How to Negotiate a Raise

04 April 2024

Oftentimes it’s hard for women to stand their ground and demand warranted change out of fear of being labeled “pushy,” “ruthless,” “unsatisfied,” or “selfish.” Yet, men across the world ask or simply expect things like promotions, raises, and other work benefits unaccompanied by a sit-down with their boss.

Several factors contribute to this discrimination. Author Jenna Fisher talks about this on LinkedIn, stating, “We even know many of the factors that contribute to the discrepancy. They include occupational segregation (women are funneled into lower-wage work such as nursing and teaching while men are encouraged to go for higher-earning careers in finance and engineering) and the motherhood penalty (women see their wages shrink after becoming mothers while men get raises after becoming fathers).”

This discussion can be incredibly challenging and hard to navigate for many women, so we’ve put together five tips to help you negotiate the raise you deserve.

Tip #1: Know your worth
When negotiating a raise, confidence and self-assurance are dire. Before you even think about approaching your supervisor, you need to ensure your sense of self and fortitude are solid. This composure can’t come from any outside elements, this must come from within. Reciting affirmations to yourself is one way to boost this morale.

Tip #2: Do your research
Make sure that when you get to the point where you believe you are being underpaid or unfairly compensated, head straight to fact-finding through books or the internet. Understand what your competitors are being paid, what your peers are getting paid, and what you believe you deserve based on your work ethic and commitment, and make a strong, educated conclusion to present to your overseer.

Tip #3: Practice your pitch
Confidence and body language are critical when taking on a daunting task like asking for a raise. Remember to maintain eye contact, stand tall with a poised composure, and well-framed posture. Wear something appropriate, clean, and proper. Use your hands when explaining things to maintain a powerful and confident figure. Use a natural and objective tone, remembering to stay calm no matter how the conversation may play out.

Tip #4: Be assertive
While you want to remain respectful and poised, don’t forget to be assertive as well. If your boss tries to shut you down right away, do not give up until you vocalize everything you want them to know. Provide specifics and factual information to back up this strong will, like what accomplishments or results you have completed that show you have gone above and beyond the amount you are currently being paid.

Tip #5: Know your “why?”
You should have a purpose and reasoning behind this request. Perhaps it’s that your colleague is getting paid twice as much as you and does half the amount of work. Maybe you’ve been with the company for 5 years and think you deserve some appreciation for your commitment. It could be that your hours are extending past what your contract details and if you’re putting this much additional time and effort in you would like to be paid overtime. Whatever your “why” is, discover it and have it solidified so that there is no question when proposing the upgrade to your boss.

While the task of asking for a raise can be uncomfortable and challenging, when you take it step by step and prepare as best as you can, the burden doesn’t feel so heavy, If you’re still looking for more resources or a bit of inspiration, check out these books below:

  • Bare Knuckle Negotiating by Simon Hazeldine
  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss