Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

In Order to Negotiate Better, I Had to Unlearn 'L.A. Law'

Unlike on TV, getting what you want is all about clear and effective communication.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Once upon a time, I was conditioned to believe that negotiating was a bitter conversation between two or more parties over a valuable possession. I learned this lesson after watching countless hours of the hit '80s drama, L.A. Law, where everyone appeared to be negotiating over everything with such emotion and anger.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

When I entered into the workplace, I quickly learned the difference between my expectation and the reality of self-advocacy. After accepting a job in a mid-sized boutique law firm in New York City, while grossly underpaid, I thought that if I worked hard for the first year, "someone" would notice my contribution to the firm and increase my salary  —  and I was wrong. Essentially, I was afraid of commencing a difficult conversation, which I thought would be contentious, so I continued to suffer under the mounting pressure of last hired, least paid and most qualified.

4th of July Subscription Sale - Unlock this subscriber exclusive article and more for 20% off today.

Access all Entrepreneur content with no ads, unlock discounts, and get exclusive advice only available to our subscribers. Plus, our magazine delivered straight to your door.

Get 20% off an annual subscription today. Just use code SAVE20 at checkout.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks