How to Foil Your Pay Raise Fears

Recognize the Source of Your Fears and a Solution to Foil Them

If you’re afraid to ask for a pay raise, you certainly aren’t alone. That’s a finding from my Women’s Pay Raise Survey.

How to Foil Your Pay Raise Fears

Look at These Lists of Fears!

The Women's Pay Raise Survey had this open-ended item: “In one sentence, state your biggest fear about asking for the raise you deserve.”

As you skim the small sample of responses in the three tabbed areas below, notice how many women reveal a concern about how they’ll be perceived for asking. Some used the words greedy, pushy, ungrateful. Many are afraid of rejection or even getting fired!

  • fears
  • More FEARS
  • and more fears
  • That I won’t be seen as brave, intelligent or worthy.
  • I’m afraid that asking for a raise will make it seem as though I’m only interested in the money and not my actual work.
  • Afraid I’m not asking for enough.
  • That they will look to get rid of me.
  • Fear that I’ll ask for more than what’s considered reasonable.
  • Starting the awkward conversation and knowing how much I want to be paid.
  • I am most afraid of not knowing how much to ask for and not having the right language to use to ask for it.

Do you share similar worries when it comes to asking for a raise? If so, I encourage you to take a longer-term perspective of getting a raise. Let me explain.

Realize the Source of Your Fears

Some of these fears reflect women’s concern about the relationship involved. In fact, fear of disrupting relationships keeps women from negotiating.

You know that saying, “It’s business. It’s not personal.” Well, it’s usually men who are saying it! With women, everything IS personal. It’s all about the relationship. So...

They go along to get along.

They don’t want to rock the boat.

They don’t ask.

And for a lot of women, a strong need for approval keeps them from asking for something they want. Or they have a harsh inner critic that says you can’t ask or you shouldn’t ask.

Sound familiar? These are the kinds of challenges women face as they think about asking for a raise. And some of them are rooted or reinforced in the short-term view of asking for a raise as an isolated event.

Take the Long-Term View

In contrast, if you take the long-term view, if you demonstrate and communicate your value all year round in a way that’s not pushy, then there’s no reason to think you’ll be perceived as pushy at the time of your Performance Review.

Why? Because it’s not a part of your personality the rest of the year.

If you’re building solid work relationships, trust, and social capital at the office, you’re building value there, too. Those assets don’t melt away at the door when you step into your Performance Review meeting.

My point is, if your year-round patterns of behavior, attitudes and speech at work are not high-maintenance, not mercenary, and not aggressive, there’s no reason to think you’ll be perceived that way at your Performance Review. Does that make sense?

Follow the Pay Raise Process to Foil Your Fears

There’s a proven Pay Raise Process℠ that equips you to master the pay raise conversation, including how to tackle the fears that hold you back from asking for a raise. You’ll find the specifics in the training here at Pay Raise Prep School for Women.