Thursday, December 13th, 2018

How-to: Get a Raise

By Guest Blogger on Aug 13 2012 • Filed under Business,How-To

How to Ask for and Get a Raise (Photo)The first step toward getting a raise is asking for one, and according to recent research, one of the key reasons that women make about 20 percent less than men is that they don’t ask for raises as frequently. By foregoing salary negotiations, women give up raises early in their careers that would result in compounded gains over time – raises building upon raises, assumptions of greater worth during job interviews, etc. The cost of foregoing salary negotiations is often a million dollars or more, although many women don’t even realize what they’re giving up.

The trick to getting what you ask for is believing you deserve it.Sadly, the mere fact of your femininity almost guarantees you’re underpaid. On average, women make about three-fourths of what men make in the same jobs.
 
But don’t rely on that tired statistic. You want to enter into this contentious conversation about your worth with as much knowledge as possible. Research what your colleagues make, what salary your position fetches at other firms and consider what unique value you have for the company (such as the fact that you’ve been doing male colleague X’s job as well as your own since he got laid off).
 
If you approach your employer utterly convinced that you deserve a 15 percent raise after learning that your male coworkers make X percent more than you, others in your field make Y percent more and, on top of that, you’re doing the best work you’ve ever done, be aware that this is where things get dicey. The thing is, most people don’t like it when women ask for raises. Studies have shown that most men and women dislike women who negotiate aggressively. You still might get the raise, but your boss’s discomfort with the fact that you bucked his misogynistic perception of you might have negative consequences later.
 
You should still ask for the raise. You’re worth it, and addressing the global gap in gender equity is the right thing to do. You should accept the fact that he or she might not see eye-to-eye with you on feminist issues and calmly but firmly present a clear-cut and rational case for increasing your salary. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t have to be about your gender. 
 
Consider your job description – your role and responsibilities. The natural trajectory of most positions is that the longer you’re in a position, the more responsibility you take on. Are you doing new tasks? Managing people? Leading a project? These are all reasons to increase your pay. And while you probably looked at comparable salaries in your industry when you were hired, after a year or two of experience, your pay grade changes. Again, do your research. Look at comparable positions in your field to find out what others are being paid for similar work. You may want to take it a step further and look to your specific region or area for additional support toward your case. Just remember – all of this information should confirm your worth to you. It’s not necessarily something you want to bring up with your boss. While it’s great to be educated, it’s better to be savvy and feel out the situation. You’ll have a better chance of an outcome in your favour. 
 
The truth of the matter is, if you think you deserve a raise, you’re probably right. But do your research to be sure. Be honest with yourself, make your case and then – ask!
 
Good luck!
 

Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, one of the premier LLM programs offered through Washington University in St. Louis that allows foreign attorneys to earn their llm degree online. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and making half-baked attempts at training her dog.

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