The stories we tell ourselves #2

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In our “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” series, discussing all the things we as women tell ourselves that keep us from stepping up and asking for what we need, want and deserve, here’s Nr 2:

I Will Just Work REALLY Hard And Then My Boss Will See That And Give Me A Raise!

We don’t like the compensation or benefits of the job, but we take it anyway, telling ourselves “I need to prove my worth first. I will just work super hard and then they see my results, they can’t ignore my requests any longer and they will give me the raise I am due!”

Ladies, let me ask you all: for how many of you did that work out…?

My guess is: not many.

Because when was the last time you met an employer who gave you a raise unasked, out of sheer gratitude?

And please don’t blame them for it: it simply doesn’t make business sense for them to do so.

And how did this make you feel? You pulled all those all-nighters, you worked weekends, you took on the extra responsibility, you delivered and then… crickets. Or you got the team dinner at the end, perhaps some words of gratitude, a quick pat on the back and a “well done you”. But NOT the raise you thought would be waiting for you once you had proven you were worthy of it. And then the vicious starts: you get annoyed, upset, resentful, demotivated. And then you stop doing your best work. Giving your boss less reason to give you a raise. And so it goes on.

But ladies, let me put it bluntly: this is in your hands, mostly. If you want a bigger paycheck, you’re going to have to ask for it. If you don’t ask, you don’t get – simple as that.

I know, I know… It’s scary as hell. Because despite our skills of asking on behalf of our companies and teams, and family members and friends, when it comes to asking for ourselves, we chicken out. T When women were asked to choose a metaphor to describe the negotiation process, women picked “going to the dentist”, so it’s fair to say we’re not a fan. And when asking for a raise, we have to put a value on the work we do, so in essence: on ourselves. Gasp!

But let me tell you two things. First of all: it’s worth it. Seriously. Assuming you’ll continue to negotiate for your worth throughout your career and adding the beauty of compound interest, you will earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to your income over the course of your career. Please tell me a few minutes of uncomfortableness is worth that?!

And here’s another beautiful consequence of asking for what you deserve and what you need: your confidence levels will increase. Your boss’ respect for you will grow. Your motivation will sky rocket. Honestly: only good will come of it.

So indeed: good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who ask, negotiate and push.

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Wies Bratby.

Negotiation Coach, former top Lawyer and HR Director, and unapologetic advocate for women in my tribe getting what they want and what they are worth.

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