You're rocking it at work. You've racked up many measurable job accomplishments. So why haven't you received the raise you want?
Maybe Madison's example will provide some clues. When emailing me for pay raise advice, she described her waiting scenario:
Almost two years ago, I was hired as an Accounts Receivables Manager for a property management company. I never received, nor asked for, a performance review, thinking it would naturally occur. I am past my year and a half mark, and I now believe that I am underpaid for the value of my work…
Did you spot Madison's pay raise missteps? "I never received, nor asked for, a performance review, thinking it would naturally occur.”
Yep, there you have them. This delay is costing Madison income, especially since it seems her salary now lags behind both her intrinsic work value and the market value.
Has it been 15 months or more since your last "annual" review?
Chances are, you work for a manager who doesn’t keep on schedule with reviews. From my career experiences over the years in various settings, I've observed it’s easy for busy bosses to stall them.
It’s also easy for women to be passive about pay and wait (and wait) for a busy boss to initiate the meeting.
Waiting is a form of avoidance, and avoidance reflects your discomfort with asking—asking for the performance review meeting and asking for the raise.
Researchers say that this behavior stems from women’s fear that asking for something they want may harm the relationship with the person they need to ask.
So if you’re nervous about making these requests, it’s not your fault; strong social forces influence women’s behavior related to asking for something. And avoidance is often the behavior of choice.
Sound familiar? Does this give you a better understanding of why you might be under-earning?
Yes, it’s a gender thing. So if you’ve been chiding yourself about not negotiating salary the way you “should” have, please be gentle with yourself.
Instead, give yourself credit for taking the initiative to learn how to do it differently in the future by tapping into Pay Raise Prep School for Women.
From my years of working with accomplished career women, I’ve found that asking for what they want at work is mostly a confidence issue. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to tame anxiety about asking.
For example, role-playing the pay raise request before meeting with your manager is a proven way to gain a sense of control which eases anxiety and improves negotiated outcomes. Rehearse your opening lines and your replies to the objections you expect.
That’s just one approach. There are others which are covered in the online training here at Pay Raise Prep School for Women.
How many more career years do you have ahead of you? Recognize how valuable it is to know how to negotiate the salary you deserve. It’s worth thousands of dollars this year, and next year, and for years to come. Waiting doesn’t work; it’s time to ask.