What if you knew what your co-worker’s salary was?
More importantly, what if they were making $10,000 more, and you had both been at the same company and on the same team, and had very similar job titles? To top it off, your workloads were nearly the same for an entire year.
Would you know how to approach that conversation to ask for a raise?
If you don’t know the right questions to ask — and personally, I didn’t know for the longest time — you may end up not only feeling completely embarrassed, but more than anything, confused.
You don’t get to just walk up to your boss and say, “I’d like a raise because I know that Daniel is making $10,000 more than me and we’re doing the same job.”
Have you had weekly discussions with Daniel regarding what his work load is? If you don’t know what he’s working on, what he’s accomplished or his past experience, you may be in for a surprise.
One of the panelists talked about an instance where she received a job offer for a position similar to one her male friend held at the same organization. She asked him what salary was and she realized she was offered $10,000 less.
Of course, she asked why. They explained his education, background and experience were considered when they extended him an offer. Without skipping a beat, she connected her background to his experience and demonstrated that she was just as qualified as he was. They went through three rounds of questions and she was able to speak confidently about her qualifications and how they matched (or exceeded) his in each round.
What happened? They matched her counter.
I came away from this panel with a great deal of information. There were so many notes I could take as immediate action items — and nearly every topic covered was so powerful you could hear gasps from the crowd about once every 10 minutes.
“We tend to see our employees as competitors, not as allies. Your salary is an opportunity to go ask questions and raise concerns together.” -Adriane Brown
One thing I learned is that you should ask the company the salary range for the job. If you think that offer is too low based on conversations you’ve had with others in the same line of work, but you still really want the job, there are other ways for them to potentially match the compensation you believe you’re worth.
Any questions you aren’t comfortable asking your potential future boss, you should ask HR.
"Go to HR to ask the questions you may not be comfortable asking the hiring manager." -Sianneh Mulbah
Yes, that might be intimidating, but isn’t it worth asking?
You must be able to stand up for yourself and speak to your skills.
Additionally, if you’ve been at a company for an extended period of time and you haven’t had a raise in two years, document what you’ve done in your work that reflects how much you’ve grown in your skill set and in your role. It doesn’t have to be — nor should it be — strictly be about past work and the value you’ve added in your tenure, but rather how you see yourself continuing to develop your skills and add value to the company, your team and/or boss. Remember this part too: the company has chosen to invest in you to make sure you have the tools you need to grow and remain competitive. If you’ve been meeting the expectations of what is required of you, you know what to do.
/written by Rachel Ryan
A Note from MPLS MadWomen
We Aren’t Responsible for Closing the Gap, But Someone’s Got To
One of the most powerful things to come out of the panel were some takeaways on what we can do to help close the gap. Some were personal tips for negotiating and learning how we can ask for what we deserve. We’ve summed up some of these insights in a handy flowchart to help you know when the time is right to ask for more money. Take a look!
We also want you to know that we took Lisa Stratton’s advice to “get involved in the public policy arena to heart.” Earlier this year, we started connecting with legislators and groups like ERA Minnesota looking to do our part to get an Equal Rights Amendment passed in Minnesota. We’ll be rolling out more information on this exciting initiative in the coming months and we’ll definitely be needing your help, so keep an eye out for more on how you can join us in this important work.