Did you know that our culture reacts to headlines?! Well, what happens when those headlines or stories are in complete contradiction? A good example the recent contradicting research that has been put out in regards to women asking for, or not asking for, raises. Different research is finding different answers. Some studies are showing that women don't ask for raises because they assume they won't get them - and so they aren't getting them. The newest studies are saying that women do ask for raises, and they are told no while their male counterparts are told yes! While conflicting studies are not uncommon with due the number of variables at play, it can leave readers confused and with many conflicting answers. Should I ask for the raise or not?
After reading articles reporting different results, I realized that I was silently nodding along to both. I was agreeing with the findings... on both! How could this be? I think because I was able to reflect back on decisions I have and have not made in my career and being able to identify with both the women that ask for raises against all odds and also the women that figured “why bother?”. The reason I was able to identify with both? Routine.
Routine can be a tricky thing. It can provide us with comfort, predictability, and financial security involving work but it can also prevent us from doing things out of fear of the unknown, how hard it is to really evaluate our current life, and possibly not even knowing there is an unknown. By being unaware of an unknown, I mean women have never seen a woman in the organization receive the pay, position, or power so it truly doesn’t equate. As the saying goes, there is power in representation.
So, what would I recommend to women considering asking for a raise, change in position, or any other workplace change? Evaluate your routine. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I willing to change some habits? Work longer? Perform different tasks? Or does current position work best in my life?
2. Do I want to push myself? Push myself out of my comfort zone to ask for the raise? Push myself out of my comfort zone to learn new tasks in a different job?
3. What is the worst that can happen? While I would love to say that the worst thing is “no”, I am realistic about workplace politics. Can you handle the worst that can happen? It is different in every organization and with every individual.
4. Am I happy in my current routine or am I content?
5. Do I truly know how much I am worth or am I just basing salary off of company history?
These are not easy questions, and many of them have never been asked to us so we have to dig deep for the answers. It takes time and self-reflection to get some of the answers, as everyone’s routines are different and vary in importance. Bouncing ideas off of a friend, therapist, partner, or coach can help work through thoughts.
Did you know that Bauman Consulting Group offers coaching services? Our founder, Ashley Bauman, is a Board Certified Coach who specializes in working with women in the workplace. Ashley will work with you to create a customized approach to help you accomplish your goals - or even figure out what those goals are if you're unsure yourself! Each focused session offers the participant collaborative growth opportunities to meet each client's unique needs. Coaching is offered in monthly, quarterly, and annual agreements via web-based conference or teleconference with additional email communication between sessions. Schedule a complementary 30 minute consultation here and see how coaching can work for you!