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.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."