Asking for a pay rise is not easy, especially when your own mind is fighting you. Find out how to overcome money fears and negotiate for the pay raise you deserve.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 40% as of 2011. The inflation rate in the country is at 5.8%. These worrying statistics make the job market more unpredictable than ever and money a loaded topic. Sometimes, it can feel like your earning and saving power is largely influenced by factors beyond your control.
The issue is further compounded by the fact that most people never ask for rise. According to a survey by salary.com, only 12% of people attempt to negotiate for a rise, and 44% never even bring up the subject of rises. A different study found that women are even more reluctant to ask for a pay rise. Those who don’t ask for a rise are really missing out, especially given that a recent study found that two thirds of those who ask do actually get a pay hike!
It is clear that money fears, some that we are not even conscious of, are hurting our earning potential. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The truth is, most of these money fears are just in your head. Here are some of the most common money fears sabotaging your earning power and how to overcome them.
Fear That You Don’t Deserve More Money
Most employees tend to undervalue themselves. They secretly feel that they are Imposters who don’t deserve more than they are being paid. They don’t believe they are good enough or that their contribution is valuable enough to be paid more. When you hold this low opinion of your worth to the employer you are unlikely to ask for a rise for fear that it might lead to more difficulties.
Psychologists have a term for this: Imposter syndrome where one is afraid of being exposed as not nearly as talented, intelligent, or as deserving as previously thought. The imposter syndrome is quite common; 70% of people have experienced it at one time or the other in their lives. Lots of high achieving women such as Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, Kate Winslet, Emma Watson, Sheryl Sandberg, and Sonia Sotomayor have admitted to feeling like they will be found out to be frauds.
To overcome the imposter syndrome, embrace compliments given to you by others as genuine assessment of your skills, don’t belittle your achievements, and stop attributing your success to luck or a special favour from your superiors. Keep a journal of your successes and failures so you have a retrospective insight about them. Use the failures as learning opportunities, not to bring down your self-worth. Remember, being wrong or failing at something doesn’t make you a fake. Even the best basketball players miss most of the shots they take.
Fear Of Rejection
When you ask for a rise, there is always the possibility of being told No. Rejection can be hard to swallow, especially because of the embarrassment. For many of us, the fear of rejection goes way back to childhood experiences that we can’t even remember. But we sure remember how much it hurt to get rejected and we have formed this fear to keep us from experiencing that pain again. But while seemingly keeping you safe, the fear of being rejected can hold you back from taking risks in life, and therefore not reaping the benefits.
To overcome this debilitating fear, remind yourself that nothing ventured, nothing gained Also remember that rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success. If the answer to your pay rise request is no, it doesn’t mean that the topic is off the table forever.
Keep the door open for a rise in the future by asking what you can do to earn it, and when you can review your remuneration again.
Fear Of Negotiating
Most people are intimidated and even turned off by the prospect of haggling for money. In a study conducted by salary.com, 22% of respondents reported that they didn’t ask for a rise because they felt that they didn’t have the skills required to negotiate. On the other hand, 18% said that they just found the process inherently unpleasant. However, overcoming the fear of negotiating could lead to greater income, and therefore greater job satisfaction.
To overcome this fear, prepare yourself with arguments in your favour. If you have recently headed a successful project or taken up more responsibilities, make sure that you emphasize on them. Salary rises and performance should be strongly linked, so take the opportunity to talk about one and bridge to the other. Still intimidated? Keep in mind that most employers expect employees to negotiate salary rises. And in fact, negotiating for a rise might make your employer to perceive you more positively because it displays skills that are required in leadership positions.
Fear Of Losing Your Job
With the current rates of unemployment, it is understandable that most people use the excuse that they would rather be underpaid than be jobless. A lot of employees are afraid that asking for a pay rise might seem like dissatisfaction with their job and eventually lead to being fired. But if surveys are anything to go by, people are rarely fired because of politely requesting for a pay rise. The combined cost of recruitment, hiring and training new employees can be quite steep (in terms of money and time) to employers and most would rather hold on to the competent employees they already have. According to Katie Donovan, founder of salary and career consultancy Equal Pay Negotiations, The cost of hiring a new employee ranges from one and a half to three times the salary (of the position). So a 10%, 20% and even 30% rise is often easier and more cost effective. Ó In a 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report Pay Scale found that retaining employees was a top concern among more than the 5,500 business leaders surveyed.