Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Asking for a raise: What's holding you back?

According to the National Women’s Law Center, the average American woman will be paid nearly $419,000 less than a man over her 40-year career. Yet many women are hesitant to ask for a raise.

Below are some common fears that could be stifling your desire to earn more.

Many worry that they won’t get the pay bump they requested. But one survey found 75 percent of women who asked for a raise received one.

Another fear is not knowing how much to ask for. Websites like Payscale,, and Glassdoor can help you research how much your position pays.

Some women worry that they might be perceived as ungrateful. To squash this concern, make a list of all your responsibilities, achievements, and extra tasks you would be willing to take on. Listing your contributions on paper can help you and your boss actually see your worth.

Some other tips: focus on why you deserve a raise, not why you need it.

Practice your pitch before confronting your supervisor.

Ask for feedback. If your boss does turn you down, see what you can do to make him or her reconsider down the road.

Whenever possible, try to present your boss with specific measurable data and statistics on how you’ve contributed to the company. For instance, instead of saying you doubled monthly sales, say you “grew monthly sales by 100 percent and that’s a difference of $50,000.” 

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