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15 Common Raise Mistakes For Women

Are you making one of the 15 common raise mistakes that many women make? Take this short quiz and then learn practical steps that can help you avoid or fix these problems.

Common Raise Mistakes

Put a check by all that could describe you:

____ 1) I’m not used to asking for what I want.

____ 2) I tend to talk too much, especially when I’m nervous.

____ 3) People have told me that I can appear to be too aggressive

____ 4) People have told me that I can seem to be too passive.

____ 5) Sometimes I find it difficult to keep my emotions under control.

____ 6) Sometimes I share too much personal information about my problems (money problems, recent divorce, family issues) with my co-workers or boss.

____ 7) I tend to ask for too little.

____ 8) Sometimes I agree to things too quickly. If I would just wait, I might get a better deal.

____ 9) Sometimes I don’t think I’m as good as some of my colleagues because they have more education or have been with the company longer.

____ 10) I worry about what my boss thinks about me and if he or she likes me or not.

____ 11) If I’m not sure about something, I tend to talk myself out of it.

____ 12) I have talked my boss out of doing something nice for me because I didn’t think I really deserved it.

____ 13) Sometimes I think the only way to get more money is to get a new job.

____ 14) I have hinted to my boss that if I don’t get a raise, I might quit.

____ 15) I have used a job offer as a reason I should get a salary increase.

Issues and What To Do

1)      I’m not used to asking for what I want:

Issues

Many women are uncomfortable asking directly for what we want. Instead, we tend to hint or hope or suggest. We believe that if we work hard enough we’ll get rewarded so we don’t need to ask for a raise. Our boss will recognize our work and will automatically give it to us. Unfortunately, our managers are probably very busy and may not recognize our work unless we help them to see it. Also, in companies today, people who make it clear that they want and deserve a raise are more likely to get one.

What To Do

Don’t wait to be noticed. If you want a raise, you need to clearly tell your manager what you’ve done that deserves a raise and ask for it.

If this is difficult for you, you might want to imagine that you’re asking for someone else since we tend to be better at helping others instead of helping ourselves.

2)      I tend to talk too much, especially when I’m nervous:

Issues

If you’re nervous, you may find yourself talking and repeating yourself over and over when you ask for a raise.

What To Do

Recognizing that you may tend to do this is the first step. Carefully plan what you’re going to say in advance. Make it short and to the point. And then STOP. It may be very uncomfortable for you so you may want to practice doing this with someone else first.

Remember, if you don’t stop talking, they can’t respond. Learn to stop and let them talk.

 

3)      People have told me that I can appear to be too aggressive:

Issues

If you normally tend to come off a bit too strong, that could be seen as even more negative if you try to use traditional forceful negotiation tactics to get a raise.

What To Do

One thing that can help is to watch and listen to other assertive women in your company and industry to understand what they do and say. You want to come across as assertive, which means getting your needs met while recognizing the other person’s needs.

Focus on exactly what it is that you say or do that makes other people see you as too aggressive. Consider how you might adjust. For example, are the words you use seen as too strong or do you speak in a too loud voice? Small adjustments could make a big difference.

 

4)      People have told me that I can seem to be too passive:

Issues

You may be seen as too passive if you seem afraid to voice opinions in meetings or take a long time to make decisions. You might also be seen as too passive if you ask a lot of questions instead of telling other people what you think. This could make it difficult to ask for a raise.

What To Do

Just like the answer to the previous question, it can be helpful to look at assertive women in your company or industry to see the differences between what they are doing and what you are doing. Get feedback from others about what specifically you are doing that makes you appear more passive.

Learn to project confidence with your words, tone and body language. A few small changes such as sitting up straight or speaking with a louder voice can appear more assertive.

 

5)      Sometimes I find it difficult to keep my emotions under control:

Issues

If you lose your temper or get upset, it may signal that you’re not in control. This could make it difficult if you feel emotional about asking for a raise.

What To Do

You’re less likely to get emotional if you feel prepared. Practicing what you’re going to say and how to respond with a friend can help you to handle difficult situations in an unemotional way.

If you do feel like you’re going to get emotional, try to leave the situation. You may want to suggest taking a break from the meeting or reschedule for later. Go where you can get emotional or cry if you need to – the bathroom, your car, or any place away from others.

 

6)      Sometimes I share too much personal information about my problems (money problems, recent divorce, family issues) with my co-workers or boss:

Issues

Sharing information about personal problems may be seen as negative even though you might think sharing money problems can help you get a raise. Your manager might be personally sympathetic but he or she may see you as less competent if you can’t handle your problems. For example, if you’re having money issues at home, they might wonder if you can make good decisions or handle a budget at work.

What To Do

Be careful and limit how much personal negative information you share. Remember things that you say about your home situation will affect how other people see you at work.

 

7)      I tend to ask for too little:

Issues

You may be worried that you’ll look greedy or egotistical if you ask for too big a raise. This may be connected to the idea that you shouldn’t have to ask because your manager should just reward you.

