Asking for what you want and what you deserve is not easy. And when it comes to bringing up the subject of money with your boss, it can be excruciatingly nerve-wracking; but it's one of the most important conversations you can have if you want to close your earnings gap and get the salary you deserve.
We asked the experienced and savvy members of Ellevate Network what's the one piece of advice they would give to someone who is looking to get a raise. Here are some of our favorite answers.
"Ask for it. Don't justify except if you have data that shows that you are underpaid."
"Think of getting a raise like you would a high-level work project. Approach it with the same time, effort and care. (Because it's that important!) Research the market price for your role and responsibilities, prepare specific examples of the value you're bringing to the table. Practice your 'ask' and how you might respond to any follow-up questions--having your spouse or a trusted friend help with this is ideal, but you can always get your dog to listen to your first couple of tries to boost your confidence. (Mine hasn't said no yet!)"
"Be prepared, organized, know your worth, and practice your pitch."
"We tend to put our heads down and focus on the next task. Every week, take the time to write out your accomplishments and hurdles in a journal. When you look back at all that you have done, the messages will boost your confidence and will help you craft the message of why you deserve a raise."
"Keep excellent records of all stated goals and how you performed against those goals. Meeting and exceeding those goals are the best point for negotiation. If your company does not have a formal process for goal setting and review, then suggest it to your manager as key criteria for your development and performance."
"Ask for more than what you think is fair. Men do."
"Organize the data: make sure you have detailed examples of what you have accomplished in your role, quantified as well as possible. When you ask, make it fact-based and dispassionate and don't apologize for anything!"
"Communicate. Go to your supervisor, the one who makes the recommendation on your compensation, and express your interest in enhancing your compensation. Be prepared to make your pitch, articulating what substantive contributions you have made. Make the Ask."
"You may be turned down. Take it professionally and ask the natural follow-up questions: What do I need to do to earn one? Can we set specific goals I can work toward?"
"If you're negotiating for a raise, I'd advise three things: one, promote the value you bring to the organization rather than work you're responsible for and paid to do. In other words, how you make a difference. Two, position yourself as a thought leader who understands the direction the company is going and specific steps you're engaged in to help leaders meet strategic goals. Finally, be prepared with current industry salary statistics and where you fit. In other words, are you fairly and competitively compensated compared to industry standards? If a company wants to keep you, they must offer you a competitive salary."