This was originally posted in the Salesforce Engineering Blog
“We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back” – Sheryl Sandberg
Welcome to this week’s edition of salesforce.com’s Women in Tech Wednesday roundup! #SFWITWednesday
Have you ever wondered if women are getting paid less than men? Are you just waiting to ask for a raise you deserve because you want to avoid the pressure of asking for it, or facing the risk of rejection? Are women missing out on opportunities because they just don’t ask? While we are amidst conversations about gender pay gap and the lack of female leadership, women’s advocates and leaders are missing a simple piece of advice. It’s not just about asking for it, it’s the conversation that follows that actually matters.
What are my options?
When I started attending Meetups and networking events, I’d discuss the topic of raises and promotions with successful women and found there were two different opinions. While some said they received their raise or promotion when they deserved it and never had to ask, others advised that one should. It was only after I personally decided to muster up the courage to ask for a promotion that it finally dawned on me… Asking for a promotion is just another way to ask for feedback! When you say, “What can I do to get to the next level?” You are simply asking, “How can I improve?” Being successful is an iterative process – continuous improvement is necessary.
Do your homework
When I first brought up the promotion conversation, it was not without doing my own research first. I asked for my company’s job descriptions and self-assessed where I fit. I saw it as an opportunity to ask any questions I had of how to get to the next level. If my request for a promotion had been turned down, at least I learned how I was being perceived. The senior women I polled said they never asked for a promotion because they were happy with the speed at which their career was progressing. I believe they were having open conversations about how they were performing without specifically asking for a promotion, which can lead to the same positive outcome.
Say it like you mean it
When getting ready to have the conversation with your boss, you should compile a list of your accomplishments. This serves more than one purpose. Not only will it help paint the picture for your manager, it will also boost your confidence whenever you experience the ‘Impostor Syndrome‘ or are going through a bad day! If you have the confidence and are convinced you are ready for the next level, you’ll be more convincing to your manager as well. Don’t rush it and don’t give up! Asking for a raise or promotion may not be boiled down to one short conversation.