Women are conditioned to not ask for what they deserve, and this cuts across all areas of life including career. Research has shown that women are less likely to ask for a pay raise than their male counterparts.
In this article, women occupying leading roles from different sectors give tips you should consider before asking for a pay raise from your employers. If you want the dreaded pay raise conversation to be as smooth as possible, you should keep reading.
Document your accomplishments at work
You should be documenting your accomplishments at work. This is how you get the proof that you deserve a raise. Doing the job that you were hired for or working at a company for X number of years is not a compelling enough reason for most bosses. Just because you work hard and do a good job doesn’t mean you deserve a raise, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing! Instead, you need to focus on where you’re exceeding expectations or on the ways that you’re increasing the company’s bottom line.
Then you need to think strategically about what you want. Have you taken on more responsibility that deserves a pay increase and maybe even a title change? Has your job changed so much that it no longer looks like the role that you were hired for? In that case, you could propose a new role that reflects what you do and justifies the salary you’re requesting. The bottom line is you need to make a strong case for yourself so that your boss will say yes to paying you more money for what you’re already doing.
– Michele Dye – Founder, Dyenamic Media LLC
Build a brag folder in your inbox
Quite often, the boss is unaware of – or does not recall – everything you’ve accomplished and how you’ve contributed. Consider positive appraisal reviews, coworker testimonials, and positive feedback from customers or other areas of the company. In your inbox, build a brag folder. When you get a compliment, keep the feedback in a file to make your prep work easier.
– Tammi Avallone, Managing Editor, FiveBarks
Improve your work habits
Exemplary work habits generating positive results with a mix of a great attitude towards the team might give your next paycheck a raise even without asking for it. When you are asking for a raise, a lot of factors are to be considered by your manager and you have to walk the talk. More than just hitting your KPIs at your best, your work habits and values indeed matter at work.
– Carley, Head Of Social And Customer Care at Friendly Turtle.
Match Numbers with Numbers
Rely on the numbers. If you are looking for an increase in your earned numbers, your pay, then you need to show how you have increased the numbers that matter to your employer. Numbers such as the percentage of your productivity or sales. What you must remember is that business is truly business. The length of time you have been with a company can earn you so much without taking into account the quantity and quality of work you have been producing within that time period.
– Alison Pearson, Head of HR at Hal Waldman and Associates
Take the emotion out of the equation
Try to take emotion out of the equation, and see your skills as drivers of concrete value that you deserved to be compensated for. Do your research about what the average person makes with your level of experience and knowledge (regardless of gender), and don’t be afraid to be straightforward with your superiors.
There is power in what you do, and at the end of the day, your boss needs you just as much as you need them. In the world of business, it is not about hurt feelings or sympathies, and (unfortunately) many male bosses will expect this from their female employees.
That means you must try that much harder to be clear, objective, and well-informed about your demands. And remember, people respond to confidence. Be firm and uncompromising in your approach, while remaining tactful and responsive to their needs.
– Natalie Sullivan, Co-Founder of Cooler Air Today
Be ready to face rejection
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst is the best approach you can take. Do not be discouraged if you hear ‘no’. If a raise doesn’t happen right away, it is still not the end of your negotiations. Ask to set another negotiation date, for example, next quarter. Depending on how you accomplish your goals, you can expect a better outcome. Advocating for yourself in this way shows your dedication to the company, awareness of your impact, and knowledge of your true worth.
– Ewelina Melon, Head of People at Tidio
Timing is everything
When requesting a raise, consider if it’s the right time to do so. If the company has been under a recent financial strain, it may not be the best time to ask for a raise. Your request may be viewed as simply unviable or, worse, insensitive. On the other hand, if your company has just secured a new account and has recently seen good progress, this may be your time.
Do pay attention to smaller factors like your manager’s workload or current level of satisfaction. Also, consider the timing in the context of your own work. Have you just completed a well-received project or signed a new client? Recent achievements in your performance make a good backdrop for a raise request.
– Magda Ziolkowska from WikiJob
Ask for 10% – 25% more than you are seeking
Find out what the average salary for your position is and the range. Figure out where you should fall in the range and be prepared to support your request with data. From experience, I recommend asking for 10-25% more than you are seeking, expecting that they will meet you somewhere in the middle. Support your request with what you have done since your last raise/promotion that warrants a raise. This should demonstrate how you have increased productivity, revenue, or cost savings for the organization.
Use your job description and your performance evaluation to support your request. It is helpful if you can show that you are exceeding the expectations of your role. At the end of the day, being able to show your track record of how you have helped the organization grow and affirming your commitment to the continued growth of the company make it challenging for them to deny your request. I don’t recommend using an offer from another company to support your initial pay raise request, but if you are a valuable employee, it definitely helps to get what you are seeking, quicker.
– Mychelle Fernandez, Executive Director, Working Moms Tribe
Don’t use the word “fair”
It can be a trigger word for managers. If you say your pay isn’t fair, managers may interpret that as they’re not acting in integrity. This may be objectively true, but since you need your manager’s support to get a pay increase, putting them on the defensive from the get-go won’t be your best bet. I also recommend that you compare yourself to the external market rather than to your peers. The market is a more neutral (and less emotionally-loaded) comparison point.
– Kate Dixon, from Dixon Consulting
Approach Your Boss as a Collaborator Instead of an Opponent
A mark of a good manager is having direct reports who flourish and succeed; it’s quite literally your boss’ job to advocate for your advancement. Once you’ve communicated that a raise is your goal, work with your boss to set clear, achievable goals with tangible deliverables and timelines — I recommend quarterly — and review your progress regularly. This arms your boss with the receipts of your value to the company and makes it easy for them to go to bat for you.
– Meaghan Wagner, from The Goal Guru