How to advocate for what you're worth

How to ask for a raise

Have you ever felt like you’re not getting paid enough? Or have you heard murmurings that others are making more than you for the same job? You know it’s not a good feeling. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Ask for what you’re worth!”. You know you should do it...but how? Don’t worry, we’re breaking down how to advocate for what you’re worth.

Do your research

The phrase “charge what you’re worth” can be pretty nebulous. How do you know what you’re worth? To start, you want to look at salaries in your area for similar positions and take into account your experience.
For example, a marketing manager with one year of experience in Iowa will make something wildly different than a marketing manager in San Francisco with five years of experience. All of this to say, you want to consider these factors. Experience and cost of living can affect pay.

Do your research on sites like PayScale.com and Glassdoor.com. These sites can help you compare salaries so you have a better understanding of the market rate. This will help arm you in salary negotiation.

Join the right communities

The key to salary negotiation and figuring out how to ask for a raise is joining the right communities. You can join the Ladies Get Paid Slack channel, which has thousands of women in various professions. The goal of the community, as the name suggests, is to get ladies paid. So you can ask how much people are making, talk about best tips for salary negotiation, and get advice from others in a similar situation.

You can also check out Facebook groups that are centered around your profession and see if you can connect with others that way. You could also look into professional associations in your area that might be able to provide guidance.

Know the specifics

If you want to figure out how to ask for a raise, the main thing is knowing what you want and being specific. You can’t just think “I want to earn more”. Do you want to earn $5,000 more? $10,000 more or go big and ask for $20,000+ or more? Have a number in mind and be very specific.

Also, if they say no and negotiate it down, know the minimum that you’re willing to accept. If they can’t meet that, will you walk? You have to consider all sides.

Additionally, if they can’t meet your pay requirements, you can also negotiate more time off, flexible work situations like not coming to the office on Friday, etc. There’s more to negotiate than just pay!

Find the right time

Salary negotiation is a fine art and to do it right you want to set the stage at the right time. If you have an annual review coming up, that is a good time to negotiate your salary and ask for a raise. If you want to ask for a raise any other time, you want to make sure to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to have a dedicated time to ask.

One thing to consider is your company’s fiscal year. While your company is determining the next year’s finances, you have a window of time you can ask for more. Sometimes it’s tough to get approved for a raise if the budget for the next fiscal year is already set.

Have a script ready

You don’t want to go into a salary negotiation unprepared. You want to feel confident that you know your worth and that you can ask for it, with data to back it up. So you will want to have your accomplishments on hand. What have you helped the company achieve? How much money have you saved them? What outcomes and deliverables have you brought to the table?

You want to clearly state your case and convince your supervisor why you’re worth more. Before you have the meeting with your boss, you want to practice with your friends and family.

Practice a ton beforehand and have responses for a variety of outcomes. How will you react if they negotiate lower? How will you react if they can’t give you a raise at all? You don’t want to be caught off guard, so come up with a script of what you will say and how you will react in a variety of circumstances.

You can get inspiration and tips from Ramit Sethi who has a killer post on how to negotiate. Follow his scripts and watch his videos!

Bottom line

If you want to learn how to ask for a raise and get in on salary negotiation at work, follow these tips. It’s all about preparation, practice, having research to back it up and actually asking! Asking can be the scariest part but what’s the worst that can happen? The worst is they will say “no”. You want to ask for what you’re worth as it can pay dividends in your financial life for the years to come.

For more on Salary Negotiation, watch our free webinar here.

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Caitlin Lyttle