In the 3rd installment of Find a New Job, one thing I hear women say frequently is “I could make more money if I quit and went to work somewhere else. Why won’t they pay me what they should? If I leave, they will have to pay someone more to take the job than I’m making. Give it to me and I will stay!” I then ask them, “Did you ask for a raise?”
You Have to Ask!
Often the answer is, “I told my boss I was expecting a larger increase during our merit discussion. He said that was all he could do for me at that time.” More often I hear, “Well, no, I didn’t ask for a raise. He knows how much this job is worth and he knows how hard I work. If he appreciated me he would pay me what I’m worth.” There are a multitude of variations on those themes, but bottom line is, if you don’t ask, you probably won’t get.
One of the reason men make more money doing the same job is that they will ask. They have no problem letting their boss (and frequently anyone else who is near) what a great job they do. They are much more likely to ask for a raise. When they start a job, men will tend to negotiate for more than the initial offer. Women are more likely to accept the first offer that is made.
Here are a few tips on how to ask for a raise
- Get your ducks (accomplishments) in a row. Make sure you include praises from your customers and your peers on the work you’ve done for them. Have facts and figures – if you created a solution that saved the company $50,000, make sure you have that in your accomplishment file.
- Set up a meeting with your boss. Make sure you let her know you want to discuss your pay so she will know what to prepare for.
- Do some homework – find out from several different sources what your job is paying in the market. Remember any data you find is subject to review. Don’t just compare your job title to the same job title you find on the internet. Try to match the duties and responsibilities.
After you have the discussion with your boss and make your case for a raise, one of three things will happen.
- You get the raise. Good.
- You are told she can’t do the raise now, but she will review it in 6 months. If this is the answer, ask for more clarification. Is it a budget issue? Do you need to improve your performance in some area? Ask her if you can review the issue with her a few weeks before the 6 months are up. You want to make sure she understands you will hold her accountable to the timeline she set.
- You do not get the raise. Once again, ask for specifics about why she is not supporting the increase, then ask if you can revisit the request in a set amount of time – typically 3 to 6 months.
If you don’t get the raise, or you don’t get the raise you want, you may want to look at moving on. As always, money isn’t everything for women. We appreciate other things like flexible work hours, the team we work with, and the location of the business. Men appreciate these things too AND they ask for the money they want. Should you leave a job you love at a company you like for a job that pays you what you are worth? Maybe.
Money isn’t everything, but being paid what you are worth is important and we shouldn’t diminish how important that is. In a blog I wrote last June, Paycheck Fairness Act – We can’t wait 11 more years, I outlined what women could do with the same money men make doing the same job. It truly is life changing. If you want to look for a job that pays you what you are worth and you find it, things will change.
If you do decide to find a new job, you need to do the same research you would do to ask for a raise. You want to have information to help you negotiate your pay. You need to have a set amount you want to receive in your mind and make sure it is supported by the research you do. If you have a job you are paid $50,000 for at your current job, and you find out that the market says the job is worth $70,000, ask for $70,000, not $60,000. Ask for what you want. You may not get it, but at least you will have asked.
Have you ever asked for more money? Were you successful? Leave us a comment below or share using #findanewjob on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or post a short clip on Youtube.