Karina Chronicles

Frockstar™: Patty Tanji of ‘How To Ask For A Pay Raise And Get It’

Name:Patty Tanji
Age:  51!
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
Online homes: website // facebook // twitter
Favorite Karina dress: Sybil, because I love mid calf dresses with boots.

What are your every day, must-reads, online or off?
My must-reads have everything to do with self development. I read so much self development one would think I would have all the answers by now. But, sigh, such is not the case. The Big Leap by Gaye Hendricks and Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Everyday I check out Jezebel and my Facebook feed. I can’t believe how much I learn from others. I would rather read a post to an article from a friend than the local paper. Well it seems the Huffington Post appears a lot as posts from friends. I am a big fan of the Huffington Post.

You help women negotiate for higher pay.  Why is it important that women learn how to advocate for themselves?
Because no one else will. It is easy to become complacent and just accept whatever is offered. But, we know men are 2-3 times more likely to ask for what they want and negotiate. As a result they make more money, on average, and they retire with $8000 annual earnings, on average. There are always exceptions. And, money is not a dirty word. There is such a negative stigma around money. It is associated with greed. I like a more positive view of money which is creative and expansive. But mostly, acquiring more money is a responsible way of living and being in this world.

What are your top three negotiation tips?
Find out what you are worth by checking out some of the online tools like salary.com. You can start by making a list of your marketable skills … both the tangible and the intangible. And, everything is marketable! Communication style, passions, technical skills, leadership work, volunteer work, reports written, awards in the community, enthusiasm, project management (big, small, and in between). The list is endless. How you help your boss solve a tough business problem. Its all relevant.

Make sure you are getting paid for what you do rather than what your title says you do. I’ve seen many Executive Assistance who are practically running companies be underpaid. The biggest one is overcome fear of asking which can only come with practice.

If you could give your 16 year old self advice, what would you say?
To thine own self be true. If I only knew then what I know now. Just be comfortable being yourself which is a very difficult thing to do as a 16 year old. Find something you enjoy despite what friends might think and rock it!

Your perfect day.  What would it look like?
The sun would be shining. It would be September in Minnesota, the leaves are turning color and the air temperatures are cool. I’m walking my dog through Lebanon Hills, a park nearby my home with miles of walking trails. I have coffee with some awesome friends and we discuss world issues and how we can really show up on this planet. Then I spend time with my family eating at our favorite Japanese restaurant downtown St. Paul. We take a walk along the Mississippi River at night while the city lights shine bright. Then home, a Sudoku puzzle, and sleep.

Thanks so much for sharing, Patty!


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