How To Ask For a Raise, According To Self-Made Millionaire Barbara Corcoran

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Playing How To Talk To Your Boss About a Raise | Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran
How To Talk To Your Boss About a Raise | Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran Aired September 25, 2019

Knowing how to ask for the salary you deserve is one of the most important skills you can have in the workplace — but it can also feel like an awkward subject to bring up to your boss.

Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran knows a thing or two about business strategy, and she says that the question of "how do I get a raise?" is the one she is asked most often. So, what advice does the "shark" have?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ASK FOR A RAISE?

According to the boss lady, you can — and should — discuss a raise once a year.

"I think an employee should teach [his or] her boss that they're going to hear from you every year for a 'job review,'" Barbara says. "If you get them in the habit of thinking they have to take care of you, they will."

HOW DO I KNOW IF I DESERVE A RAISE?

Before you approach your boss, you should make two different lists. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper or a white board. On the left side, write down what you were hired to do. Meaning: What were your job responsibilities when you started the job?

On the right side, list any additional responsibilities you've taken on since you got the job.

It's likely that you've added more than a few extra tasks to your plate since you were hired, meaning you're now worth more as an employee. 

"It's human nature to take on more, your boss gives you more and before you know it you're doing a different job," she says.

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HOW DO I ASK MY BOSS FOR A RAISE?

"People don't pay you more for coming to work again. They pay you more for doing more for them. So the more you outline your responsibilities and you know, 'Hey, I picked up this, I picked up that,' the more money you can ask for," the shark continues.

She says to make an appointment with your boss a week in advance, asking for "10 minutes of their time sometime next week to review your job." They always say yes, Barbara says.

During the meeting, tell your boss how much you appreciate them, how much you love the job and how much you've enjoyed taking on all these new responsibilities. "With your list in hand, explain all the responsibilities and say, 'I'd like to be paid more for the responsibilities I've since taken on.'"

This is a reasonable ask and because you have concrete examples, it's hard to argue with, she says.

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CAN I SAY HOW MUCH OF A RAISE I WANT?

Barbara explains that with a few rare exceptions, women do not ask for money. "Men ask, women don't ask," she says. She urges women to go in and be specific in stating what they want. For example, say, "I'd like to get between 10 and 15 percent more in my pay. Is that doable?" Then, be quiet and see how your boss responds.

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