Asking for a pay rise and getting what you want at work involves more than just asking for the right salary.
Getting what you deserve requires an awareness of what you want and what your goals are, as well as the value you contribute to the business.
The importance of knowing your worth and asking for what you want recently gained attention with the ‘lean in’ movement, kicked off by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead earlier this year.
Offering advice to women on how they can “lean in” to their ambitions and improve their opportunities in the workplace, Sandberg demonstrated how women are holding themselves back by lacking self-confidence, not raising their hands and by pulling back when they should be leaning in.
According to Authentic Empowerment life coach Claire Hall, knowing your worth and getting that self-confidence to ‘lean in’ requires an in-depth understanding of what your goals are.
“Get really clear on what is it that you want. That sounds like such a simple thing but we forget that we need to be really specific,” says Hall, emphasising the importance of distinguishing between reality and your interpretation.
“Our brain is very good at telling us why we’re not good enough. Be comfortable with the discomfort of knowing your worth. It’s really normal to feel uncomfortable when you’re talking about money.
“If you’re uncomfortable asking, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong.”
So if you’re thinking of asking for a pay rise, Hall suggests going through your job description and writing a list of your responsibilities and what you’ve given to the business.
“Get clear on your value and your contribution to the business. That’s about shifting the perspective from ‘me’ to ‘how I serve’,” she says.
“Script out the conversation first and get really familiar on what you want to say and how. Once you do that you have such confidence.”
When you meet with your manager to discuss your salary, you also need to be prepared to hear the word ‘no’.
While our brain likes fairness, Hall says you should keep in mind that if your request is rejected, it’s not about you or your self-worth.
“It’s normal to fear hearing ‘no’. That’s what we sometimes feel worried about,” she says.
“We need to be prepared to hear the word ‘no’ and if we do, what back up plan do you have in place? That might be asking permission to approach your manager in three months’ time or an opportunity to look at how things could be different.”