article to let money motivate you and start strategizing your next salary negotiation.  

Stop Feeling Guilty about Negotiating a Raise.

Just remember one thing – “It’s okay!”. It’s okay to negotiate your salary. It’s okay to ask for more.

1. It’s okay to be motivated by money. Always consider what and who you can impact with your financial resources - earning more just to spend more is not the end goal.

2. It’s okay to make your request personal, but don’t take the outcome personally - your boss may be limited in what he or she can offer you.

3. It’s okay to pursue external opportunities, but know when it’s time to cash in - switching employers after several years can help you calibrate your market value and salary; however, switching employers every couple of years can derail your career progression.

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

4. It’s okay to compare
and seek additional market information for comparison but understand how compensation works for your employer - every company is different.

5. It’s okay to ask for a salary that makes you uncomfortable, but be prepared with a salary that you will accept - you also need to understand your leverage and know when it’s time to walk away.

6. It’s okay to accept and not make a counteroffer, but make sure you’ve asked for the things that are important to you (e.g., vacation time, flexible hours, the window office…) - if an offer meets or exceeds your expectations then it is the best offer that you could have received.

7
. It’s okay to be happy with your current salary, but do not undervalue your contributions - know your worth because being underpaid does not serve anyone, especially the people you care about

Summing it up

To me, money means options. It means less worry and more peace of mind. It means the ability to do more creative things. But, more importantly, it means the freedom and flexibility to do what I want when I want and not relying on anyone to live my best life. So yes, I am motivated by money, and I am not guilty about it.

Are you motivated to ask for more?

If you have a personal story and lessons learned to share about how you’re owning your career, write to us at richa@pinkcareers.com.

Drag to resize

Mercede Barnes is an intuitive leader and self-motivated sales professional with over 12 years of proven success across petrochemicals and refining, atmospheric gases, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail industries.


Mercede is extremely passionate about influencing decisions, creating winning strategies, and driving for optimal outcomes – while serving as a risk-taker, empathizer, and team player.


Mercede earned a Bachelors’ in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and an MBA from Rice University. She is an active mentor to current Rice MBA students, offering professional and academia-related advice and guidance as they navigate the Rice MBA program.


Drag to resize

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO NEGOTIATE TO A YES?

Sign up for our upcoming workshop Negotiate To A YES! on 15 July 2021 at 5pm EST.

Join this class to: 
  • Learn why women may need to approach negotiations differently than their male counterparts 
  • Discover techniques for negotiating effectively
  • Prepare agile strategies that go beyond facts, options, and counter-responses
  • Prepare and practice techniques for an upcoming negotiation


Turn to PIVOT - our platform for virtual, instructor-led career training, for unlimited access to live professional development classes.
Created with