The Introvert’s Guide: How to Ask for a Raise

By Lisa Petrilli | Small Business

The Introvert’s Guide: How to Ask for a Raise image shaking hands getting raiseThe Introvert’s Guide: How to Ask for a RaiseThis is something I am wishing I had addressed in my eBook, The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership!

As I mentioned two years ago in, “5 Myths About Introversion from Harvard Business Review,” based on my Harvard Business Review blog post, being introverted is not the same as being shy. So, while shyness would not be a hindrance for an introvert in asking for a raise, a hesitation to move to action just might be.

You see, since introverts derive their energy from their inner world of ideas and images, and a clear vision of where they are headed, we tend to gravitate to that inner world and, often without consciously realizing it, try to spend as much time there as possible. As a result, we may sometimes be reluctant to move to the outer world of bold action, because it is where we are less comfortable and quickly become drained. However, when it comes to asking for a raise, it’s imperative that we be our own advocate. We have to get out of our comfort zone and ask for what we want!

1. I encourage anyone who is doing exceptional work and is not being paid at a level commensurate with others at similar organizational levels and skill sets in their industry, as well as those who are exceeding the standards in their industry and company and creating significant profits for their company, to ask for a raise. For some individuals this may seem to be a daunting task.

When I am speaking to audiences I often share that when I was on dialysis and my family members had all been ruled out as kidney donors, I had to ask people whom I didn’t know to consider giving me a kidney. My donor ended up being a woman from my church whom I had never met. I was elated to discover she was actually excited to be given the opportunity to help someone like me. I had to ask in order to receive. I promise it’s a lot easier to ask for a raise than to ask for a kidney, and it’s much easier for your boss to say yes to a raise!

The key message here: take the initiative to get what you want and believe you have earned. In today’s market, you may not get it unless you ask.

2. The best time to ask is during your in-person annual or semi-annual review when the conversation is specifically dedicated to you and to your performance.

3. You should prepare materials supporting your outstanding performance and any research you can gather showing that you are not being paid at a level commensurate with others in your industry at similar levels in their organization, and with similar skill sets and educational backgrounds. Know the salary range for your role given your educational level, years of experience and skill set. Additionally, calculate how much you contributed to the bottom line of your company through your direct actions, if possible.

4. The aforementioned research will help you determine what the appropriate amount is for you to be targeting. I recommend employees ask for a bit more than they are targeting to give the employer some negotiating room. If you persuade your boss that a raise is appropriate, they will very likely want to do what they can to support you, but may not be able to give you everything you ask for. Be aware of this going in and adjust your strategy accordingly.

5. There is no “correct” phrasing when asking for a raise; it’s much better to speak from the heart. Focus on letting your boss know that you genuinely enjoy your job and working for the company, and that you respect them and appreciate the opportunity to learn from them. Share the research you’ve put together about salaries and the supporting documentation regarding your performance. And then ask for what you want in a courteous and confident way, knowing that you are worthy of what you ask for.

I can’t stress how essential it is that you believe in your worthiness for this raise. The Essence of Worthiness is different from arrogance or a sense of entitlement. When you know you are worthy, you carry yourself with a confident stature and a sense of knowing that you are being true to yourself.

6. And then, as my business partner Vanda Teixeira says in To Be A Woman: A Signature Book, “Give the world permission to unfold its divine magic into your life; give yourself permission to receive it.”


Photo of Shaking Hands by Arif Sheikh2011

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