Asking for a Raise

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It’s a fact that there continues to be a disparity between what women and men earn. Men do still out earn women in the workplace (women earn 77 percent of each dollar earned by men annually); and often times it is because they are more comfortable with negotiating. Negotiating is tough for both sexes, but women typically have a tougher time asking for a raise or negotiating a better job offer. Rationales for not asking for what you want range from: “If I do a good job; my boss will reward me” to “It’s just not a good time for the company to ask for a raise”.

Learning to negotiate requires confidence and empowerment; and a letting go of “limiting assumptions” which are set in practically at birth. Practice, practice, practice. Do it in a mirror, try it out on a friend or family member.  The biggest stumbling block to negotiating is fear of conflict. Hearing the word “no” is enough to make some people not want to even ask the question. If the answer is “no”, so what…if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And, most likely, it won’t be a “no” if you ask some strategic questions along with your negotiating:

1.      What are the company’s bottom line concerns right now?
2.      What can I do to help grow the company?

3.      In what areas is the company doing well?
4.      When is a good time to discuss this again?
5.      Are there measurable results that would make it possible for us to agree on a raise?
6.     If I could (improve sales/raise funds/bring in a new client) in 6 months, how would that impact my salary potential?

 The answers you get to your questions will help you to connect to something specific and provable that can be showcased as a benefit to your boss. You will walk away with the tools to formulate a plan to ask again and turn that “no” into a “yes”. 

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Pamela Weinberg