Negotiating your worth

How to ask for the salary you deserve

As we head into the new year, it’s only fitting that you start thinking of your new year’s resolutions. Whether it’s a new fitness routine or working towards a promotion, the number one question I get asked is how to negotiate for a better salary...aka the raise! Here you’ll find the basics you need to go in a kickass employee and leave as a #badassbosslady.

1. Do your research

Before you can even begin to ask for a raise, you must know what your role and experience is worth in your industry. Websites like and will give you salary ranges by industry, role and location. Fine a comparable role then figure out what things you’ve done above and beyond your hired job duties. Next, create a list and determine if your current salary falls into the low, middle or high end of your range. Compare your job duties with job descriptions of the same title across the industry. Do you feel like you do all the duties of a marketing associate and more? Or, are you struggling to meet ¾ of the job requirements for all of the Sales Director jobs you see listed?  All of this will lead you to the right range within you should “rank” yourself within your field. It might seem clinical and impersonal, but all of these factors are important to take into account because if your employer tries to negotiate, after all they are looking at these same ranges. Furthermore, even if you have the best relationship with your boss, they still have to get any financial raised signed off by an HR or Accounting department.  These people probably don’t know you personally so the more research you have in your favor, the easier of a case you (and your boss) can make for that raise. Go into your negotiation with the numbers, job descriptions, and your list of duties and accomplishments above and beyond the original scope of your work and you’ll be ready to talk.

2. It never hurts to ask as long as you do so respectfully

You’ve done the research, and you’ve come up with the number. “I’m going to ask for a 10% raise based on my accomplishments, years of experience, and expertise. But”….. STOP!  This is where you (and really we, AKA woman,) tend to short change ourselves.  We always tell ourselves that maybe we haven’t been at the company long enough, maybe we are too cocky, maybe we are ungrateful. There shouldn’t be a “but” if you’ve done the research. Stop talking yourself out of your self worth. Once you’ve found a number that you believe in, then you are WORTH the raise. The numbers don’t lie and research tells us that women are more likely to give into imposter syndrome and value themselves significantly less than men. Are you a minority woman? You are at even greater risk of backing out of your worth. The best advice I was ever given is that “it never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is no”.  Now of course, my common sense caveat to this is that you must do so professionally and respectfully.  If you go in armed with the facts, numbers and professional demeanor, the worst your supervisor can say to you is “no, we can’t give you a raise.” You hold your head high, and you move on.

3. Accept no graciously but try, try again

If the worst happens, and they say no, accept it with grace and a good attitude but stick to your values. My go to line here is “thank you for the consideration and can I ask that we revisit this in X months?”  Depending on their reasons for saying no, consider how long you will give it before you revisit.  If they have concerns with your performance, 6 - 12 months is standard. If they agree with your performance but just don’t have the budget, then perhaps revisit in the next cycle, often 3 - 6 months if you are on a quarterly system.  Either way, don’t leave the room until you’ve thanked them for their time but made it clear you’d like to revisit after some appropriate time as passed. This shows your boss that you are not only serious about the raise, but committed to the company and plan to keep working hard, as long as they keep their mind open to evaluating your worth.

4. Ask for something besides money

Negotiating salary for woman

This is something that most people forget to do. Of course you want more cold hard cash. But sometimes, it’s really about being recognized for your work or just needing a break. If your management tells you that don’t have the budget or that your timing doesn’t work with the company, consider asking for something outside of your base salary. Maybe you ask for a one time bonus if your increased duties have an expiration date. Alternatively, maybe you’ve burned the midnight oil too much lately and could just use an extra few days of PTO a year.  Oftentimes it’s easier for a manager to get approval on something other than just salary so if they give you a reason that isn’t about performance, then ask what other options you may have in the meantime.

5. Believe them when they show you who they are

Last but not least, it’s not always going to be an easy or even respectful conversation. You can go in prepared with the facts, the numbers and the right attitude and still get knocked down. In fact, you may get laughed at or berated for even thinking about asking for more money. If this happens I advise that you start to think hard about the type of manager and company you work for. If you’ve demonstrated hard work and good employee ethics throughout your tenure, you deserve at least the respect of your manager’s time to have a conversation about compensation. Any respectable manager will listen, consider, and then either grant or deny your ask. If somehow this conversation goes south, start making one last list… of future employment opportunities. Because you are worth it!

Make the Rest Up creates content and curates beauty and lifestyle products with a mission to change the perception of beauty through philanthropy and empowerment. We focus on the fun and confidence that makeup and beauty provides, while giving back to causes at the core of women's needs, such as literacy and entrepreneurship.  10% of all our sales are donated to various charities supporting our favorite charities of these causes.