Ladies Helping Ladeeeez

This is what comes up when you google image "asking for a raise." Don't do this.

This is what comes up when you google image “asking for a raise.” Don’t do this.

So yesterday, my friend who we’ll call Moira, gchatted me with a question. She’d received an offer for a new job that she was super pumped to take but the money was not what she wanted, and based on her research, it wasn’t comparable to other similar positions. She asked me what to do, and I told her to ask for more, because that’s the best advice anyone has given me in these situations.

I like this conversation because for once, I got to play the helpful mentor role instead of the “shit, how do I ask for a raise???” role, which I have played many times (and published here). I have done this successfully exactly once, and it was hellllla hard, so it felt really good to be able to take my learnings and pass them on.

I share it with you now (with Moira’s permission) because I think it illustrates so many of the common issues that people (especially ladies) face when they go to have this conversation. In general (massive generalities coming…) we want to be liked, we don’t want to rock the boat, we don’t want to be thought pushy or, God forbid, bitchy. Research shows that women who act aggressively at work are actually¬†penalized.¬†In other words, being personally disliked by coworkers doesn’t hurt men professionally, but it does impede women’s career progression.

So, the question remains, how to do it? Here’s one example. Kids, this is as real as it gets, proven by my poor spelling and lack of capitalizations:

Moira: hey :) Happy Monday! How are you?

me: great!

thanks, you?

Moira: Would you happen to have a moment to answer a question?

me: sure, what’s up?

Moira: So, I’m super-excited about this new job

and like, ready to take the offer

but I’ve read so much about women being silly about negotiation

me: ! yes, i know right!

i feel that way too

Moira: that I was trying to figure out if I should put out feelers about the salary offer

before taking it

me: yes, you absolutely should

Moira: okay

me: the worst thing that happens

is that they say they can’t do it

but no one is going to take the offer away

it’s really scary :-) but it’s SUCH a good thing to practice doing

Moira: okay.

me: when i tried, with my first job at this company

they said no, but they offered me a performance review after 3 months, to reevaluate

and i got a small raise at that point, that took me to my initial request

Moira: nice

me: but definitely ask for it

they expect you to

Moira: okay

is it better to do that by phone or by email?

me: hmmm

i think email is easier

Moira: I do, too

me: and then maybe end your email with “feel free to give me a call to discuss further”

or something like that

Moira: Okay. What language did you use to discuss specifics? It sounds like you made a specific counter-proposal

me: I think I said something like “thanks for the offer, blah blah blah, i’m so excited blah blah blah. I’ve reviewed the details of the offer more since we last spoke/emailed…

“Given my skills xyz, I’m looking for something closer to the X-X range. Based on my research, that seems comparable to similar roles available.”

“I’m extremely excited about hte chance to do blah blah blah, and I think I’m a perfect fit for this role”

and then finish with the invitation for a call to further discuss

Moira: Okay

that is super-helpful

me: also, for what it’s worth, go look up some salaries for analysts or whatever role

Moira: well the thing is I’ve been contacted by several companies

who named ranges up to 20K higher

me: yeah

Moira: i mean, who knows

me: good

so aim high

Moira: but that’s where I’m getting my numbers

me: perrfect

*perfect

THE NEXT DAY

Moira: It worked :)

me: !!!!!

that is amazing

Moira: They upped it by almost 10%

you are AWESOME

thank you so much

me: i am so proud of you and me together

Moira: :)

me: so cool!

Asking for the raise in your first negotiation is one piece of what sets you up for financial success down the line. Not only is it good practice, but it literally translates into higher income in your future. Imagine you are offered $40K, and you take it. Another newbie (perchance a dude), gets offered $40K as well. He asks for $50K, they scoff, but offer him $44K. He’s making $4K more than you, simply because he asked! And when your first round of performance reviews roll around, and you both ask for a 10% raise, you now make $44 and he makes $48.4! The gap only widens!

Related Post: How to Ace an Interview

Related Post: How I got my raise.

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2 Comments

Filed under Gender

2 responses to “Ladies Helping Ladeeeez

  1. Definitely ask! I was really determined but quite nervous to negotiate when I got hired about a week and a half ago. But all I did was ask for more based on my education and background and voila–the request was put in and approved the same day. It only took a couple of sentences on my part! Not that it’s always that easy, but it’s worth trying!

  2. You should never be afraid to stick up for what you are worth, especially when you can back it up.
    Great advice, and good for her!

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