Ask For that Raise: Knowing Your Value

There’s nothing more difficult than for a woman in today’s culture to know her worth. Can she get everything done? But you are woman. You are a professional woman. Whatever else you may be, you are those two things. And you have value.

But the chances are you are not getting paid in accordance with your value. And there’s nobody else out there who can advocate for you better than what you can do for yourself. How to ask for that raise that will — at minimum — put you closer to what you are actually worth is no doubt difficult, especially if you have never done it before, and especially if you do not like to unsettle the waters. Advocating for yourself: that’s what we’re discussing today.

But first, let’s prepare ourselves, because asking for a raise is not something you do on a regular basis.

Necessary Preparations before Asking for that Raise

  1. Take inventory of everything you have accomplished. What is your academic and professional background? Have you coached others in your current position? Help make a deal? Always provide work product in accordance or above and beyond expectations. Do you take on additional work? What have your superiors said about you in evaluations? What would your company be like without you?
  2. Find the market value for you position. You can determine what the median or average salary range for your position by using online resources: O-Net OnLine or Glassdoor.
  3. Calculate. Consider your background: does it lack, match or exceed the qualifications necessary for the position? Is your performance mediocre, average, or excellent? Be honest with yourself. Then review the range of salaries. Where do you fit it? Below, above, or average? What do you currently make and compare it to what you know it should be.
  4. Adjust the calculation. Try to determine the financial health of your employer. A company not doing well probably cannot afford to pay more, but companies that are healthier, stronger, can and should pay what you are worth, or come very close to it. If your company files a 10-K, you might be able to find it on the SEC website. If you can’t find any financials on your company, think about recent events. Have benefits slowly disappeared? Is there less work to do? Are the phones ringing less frequently? If so, your employer may not be growing at a rate it should. But if it’s the complete opposite, your employer is growing, and you need to be growing right along with it.
  5. Prepare your case. You are now armed with knowledge and a number. Review it. Know it. Feel it. Use your knowledge to support your case:
  • You have the qualifications? Check.
  • You have performed on par or above expectations? Check.
  • You are paid less than what you should be? Check.
  • The company needs you and can afford you? Check.
  • Do you deserve it (as opposed to need it)? Check.

Thus, you should be compensated appropriately: a raise is in order.

Tips to Keep in Mind while Meeting with Your Boss

  • It’s about what you deserve, not about what you need or want. We all want more money, and we many of us likely need it, but that’s not the point. The boss likely does not care, he or she cares more about the company and its profits. If you show you deserve it, then you are an investment for the company.
  • Dress for success. Dress to Impress. These are not just catchy phrases, but real pieces of good advice. Image matters: you need to be professional. If you don’t have a go-to look, rent an outfit for success.
  • Talk about the future. Let your boss know that you are invested in the company, thus, he or she should invest in you, too. It goes both ways.
  • Listen. Then speak. Don’t try to throw everything out there at one. Have a conversation. Let the boss tell you about expectations, money matters, and anything else, and respond accordingly.
  • Be prepared for no. Sure, it does not always work. There may be legitimate reasons for denying your raise. Ask questions: What do I need to do for a raise? What are your expectations of me now? How do I fit in with this company? Where are we going with this? You got your boss’ attention, and now he or she has been unofficially put on notice. Keep up the good work, but keep you eyes open for other opportunities. You know what you are worth now, so the days of settling are over.

Necessary Celebration for Advocating for Yourself

Pat yourself on your back. Not only did you determine what your professional worth is, you confronted a fear that most of us have. Don’t waste this moment. Continue forward, not backwards. Know what you want, and take strides to go get it. And it does not hurt if you do so while dressed for success!

Now, go out there and get that raise! Be sure to check out other posts here on the GB Hive to take your career to the next level like, Unlocking the Elusive Work – Life Balance or Workwear That Inspires… Without Breaking the Dress Code.