How women should ask for a raise if they don’t want to follow Microsoft’s CEO advice of Trust Karma


Someone’s wishing they could go back in time!

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft was unable to answer a question about how women should ask for a raise. Watch the video and read about the fiasco here.

He followed up with a too short response on Twitter which satisfied almost no one.

As a result, I’ve decided to share the advice that I offer to both men and women regarding raises.

Brownies...yawn...boooring.Ask for a raise. You won’t get what you don’t ask for. I want that brownie but no one is going to just get it for me. Well, actually that’s not true. I yap on so much about sugar that someone ALWAYS brings me sweets at conferences. And I like it that way. But let’s ignore that example. HR and benefits packages are very carefully planned according to the companies financial success. Your ‘preferences’ are not part of that plan. Your ‘wishes’ and ‘hopes’ and ‘dreams’ are not part of that plan. You won’t get more staples or more pens if you don’t ask for them. Why is a raise any different. You are in charge of making sure you achieve what you want in life. No. One. Else.

You won’t die by asking for a raise. I get it. It’s uncomfortable. Embarrassing. Humiliating.  “But I’m shy,” you say. Tough *&^%. So am I. The world is designed for extroverts who love gathering together 50 of their closest friends to share their most intimate secretes. Well, this is yet another case where anxious and shy people lose out. But you won’t die asking for a raise. I haven’t yet.

Prove you’re worth it. Whiney babies need not apply. If you can’t back up your request with specific examples of how you’ve improved productivity, increased customer satisfaction, increased sales, increased the quality of processes, take a year and DO those things. Then go ask for a raise.

Your best chance at a huge raise is getting a new job.  Most companies are set up to offer raises according to cost of living increases. If you are a great employee, you might even get a raise of up to 10%. What’s 10% of $50 000?  It’s just $5 000. What could you get by taking your experience and selling your skills to a new company? $20 000 or more. Assuming you are currently employed, if you can be patient, wait for the job that gives the raise you want. My advice – stay in your first job for a couple of years and learn, learn, learn. Get a good raise at your second job and stay for a couple of years. Your third job should be a job you LOVE and you should hope for a nice big raise. Yes, this is ideal and completely guaranteed. But have a plan and you’ll be further ahead.

When a hiring company asks you, “What were you earning in your last position?,” don’t answer that question.  Really, you’re not obligated to answer ANY question they ask. You CAN, however, say something like “I’m looking for a position that offers $50 000.” It doesn’t matter if your last job paid you $30 000 or $50 000 or $70 000. YOU are the person who decides what you are worth and what you are willing to accept. YOU have the power to accept or decline a job based on the salary.

Happy to share more personal opinions about ANY questions along these lines.

Good luck!

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