A smart ask success story
Annette Saldana is a mindset and communication coach for clients navigating the business world. Her Smart Ask Success series relives the successes her clients were able to achieve by working with Annette to make a smart ask: a request for a higher salary, promotion, or raise that changed the narrative and allowed for her client to advance her career and pay. By sharing these stories, Annette hopes to give an example for readers who are interested in achieving the same types of success.
I first heard Fiona’s story six months ago over drinks at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, a favorite spot down the street from me. Fiona was miserable in her job, a small events company that had hired her for a base salary of $30k (and $15k in sales commission that never materialized).
We’ve all been there — and my heart immediately went out to her. So after we Lyfted home, I sent her two of my most practical and valuable guides: “3 Easy Steps to Get What You Want With Confidence and Grace” and “Mo’Money Honey — A Scripts, Tips, and Mindset Shift Toolkit”
Imagine my surprise and delight when she walked into my birthday party four months later with her good news: She had just started a new job that paid $48k. Not only that, she told me, she was now in a great working environment with caring mentors and a clear path to promotion.
Here’s how it all went down: Like so many Millennials, Fiona had graduated into the Great Recession and was truly grateful to have any job at all. But after two grueling years of no raises, no promotions, and no appreciation, Fiona was finally ready to get outside of her comfort zone and try my method to ask for a raise.
The work entailed a lot of writing and self-introspection about what Fiona wanted and what she was willing to accept. It also included using my proven scripts and following steps to boost her confidence and to take her through the process, from requesting a meeting to sitting down with her boss and asking for a bump.
Asking is not that complicated, honest. You really can learn the secret in these 3 Easy Steps:
1. Think big and carry a big intent. How many times have you shut down your inner voice, thinking it’s selfish? I know — I know. You feel guilty, you ignore it, and you don’t want to appear greedy, so you justify it by telling yourself you have enough.
2. Write down what you want and what’s in it for them. After you’ve thought really big, your next step is to write down exactly what you want. You may think you don’t have time to do this — you’re already overwhelmed with everything on your plate. But writing it down will give you clarity and some other key things that will give you power and confidence when you ask.
3. Ask joyfully. ASKING is the big win. Even if you don’t get everything you want, you know you’re going to hear “YES” more than you’re hearing it now, when you’re not asking.
Maybe you’re thinking this all sounds a little too easy, just a little too good to be true. Or maybe you’re thinking Fiona’s the exception and you should just keep your head down, work harder and smarter, and eventually you’ll be recognized and rewarded for your efforts. You can do that, sure.
The fact is Fiona is the exception. Most women don’t ask. And that’s a shame because studies show that women who ask for what they want and negotiate earn $1 million more over their careers than those who don’t.
See, Fiona was fed up enough that she was willing to try anything. So using my guides, she set up a meeting to ask for a raise, sat down with her boss, and made the request, which bombed big-time. Her boss told her not only would she not get a raise but there would be no promotion — EVER — and he wanted her to jump through even more hoops just to get her job done.
The good news: because of the work she did to make her ask for a raise, Emily then knew what she wanted, and was ready to walk and look for a new job.
Within a couple of months, she had three solid interviews lined up and was offered the job she wanted (at $3k over her minimum goal of $45k, incidentally). But most importantly, because she mastered 3 Easy Steps, Fiona is now able to use the same skills to ask for what she wants over and over again.
Old mindset: “I’ll take anything because I need a job.”
Mindset shift: “The biggest confidence booster 3 Easy Steps + Mo’Money Honey toolkit gave me was that asking for a raise does not put you at the mercy of someone else. Taking that dynamic out of the conversation — I need your permission to have this — I learned I could go somewhere else to ask for what I needed instead of staying in the same place and begging. And I learned that if I had to beg and plead, then I didn’t belong there. Refusing to settle is a really big change to my professional life and career path. I learned to be fearless and bold and to stretch myself to get what I want.”
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Want to hear more? Listen to my free podcast: Expedition to the 7 Lands of Asking.