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Ask for what you want

Mar 05, 2017

 If you didn’t get the raise or bonus you were expecting, rather than making up a story in your head that it must have something to do with how you’re valued, respected, or perceived and possibly losing sleep over it, do something about it.

But many of us don’t want to rock the boat when we’re in this situation.

However, do you owe it to yourself to get the facts rather than making up a story about yourself?

“The squeaky wheel gets the oil.“  Don’t wait for the information to be given to you, rather ask for it.  The same applies to asking for a raise or a promotion.

Using my own experience in law firms and referring to Dr. Lois Frankel in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, here’s how to go about it:

  • Prepare in advance.  Be able to answer the questions:
  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • Be direct and straightforward when asking.
  • Accompany each request with two or three objective and valid reasons why you should be given what you’re asking for.
  • Quantify anything that supports your request.  For instance, if you’re looking for a raise, the value in dollar terms of what you brought in to the organization through your work.  Be specific and have a print out of the figures and how you arrived at them.  Don’t get bogged down in detail.
  • If you’re looking for the reasons why something is the way it is, tie it to your desire to understand what the organisation values and places emphasis on.
  • Rehearse out loud in advance.  Do this in front of the mirror so you become very comfortable with hearing your voice when you say the words and you sound confident (not aggressive) when you ask.
  • Be careful about the time you decide to ask for what it is you want.  After a layoff, it would not be a good idea to ask for a raise or why you didn’t get one.  When you’ve done a particularly good piece of work or your star is shining for some other reason, that would be a good time to ask.  Timing is everything.
  • For realistic suggestions about how to overcome common negotiation problems experienced by women, read Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success, by Deborah Kolb, Judith Williams, and Carol Frohlinger.

Live Your Life.  Make Your Difference.


Fear of failure is something that many of us experience. To learn how to let it go, get my Cheat Sheet here.

Each person's experience in life and at work is different, I'd love to hear about yours. Please leave me a comment below!



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