Intelligent advice for building the confidence to ask for a pay riseFeb 04, 2024
One of the biggest things that I see holds women back from asking for a pay rise is lack of confidence. They don’t believe in themselves, their skills and experiences, and their worth to ask for what they truly know they deserve. Sometimes you may have been burned by past experiences where you’ve tried to ask for a pay rise and failed (been there, done that), perhaps getting embarrassed or bullied or walked over in the conversation such that you never want to try again. In other cases, you might actually be doing higher duties or stepping up in a role and have been for months, but your pay never went up and you don’t know how to broach the subject. And in other cases, you might just feel like you deserve a pay rise.
Regardless of why you want a pay rise, you need to have the courage to ask. And that’s why building confidence in a practical way is so important.
Here’s my best intelligent advice for building the confidence to ask for a pay rise.
1. Calculate the costs
In my 5-step Career Change Formula which I go through in more detail on my free Underpaid and Overlooked Workshop that kicked off today (register your free spot here), the first step is Calculate the Costs and the costs are:
Obviously there's a Financial cost to you doing the work but not getting the remuneration or the compensation. However, it might be more to do with the Personal side or the Spiritual side about what that means to you and how that makes you feel and how that emotionally affects you. Because you might feel you are being disrespected, undervalued, overworked, not being compensated, they don't care about you or your wellbeing. So what does that mean to you? And often those are the things that are actually more painful than the financial side.
The financial side is your symbolic marker of those other things. When you earn more and get paid more, it's a symbolic marker of, “Okay cool, they respect me, they value me, they appreciate the work that I do. They see the value that I bring to the table.” We think about our money or our income/salary/day rate as simply a symbolic marker of self-worth, rightly or wrongly. It's just the society that we're in. I'm not saying that that is your self-worth, I'm just saying that symbolically that's what we link together. So you've got to calculate the cost. You've got to have a reason to want to have the good fight and ask the question. Because if there's not enough skin in the game for you, if there's not enough pain for you, why would you put yourself on the line?
You have to really look at what it’s actually costing you deep down. And yes, the financial is one aspect, but there's a few other aspects. I’m going through this in more detail in my Underpaid and Overlooked Workshop, so definitely recommend that you register your free spot and join us.
2. Remember your worth
The next step of my 5-step Career Change Formula is Remembering your Worth. And that's where you go over positive feedback from the past. That's where you look at all your skills and experiences. That's where you reflect on where you were two years ago and how much you've shifted and changed, where you were seven years ago and how much you've shifted and changed, etc. Where you really boost yourself up and really pump yourself up internally.
Calculating the Cost and Remember Your Worth are the mirror opposites of each other, but they both need to work together, almost like yin and yang, to be able to boost your confidence to go for the pay rise or to ask the question. The whole 5-step Career Change Formula has three other steps after it. But those are the two foundation ones where you’re getting clear on what it's costing you and then remembering the value that you truly bring to the table as your foundation to go and have the conversation in that.
3. Start with a script
As part of my free Underpaid and Overlooked Workshop, you’ll also get a script for a pay rise. You can actually go and use that script as inspiration of how to word and message your request. It gives you a conversation guide starting point for you to actually go and have the discussion. And I’ve actually had Leading Successful Change students use that script to successfully get a pay rise!
4. Surround yourself with a positive community
Another thing that you can absolutely do to boost your confidence is to surround yourself with a positive community of like-minded, ambitious, motivated and courageous women. My Leading Successful Change community is a fantastic example of this because we cheer each other on, celebrate our wins, hold space for each other when we face challenges, and talk through practical ideas and advice on our Monthly Coaching Calls. If you’re in my LSC program, joining the calls and participating in the community is a great way to easily absorb energy boosts and confidence without extra effort or work, and that’s why a lot of students keep coming back to calls month after month.
5. Focus on your goals and lifestyle
Another practical tip is to do goal setting and really get connected to what you want for your career and for your life. When you revisit calculating the costs and realise not getting the pay rise is preventing you from being able to live the life and achieve the goal that you actually want, it can be a great boost of confidence and commitment to have the conversation.
6. Prime yourself in advance
Lastly, you can absolutely prime yourself and anchor your confidence. I share several tools in the Bonus Module “Presenting Like a Pro” in my Leading Successful Change program. Simple but scientifically-proven practices like using inspirational music (I like “When You Believe” from the 90s sung by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey), doing power poses, or listening to empowering meditations like my free “Confidence to Ask for a Pay Rise” meditation on Insight Timer, take just a few minutes but can transform your energy from the inside out to prepare and prime you for a pay rise conversation. The important thing is to do this stuff every day. Doing these things regularly and building these anchors up for yourself is critical because confidence doesn't just happen. You can feel great in a moment, but that’s just a spark of motivation then it’s over. Real confidence builds over time, it’s almost a habit by switching your mindset and changing the way that you think about yourself and your self-worth over time and building that foundation.
This is why I've spent the last 15 years actively building my confidence. Now it's second nature to me, but because I'm actually naturally an introvert I had to really work hard at the beginning to build that confidence up. I just kept practising it and practising at it and used those tools that work for me and my personality. So try these different ideas out and do some things that are more mindset and emotional, like calculating the costs and remembering your worth. And then do some real practical stuff, like goal setting or priming. And just start doing it now. Do it well before you plan to have the conversation because you've already got the idea and the inkling in your head. There’s so many tools out there and it's just about finding what works for you and what you enjoy doing.
We’re right in the middle of my free Underpaid and Overlooked Workshop, with our free exclusive “Earn Your Worth” session with live Q&A this Thursday 8 February. You have to be registered to get the Zoom calendar invite and be sure you’ve watched the Underpaid and Overlooked Video before our live call.
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