I shouldn’t have to ask for a raise!
Ladies, let’s look at another persistent story we tell ourselves (and the world) which I briefly mentioned in last week’s column [link]: that our bosses should see the great work that we do by themselves, and therefore give us a raise. In other words: that we don’t have to ask for ourselves, but our managers should take the initiative to have this conversation.
I hear this from many women that I speak to in the course of my coaching business, who are looking to get better at negotiating their careers and salaries.
They started their jobs on a salary that was way too low, because they were grateful for the opportunity, they weren’t aware you could negotiate or they simply hated the process of negotiating. They told themselves they would work hard and show their managers the amazing results they’re able to get. And then their bosses would notice this and appreciate the results and that salary increase would magically follow…
Do you recognise this way of thinking? If so, let me ask you a question: has that ever worked out for you?
It never does, does it?
After we finish that project in time and under budget, our bosses might give us a pat on the back. When we save the organisation a ton of money, they might tell us “Well done!”. When we secure that big deal, that might net us an award at the annual company conference.
But whenever get a proper raise or a promotion (with the accompanying salary!). So if we stay silent, hoping someone will just magically give us what we want, need and deserve – nothing happens.
You see: we only get a raise or a promotion when we ASK for it. It’s THAT simple.
Really, it’s up to you to get what you deserve.
No, that’s not fair. No, that’s not comfortable. And no, your boss is not doing their actual job of helping you do your best work. I hear you. But please don’t get mad at them.
Because here’s the thing: they can’t help it. Your boss is busy. At any given moment in time, they have about ten million things on their plate that need their attention.
So in reality, the person who manages to get that attention gets all their love. THEY get the raise and THEY get the promotion.
And let’s not forget another very good reason why you’re not getting paid what you deserve (let alone being paid really well): it simply doesn’t make business sense for the companies that we work in to proactively offer us more money.
Well, actually, it does… Long-term it is a much better investment to have people paid at a level that makes them feel valued, motivated and inspired, rather than underappreciated so that they leave. But most companies sadly take the short-term view and want the cheapest deal possible.
So in summary: it is highly unlikely that the company you work for will give you a raise without you asking for it. So when you’re telling yourself “they should just see the value of the work I do and give me that raise / promotion!” – please take note.
It. Won’t. Happen. Unless. You. Ask.
Granted, there’s an art and a science to negotiating your career and salary successfully as a woman. But before we go into the specifics of how to do so, please note that it all starts with YOU actually starting the conversation…
Wies Bratby runs Women In Negotiation, a coaching company that specialises in teaching corporate women to negotiate their careers and salaries. Join her tribe on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womeninnegotiationwin/