Previously, many people claimed the reason women didn’t get raises as much as men do because they didn’t ask for them as much as men do. However, a recent study out of Australia shows that women do ask for raises just as much as men; they just get them less often.
This could be an example of discrimination in the workplace or it could be due to the ways in which a woman asks. After all, when you go to your boss and ask for more money, the delivery is very important.
Some women try to find a balance between being confident without seeming bossy and asking for they want. In today’s world, women are encouraged to break glass ceilings, yet if they are too demanding, they get accused of being aggressive.
As a female business owner, I encounter this quite a bit. There have been many times in my life where people misconstrue my confidence as rudeness and don’t like me after meeting me for the first time. Also, I’ve been given the feedback that people feel like I am talking down to them because when I speak, I speak with a lot of strength.
It’s taken me nearly a decade in business, much self-reflection and practice incorporating feedback from friends and colleagues to learn how communicate with others in a better way. I still have moments where I can be curt without meaning to be, but overall I’ve learned to use my confidence in a way that makes me more approachable.
I’m not saying it’s fair, but knowing how to ask for what you want might increase your chances of getting what you deserve. Below are some tips on what to avoid when negotiating your salary that will hopefully increase your chances of getting a raise.
Wait Too Long
Many women feel that they should work for an arbitrary set amount of time before asking for raise. For example, many women might not feel like they can ask for a raise until they’ve worked for six months or for a year.
Really, you can ask for a raise at any time.
The best time to ask for a raise is when times are good. For example, ask for a raise when you helped land a big client. Ask for a raise when your boss praised your idea in a meeting.
I’m a writer, so I once asked for a raise when an article I wrote for a client went viral and got 80+ comments in one day. I’d only been working with that client for a few months, but when my article did well, it showed him my writing had value. I asked for a raise, and he gave it to me because I’d earned it and it was the right time to ask.
Mention Personal Problems
One of the biggest mistakes women make is citing personal reasons when asking for a raise. For example, in your meeting don’t mention that your significant other just got laid off or that your child recently broke their arm.
Most women know this intellectually, but when they get in the room with their bosses to discuss compensation, sometimes they bring up personal issues as a way to bolster their chances of making more money.
It’s something subconscious we do. Many of us don’t feel worthy of more money, so we come up with other reasons why we should have it. The key is to tell your boss all the reasons why you’ve earned your raise and to do this as confidently as possible. Keep your personal life out of it; you can get this on your own merit.
Omit a List of Good Deeds
Be sure to keep a running list of positive feedback you’ve been given. How many times has a client or a customer personally thanked you for your hard work? Have you ever received an email from a co-worker thanking you for helping them? Keep track of all of these positive messages and good deeds.
You can put them in a digital file or you can print them all out and put them in a file folder. Then, when it’s time to schedule your meeting and ask for a raise, you have all the evidence you need to show your boss why you’ve earned it.
Ultimately, asking for a raise can and should be strategic. Raises aren’t guaranteed, and they aren’t something you should expect to get every year. Raises have to be earned, and if you can muster the confidence to ask for them when you’ve done the work, you might be surprised at how willing your employers are to grant you one.
Have you ever asked for a raise and received one? What were the reasons you gave for asking for a raise?
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