PIX Financial Fix: How to ask for a raise

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An Australian survey found that women are just as likely as men to ask for a raise; it’s just that they’re getting shot down more often. What is the proper way to ask for a raise? What shouldn’t you do? And does this study put major hole in the claim that the gender wage gap is a myth. Ross Kenneth Urken, TheStreet’s personal finance editor, breaks it down.

The common stat bandied about is that women make 79 cents for every dollar men make. Some say men have more C-level, executive, and managerial positions so we’re not comparing apples and oranges. That’s obviously changing in the workplace. The other theory is that women aren’t as assertive about asking for raises in the work place. This theory suggests otherwise.

There very well may be some sexism at work. For all of us, but maybe women in particular, what are three things they or anyone should say when trying to get a raise.

-Be specific: Have a specific number in mind. Make note of it during your meeting with your boss with industry research (what others in your field are making). Psychologically, asking for a concrete quantitative value is more manageable is more attainable than a vague qualitative request of, “I want more money.”
-Tout your accomplishments: Definitely delineate exactly what you’ve accomplished in the last two to three months as well as over the course of the last year. Bragging is O.K.
-Focus on the future: Frame the raise as recognition for what you’ve done in the past but also as incentive to help you continue to achieve moving forward.

And three things not to say?

-Don’t bring up a sob story. Your boss doesn’t need to hear about your sick dog or how you are struggling to make rent. Your company cares what value your bringing. Focus less on the pity card, more on your skills.
-Don’t compare yourself. It doesn’t matter what Eileen in accounting is making. Your role is your role. Don’t use a colleague’s salary as leverage. It will come back to bite you.
-Don’t offer an ultimatum. Don’t threaten to jump ship if you can’t make more money.

For more on the survey, see it here.