Career Woman

You’ve got this: How to ask for a raise.

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

I want to ask my boss for a raise but I don’t know how to bring it up! Jenny B.

If your boss is female, tell her that she is a goddess. As the employee of a goddess, a goddess in training, her help is needed.  Remind Goddess X that as much as you appreciate her insightfulness, wisdom and kindness, neither of those can buy clothing. Turn it into a question about strategy to show one of your glowing skills and then ask, “What do I need? Glad you asked. A raise.”  Tell Goddess X that this organizational theater prompt you just shared was filled with love, admiration, was painless and your ask is one that can make both of your lives more productive collectively. LOL!!!

Okay, silliness aside.  The reality is that for most women, it is difficult to advocate for ourselves.  I’ll never forget, one of my former bosses told me that if he only has 30% of the qualifications for a job, he would apply.  I told him that if I didn’t have 95% to 100% of the qualifications, I wouldn’t.  That short exchange stunned me.  I realized that I was selling myself short.  He felt that what he didn’t know, he could learn and so it didn’t matter if he walked into a role with everything the job description requested.  Many of my female friends have done the exact same thing as I’ve done.  I’ve sold myself short in the job search process and throughout my term in several roles, I continued to do the same thing.  I wouldn’t share my success because for some reason, I was conditioned to believe that I was bragging.  I’ve since learned that if you don’t promote yourself, you might find yourself waiting for others to do it for you.

It ultimately comes down to a question of value.  If you would encourage your friends to go after their dreams and ask for what they want, why are you not important enough to ask for your worth?  No is not the end of the world.  Just make sure that when you have the conversation, you are creating a win-win opportunity for you, your boss and the company.  This isn’t a spur of the moment conversation, either.  Be prepared to discuss your accomplishments and how they are important to the company.  Make sure that you are aware of the range that others in similar positions are making in that role.  Quite often, the best time to ask for a raise is during your annual review but it is important to be aware of your company’s finances.  You don’t want to ask for a significant increase when the company is in the process of layoffs and budget cuts. You can ask your boss at the completion of a significant project you were involved with and set up a meeting to discuss the outcomes and the role you played in the project’s success.  Raises often come with additional responsibilities so outline what those could be in partnership with your boss so that there are no misaligned expectations.  As simple as this sounds, if your boss isn’t in a good mood, it might not be the best time to bring it up especially if you are dealing with someone who has wide variations in their temperament.

You are valuable.  When you diminish your light to make others comfortable, not only are you hurting your possibilities but others are impacted as well.  You are your best and most well-informed advocate.  Stand up for yourself—always be confident, kind, and respectful in doing so. You matter and you are important.  Realize that You. Got. This.  Just believe it.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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