Last night I attended YES Vancouver's event "Know Your Worth: Ask For What You Want. Get What You Deserve". This topic hits really close to home for me as I feel I have struggled many times in my career to ask for what I deserve. With the right pep talk and confidence I have surprised myself with the amount of times I felt "ballsy" enough to ask for a raise, a bonus or negotiate a salary when being hired to work with a new company. It saddens me that something that should be a mandatory step in my career, to ASK for more and get what I deserve is considered a "ballsy" move. The reality is, men are asking ALL the time, and they are receiving it. This isn't seen as "ballsy" to them, it is necessary in achieving the kind of life they want to live. Don't we deserve to live that kind of life too?
Some of the speakers from last night had incredible advice to give, as well, sparked some real truths that I had forgot about while remembering what is was like to work in the corporate world. Now that I am a solopreneur and a freelancer, now more than ever is it important for me to gain the confidence to feel proud of the rates I am setting for myself, and knowing the skills and talent that I have is WORTH someone paying top dollar for.
There are Three Toxic Money Myths that hold people back when it comes to asking, receiving and accepting:
1. There is not enough money
2. More money is better
3. That's just the way it is and there is nothing you can do about it.
Some other fears people have about money is that they are not enough, not worthy or that they have a fear of greatness. Do these sound silly to you? Sure they do, but when it comes down to you skills, confidence and worth, a lot of people get blinded by their fears and insecurities which ultimately holds them back for asking for more.
I have gathered 5 of the top pieces of advice that I learned last night and throughout my career to help give you a better idea of how you too can feel confident to get that raise, ask for a higher salary when accepting a job and setting the kind of fair rates you deserve for your products and services.
5 Ways To Learn To Ask For More Money & Get It!
1. Crowd source other people's salaries in your industry to see what they are making
It may be a terrifying thought, but don't be afraid to ask another colleague, competitor or stranger (who you admire) what they are making. You will be surprised at how willing someone in your field is to speak about what they make. Not only is it breaking the barriers of speaking about something that is traditionally know as "taboo" but it is ensuring that the playing field is even and competitive which only helps both of you be success. How can you do this? Ask colleagues for lunch, direct message or e-mail a mentor or an expert in your field on social media. If there is one thing that we know is true, people LOVE to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, don't be afraid, ASK THEM!
2. Remove the word "JUST" from you e-mails, texts and vocabulary
Never, ever say this word! When women use this word when they are communicating, they are immediately telling the person they are speaking to that whatever sentence follows the word is insignificant and minimizes anything that follows.
- "just checking in to see if you received my last 3 voicemails"
- "just wanted to know if you were still attending tonight’s event?"
- "just wanted to follow up my salary negotiations"
Do you see it? How that word diminishes anything important that you are trying to say? REMOVE IT! Now, how do these sound?
- "I am following up on the 3 voicemails I sent"
- "I want to know if you were still attending tonight’s event?"
- "I want to follow up on my salary negotiations"
BOOM. Feel that power? I sure do. Don't be afraid to be direct. Anything you ever have to say is NOT tiny, insignificant OR minimal. Always remember what you have to say is ALWAYS important, relevant and significant. OWN your words and your requests.
3. When you are promised a promotion or a raise, and you don't receive it how do you show up for it?
Some of the major ways in which we are missing out on growing, learning and succeeding in these kinds of situation is due to the following things:
- Are you walking around thinking "you have to give this to me, or I will be a failure"
- Are you reassessing how you lost your power in this situation?
- Are you asking for feedback?
- Are you asking what the next steps and milestones are to achieve this?
When you do these things, you are not just taking the outcome and sulking, but you are not taking action and asking "WHY NOT ME?" Why didn't you get that raise? Was it because someone else was more qualified? Wanted it more? Asked for more? Did the work? You have every right to ASK and KNOW!
One of the ladies in the audience last night said "The best raise she ever got in her career was the one she gave herself when she moved on from a company that didn't see her worth and went somewhere else." AMEN to that!
4. When you are negotiating a raise or a new salary for a new job, are you asking the right questions?
First of all, I want to point out that a LARGE number of females do not even KNOW that it is possible to negotiate a salary that is offered to them. It is a fact that women are leaving over a MILLION dollars on the table over their career because they NEVER ask. DOES THIS MAKE YOU MAD? Could you do with an extra million dollars in your pocket throughout your career? I COULD!!!
Let me let you in on two secrets that SHOULD NOT be secrets:
1. There is ALWAYS money on the table
2. NEVER accept your first offer
One thing I think a lot of women when accepting a job forget to realize is that negations are ALWAYS key to landing the kind of pay you want and deserve. These companies WANT to pay you top dollar for your skill and talent. If you sell yourself short and ask for less, that company will see YOU as less. They won't see that you are of value, because you don't believe that you are even worth that value. Most women accept the first offer they get thinking, "this is it, this is all the money they have and I am LUCKY to receive it." No, you are not LUCKY, you are accepting the BARE MINIMUM. Chances are the guy ahead of you asked and negotiated for more and he got it. Why didn't you?
The real truth is, it's not our fault. It is ingrained in us that if we ask for something we are being `'BOSSY", "RUDE", or "DEMANDING". It is a terrible thing that we have been taught to avoid at all costs and just feel happy that we are getting the kinds of jobs we are getting and should just be happy with what is offered to us. It is time to remove these phrases from our vocabulary when describing other females, especially when we speak and describe our daughters.
5. Times when you should ask for a raise
- When you realize you are an expert in your role or field
- When you realize that they need you more than you need them
- When you have researched what the market pays and it is higher than what you make
- When you realize that your role is CRITICAL to the business, but you are not being compensated fairly for it
- When you feel overworked, taken advantage of and under valued
What are the steps to take to prepare yourself to ask for a raise or feel confident in what you bring to the table during a salary negotiation?
- Keep tabs on all of the ways in which you are contributing to the company
- Have a rolling list of accomplishments that will show your value
- Tell them what you achieved at other companies and in other roles
- Start doing the job you want to work up to then they eventually will have to promote you to it
- Ask for the benchmarks on how to get that raise
- Instead of waiting for your boss, future employer, client to tell you what they will give you, ask THEM what their budget is. If you know right off the bat that their budget for salaries is 70,000, ASK FOR 70,000 or more if you think you are worth it! If you asked for 52,000 and their budget were 70,000, look at how much money you are missing out on because you didn't ASK!
- When you ask for something, get rid of the negativity in your mind of "they will think I am not worth this" "I am not qualified enough" "I am a fraud". Assume they will say "YES!"
- Repeat in your mind when you are about to ask for a promotion, apply for a job or ask for a pay rise, "WHY THE F*** NOT ME?!"
- Don't be afraid to MAKE MONEY!
- Start to open up the conversation with you friends, peers, colleagues, mentors and competitors. Having an open dialogue about money is the best way for us to ensure that we are getting paid fairly and correctly. It also will give us the confidence to ask for more if we know what others are making and asking for
- Don't be mad that men are making more money, be mad that you aren't asking for it. GET MAD! DEMAND WHAT YOU DESERVE!
- OWN your value, skill and worth