In a perfect world, your employer would actively take notice of all your accomplishments and how you have helped the company to succeed and approach you with an opportunity for a raise. Unfortunately, that is rarely how things play out, even if you are deserving of one. Likewise, don’t expect to get a raise just because you ask for it. Employers don’t give raises because they are nice or because they like you. Business is business and your employer will need to see why it makes sense and why you deserve a raise.
So, how do you best position yourself for a raise and get what you ask for? Here is some advice, straight from someone who has run a business for 15+ years, on how to get the raise you deserve!
1. Pave the Way for Yourself
Before you even ask for a raise, you want to ensure that you have put yourself in the best position to get one. Express to your employer or supervisor that you have your sights set on growth within the company and ask to meet with them to discuss their recommendations and expectations. That way, you are clear on what you should be working towards and have time to implement their feedback. When the time comes to ask for a raise, you can reflect upon your previous discussions and have expectations to measure yourself against. Be sure to arm yourself with an overview of how you have been an asset to the company, some of your key accomplishments, goals that you are striving for, and reassert where you’d like to see yourself within the company in the future.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Successes
You want to do as much as you can to have your employer already know you are deserving of a raise, rather than having to build a case for yourself from scratch. As such, don’t be afraid to share your successes and achievements along the way, prior to you proposing a raise. That way they already know you are a shining star and exceeding the expectations of your role.
3. Do Your Research
It is also important to make sure that your salary expectations are reasonable. Sites like Payscale and LinkedIn can provide valuable information about salary ranges for your role in your geographical area. Make sure to do your research when coming up with the salary you propose and let your employer know that you have done such research so that they know you haven’t just come up with a number out of thin air.
4. Time the Conversation Wisely
If your company has been laying people off, you saw a poor quarterly report, or there is noticeable tension in the air about expenditures, now is not the best time to be asking for more money. Whether you deserve it is one thing, but whether the company can comfortably afford to pay you more is another. Time your asking for a raise around a more successful or profitable time.
5. Focus on the Positives
Avoid letting the conversation start with “I haven’t had a raise since…” or “I’m doing the work of two people…” While these may be true, you want to avoid focusing on the negatives or coming across as though you are complaining. Likewise, don’t make threats or ultimatums unless you are prepared to follow through with them. Instead, keep the conversation focused on your strengths, why you are an asset to the company, and why your employer should continue to invest in you.
Many people are intimidated by asking for a raise, and so they never end up having that conversation with their employer. But like I said, your employer will rarely approach you to give you more money! The worst that can happen is they deny giving you a raise. Then it will be up to you to decide what to do next. Depending on their reasoning, you can either decide to explore career opportunities elsewhere or you’ll leave the meeting armed with feedback and information on how to accelerate your growth within the company.
We're here. We're queer. Now that it's pride month, it feels like every store and corporation is flooding us with their best rainbow merchandise, capitalizing on a $917 billion dollar consumer market.
The rainbow flags are out. The mannequins are sporting pride tees. And corporate newsletters are full of interviews showcasing all their queer employees ("Look, we have a gay person here! We GET you!").
To me, this is blatant evidence that the future is queer.
These corporations follow the money, and with 20% of millennials and 31% of Gen Z openly identifying as queer, these businesses have to capitalize on the growing purchasing power of LGBTQIA+ consumers. With a recorded market size of $917 billion dollars in 2016, and a growing interest in socially conscious brands among young consumers, this is clearly a market opportunity that corporations cannot afford to ignore.
However, I'm always surprised by how little attention investors and the entrepreneurial community devotes to this undeniable trend, despite being constantly inundated with overwhelming statistics proving the importance of diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship. Only 2.2% of venture capital funding went to women in 2018, less than .1% of funding has been allocated to black women since 2009, and only about 1% of venture-backed companies have a black founder or Latinx founder. These statistics are over-quoted but underacted upon.
This gender and diversity inequality significantly hinders economic growth, since 85% of all consumer purchases are controlled by women, and startups with higher ethnic diversity tend to produce financial returns above their industry norm.
The data is clearly leading to one direction: investing in women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, veterans, immigrants, and other minority groups in entrepreneurship leads to higher revenue and better business results.
As data-driven and forward-thinking as this industry claims to be, we haven't caught up to the queer founders, particularly queer women, who are rethinking the future. These founders understand and speak to a generation of increasing numbers of LGBTQIA+ people whose market share will only continue to grow exponentially. VCs and investors are already behind the curve.
SoGal Foundation, a non-profit on a mission to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship, is helping bridge this divide between queer women founders and investors with the launch of applications for the second annual Global Pitch Competition for diverse entrepreneurs. Hosted in 25+ cities across five continents, and culminating in a final global pitch competition and 3-day immersive educational bootcamp in Silicon Valley, this is the first and only globally-focused pitch opportunity for diverse entrepreneurs.
Startups that are pre-Series A (raised less than $3M) with at least one woman or diverse founder, apply here to pitch! The top teams selected from each regional round will join SoGal's final global pitch competition and bootcamp in Silicon Valley for guaranteed face time with dozens of top Silicon Valley investors, curated educational programming, unparalleled 1:1 mentorship, press exposure, and a chance to win investment capital.
Women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ founders: what's the best way to kick off pride? Apply to pitch!
Regional pitch rounds will be held August-November 2019; final pitch competition in Silicon Valley in February 2020. Details and additional cities to be announced.
SoGal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the largest global platform for diverse founders and funders in 40+ chapters across 5 continents; our mission is to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship. SoGal Foundation's global startup competition represents the first and largest opportunity for women and diverse entrepreneurs and investors to connect worldwide. Join the SoGal community & follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.