How to Confidently Ask for a Raise

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It's often difficult to talk about money, especially in the workplace, where such discussions are often taboo. Frustratingly, it can be even more fraught of a topic for working women, who often start at lower wages than their male counterparts and are awarded raises less frequently. As the Institute for Women's Policy Research has found, women still earn less than men in nearly all occupations.

However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't advocate for yourself to the best of your ability to be compensated for your skills! Asking for a raise might always be uncomfortable, especially as a woman in the workplace, but it can have tremendous benefits, both personally and financially. Here are some tips for asking for a raise with confidence:

1. Do your research. When you approach your boss about a raise, it can often be nerve-wracking to guess the amount you should ask for. Doing research to see what your peers make and what the market rates are will boost your confidence and allow you to make an informed decision about how much money you should ask for. If you can, find out what friends and coworkers with similar positions make. If that's not an option, be sure to check out resources like Glassdoor to research what the going rate is for jobs like yours.

2. Make a list of accomplishments. Why do you deserve a raise? While the answers may seem obvious to you, they may not always be as crystal clear to your boss. Drawing up a list of your professional accomplishments can be a great way both to show your boss why you deserve a raise, as well as to boost your own self-esteem and make the request go as smoothly as possible. Make sure to note any important projects you've worked on, goals you've accomplished, and new duties and responsibilities you've taken on.

3. Practice makes perfect. Asking to be better compensated for your work might always be stressful - but practice can help. Rehearse what you'll say to your employer in the mirror, to your friends, to your dog, until the request becomes second nature. When you actually ask your boss, you'll be confident, detailed, and won't stumble over your words or say the wrong thing. In addition, you should get in the habit of bringing up your compensation with your employers more often, any time you've achieved significant milestones at work. With practice, difficult conversations like these can turn out to be much less worrisome.

Even if your employer decides not to reward your efforts immediately, don't be discouraged. Asking for a raise is in itself an accomplishment, and a testament to your willingness to stick up for yourself and pursue your goals!

Jennifer Silvershein