• sarah07003

Asking for a Raise


photo credit: Alexander Mils on Pexels


In the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog about coaching yourself through fear:


https://www.sarahebrown.com/post/coaching-yourself-through-and-beyond-fear


Just recently, I was asked by a corporate client to specifically address self-coaching tools for dealing with compensation issues—asking for a raise or just clearing up assumptions associated with compensation.


Without thinking too much about it, I instinctively started by addressing fears. My premise was that you cannot take effective action in this space if you are also dealing with underlying fears.


So I revisited the blog I wrote about fears and was surprised that I had used “asking for a raise” as the example in that earlier blog.


It is that time of year when we often focus on the annual performance review and this often raises questions:


1. Is my compensation appropriate for my level and performance?

2. What do I need to do to increase my compensation?



The first question is just information gathering. But the thought of asking that question of anyone often brings up fears, which I previously defined as Fantasized Events Appearing Real:


1. What if I find out I am being paid below average?

2. What will someone think of me if I ask?

3. What if ______________. (you fill in your own fear here)



What are those fantasized events that underly the what if questions? They are not real—at least not now. Whatever you “feel” as you contemplate this is ok. As I said the beginning of the year, what we resist, persists. But the fear does not need to control us. We can clarify assumptions and then deal with something a little closer to reality. And we can take all the action we can to ensure our compensation is all it can be.


Getting into action is often the best way to tackle fear. So think about what assumptions you are holding that you might clear up now and who can help you clear those up. Do you need to have a conversation with your boss or your HR Business Partner? Do you need information on how you can increase your compensation?


Just taking the first step can be so empowering.