What To Do

The problem with asking for too little is that you’ll never get more than you ask for and you may get less. It’s better to ask for a little too much so that even if you get less, you’ll still get something reasonable. Think about how much you’d be comfortable asking for and increase it.

 

8)      Sometimes I agree to things too quickly. If I would just wait, I might get a better deal:

Issues

If your manager offers you just a little raise, you might be so relieved that you quickly accept something even though it’s not enough.

What To Do

Resist the impulse to agree too quickly so you can be done with the conversation. Realize that in a negotiation, it’s okay to go back and forth – you don’t need to accept the first thing your manager says.

If your boss gives you a low offer, thank them, repeat what you want and then STOP talking. See what they have to say. You can do this in a positive way.

 

9)      Sometimes I don’t think I’m as good as some of my colleagues because they have more education or have been with the company longer:

Issues

It’s easy to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have that the company values.

What To Do

Don’t compare yourself negatively to others, there will always be someone who has been there longer or who has more degrees.

Remember, your company has put you in a specific role for a reason and you don’t need a degree or years at the company to make positive differences.

Don’t waste time and energy putting yourself down – use that energy to plan your career.

 

10)  I worry about what my boss thinks about me and if he or she likes me or not:

Issues

You might get concerned if your boss doesn’t give you enough praise or doesn’t clearly seem to like you. That could make you afraid to ask for a raise.

What To Do

Remember, your boss doesn’t need to be your best friend, this is business. Some managers are less friendly than others. As long as your boss does seem to value what you’re doing, don’t worry about being their friend.

Another thing that may happen is that a boss you’ve gotten along with seems distracted and isn’t as friendly as they used to be. It might have nothing to do with you. Maybe they’re under stress about something totally different. You can ask what you can do to help them to determine if it has something to do with you and your work.

If your boss really doesn’t like you though, you need to find out what is going on and fix it or find another manager to work for.

 

11)  If I’m not sure about something, I tend to talk myself out of it:

Issues

Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. We don’t need anyone to say no to us. We come up with all the negative reasons and don’t even bother trying to get a raise.

What To Do

Stop listening to the little negative voice in your head. Instead, list the reasons why you should get a raise. Specifically, what have you done for the company that has made a difference? What value do you bring?

Ignore the voice and go for the raise anyway. If you don’t get it, at least you tried. And if you do get it, that’s a win for you.

 

12)  I have talked my boss out of doing something nice for me because I didn’t think I really deserved it:

Issues

You get the courage to ask for a raise, but then you say things that make it easy for the boss to say no such as, “I know the budget is tight” or “this probably isn’t a good time to ask for a raise”.

What To Do

Don’t say these things before or after you ask for a raise. Instead practice positive things to say so you won’t be tempted to say anything else.

 

13)  Sometimes I think the only way to get more money is to get a new job:

Issues

It seems easier to find a new job that makes more money than ask for a raise.

What To Do

If you really do want a new job, go for it. However, if you like your current job and your current manager, it’s worth asking for a raise. Remember, your manager can’t read your mind. It might be obvious to you that you want a raise, but unless you’ve mentioned it, your boss might think you’re happy with your current salary.

Give your manager the opportunity to give you more money, then decide if you want to get another job.

 

14)  I have hinted to my boss that if I don’t get a raise, I might quit:

Issues

You might think that by hinting that you could quit, it would make your boss realize that you should get a salary increase.

What To Do

Don’t do this. Your boss could see this as a threat and think that you don’t want to stay in your current job. Look for another job if you want, but, don’t use a possible job change as a way to bargain.

 

15)  I have used a job offer as a reason I should get a salary increase:

Issues

You may think that if you get a job offer, you can use it to negotiate a raise at work. However, if you do that, your boss might see you as disloyal.

What To Do

If you want the new job, take the offer and don’t expect a counter offer from your current job.

If you do get a counter offer with a raise, carefully consider it to make sure you really want to stay. Think about what caused you to look for another job. Is getting a salary increase enough to make you want to stay?

 

Additional Resource:

If you’re concerned that some of these mistakes might affect you, let me help you with more practical action steps in an online, on-demand training program, Salary Negotiation for Women: How To Ask For A Raise At Work. It’s only 1 ½ hours (27 short videos) and it can help you to feel more comfortable about asking for a raise.

The course shows how to build the confidence you need to ask for a raise. We’ll cover specific tips about how to look, sound and feel more confident.

We’ll cover how to plan, what to say and how to respond when your boss says yes, maybe, or the dreaded NO. Even if the answer is no, you’ll learn some positive actions to take and how to get a raise in the future.

You’ll get lifetime access to this program on Udemy.com so you can review the material at any time and there is a 30 day money-back guarantee if it’s not useful for you.

Join me now by clicking: Salary Negotiation for Women: How To Ask For A Raise At Work. Let’s begin to help you feel better about asking for a raise.