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Tailoring Your Approach to Asking for a Raise Based on Your Boss's Personality

asking boss for a raise

You aren't going to believe these statistics:


  1. In the United States, women, on average, earn approximately 82 cents for every dollar earned by men (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).

  2. The pay gap persists across various industries and education levels, highlighting systemic issues in compensation structures (Institute for Women's Policy Research, 2021).

  3. Addressing the gender pay gap is not only a matter of fairness but also contributes to increased productivity and a more inclusive work environment, which is good for everybody. (World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report, 2020). 


Women are making greater career strides than ever, but are still faced with a gender wage gap that’s affecting their retirement savings. Given that women are two times more likely to outlive men and live five years longer, it’s important to not only work hard but to earn what you’re worth by asking for a salary bump.

The strategy for doing so requires more than just a well-documented list of achievements. It demands a keen understanding of your boss's personality along with language tailored to their management style. 


Feeling like you'd rather run in the other direction instead of having this conversation? It's ok if you are a little apprehensive! I've found that it helps to understand your boss's personality and utilize that as a way to make both parties comfortable. I’ll explore how to empower yourself by effectively asking for the raise you deserve.


Asking for a Raise Based on Your Boss’s Personality Type 


Whether your boss is a numbers nerd, is friendly and open, supportive or direct, I’ve got the goods to get you primed to ask for you are worth.


The Analytical Boss


Approach: Data speaks louder than words for the analytical boss. Before making your case, gather concrete evidence of your contributions. Present metrics, achievements, and any positive impact you've had on the company's bottom line. Frame your request as an investment in the company's success.


Conversation Starter: "I've compiled a comprehensive report showcasing how my initiatives have positively impacted our bottom line. I believe a salary adjustment is not only justified but an investment in the continued success of our team."


The Approachable Boss


Approach: An open and communicative boss puts a high value on managing an effective team, so will appreciate a candid conversation with you. Schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your performance, emphasizing your dedication and passion for the job and the team. Share specific examples of your achievements and how they align with the company’s and team’s goals.


Conversation Starter: "I value our open communication, and I wanted to discuss my recent accomplishments and how they align with our team's goals. I'm excited about contributing more and would like to discuss a corresponding adjustment in my compensation."


The Supportive Boss


Approach: If your boss is supportive and clearly values personal connections, focus on building a more intimate rapport. Discuss your career goals and express your commitment to the company. Emphasize how a salary increase will not only benefit your career and life but will contribute to your continued dedication and motivation.


Conversation Starter: "I've been reflecting on my career goals and the value I bring to the team. Your support has been crucial, and I'm eager to continue making meaningful contributions. A salary increase would greatly motivate me to strive for even greater success with you and our team."


The Direct Boss


Approach: A direct boss appreciates straightforwardness. Clearly state your request, providing a concise summary of your accomplishments and the value you bring to the team. Be prepared to discuss your market research and how your current salary compares to industry standards. Make sure to keep your conversation succinct.


Conversation Starter: "I've achieved several key milestones, and based on my research, my current salary is below industry standards. I'm seeking a raise to align my compensation with my contributions and market value."


The Reserved Boss


Approach: For a reserved boss, it's essential to have respect and professionalism. Present your case in a written format, allowing them time to review and process the information. Follow up with a meeting to address any questions or concerns they may have.

Conversation Starter: "I've prepared a detailed summary of my accomplishments and the added value I've brought to the team. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my performance and potential adjustments to my compensation based on the attached write-up at your convenience."

Keeping Track of Your Accomplishments Makes it Easier to Ask for a Raise


A great habit to develop to keep track of the value you bring to the table is to write down, take a screenshot of or print out your professional accomplishments in real time. Not only can this become a feel-good file to review when you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, but you can refer to it when you're getting ready to ask for a raise.

Not only will your list help you feel motivated by the value you bring, but it will make it easier to ask for more.


Don’t Despair if Your Raise is a No-Go

Despite your best efforts, what if you don’t get a raise or promotion or so underpaid compared to industry standards it’s not possible to catch up?

It might be time to update your resume, start networking and look for another job. Own the value that your years of work experience will bring to the table. When you receive a job offer, negotiate hard for more. Employers tend to offer you something closer to the bottom of the pay scale, and you won’t get higher on it without negotiating.

And if you’ve always dreamed of doing your own thing, middle age could be the time to do it. The Census Bureau and MIT found that for the most successful start-ups, the average age of the founder was 45. In fact, a 40-year-old startup founder was more than twice as likely than a 25-year-old to start a successful startup!

Remember: You Deserve a Raise for the Value You Provide

Effective communication with your boss is the key to unlocking the door to a successful salary negotiation. By remembering the value you provide and using the communication strategy best suited to your boss's personality, you'll be well on your way to asking for a raise with confidence. Get ready to feel empowered, because you deserve it! 


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