You’re likely not getting a pay raise because you haven’t asked

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Asking

There are thousands of articles out there with differing advice on how to go about getting a pay raise. But they all share one key principle: you actually have to walk into your boss’s office and do the asking. Too few people are getting past step one, it appears.

Less than 10% of U.S. workers report being satisfied with their pay, yet only 43% asked for a raise last year, according to compensation-data firm PayScale. Around one-third of those who didn’t ask for a raise didn’t need to – they were handed one before they had the chance. But the rest said they were uncomfortable negotiating salary and/or feared losing their job or appearing “pushy.”

Obviously, each situation is different. But the data suggests that if you feel you deserve a raise, you should definitely be asking. Only one-quarter of those who asked for a raise were denied.

Plus, the numbers are even better for those who have impressive salaries, like, say, bankers and other financial services workers. Around 70% of those making more than $150,000 who negotiated a raise got the full amount they were targeting. Meanwhile, the overall average was 44%, with those in the bottom percentile only receiving their asking price 25% of the time.

Another interesting part of the survey, first covered by the Wall Street Journal, is the gender gap, or lack thereof. Around 44% of men requested raises last year, just ahead of the 42% of women who did the same. Earlier studies have suggested that women are more likely to fear asking for a bump in pay.

However, the success rate for highly educated women – those with MBAs – is shockingly low, according to the Journal. Only 48% of female business school grads who asked for raises got what they requested. That number jumps to 63% for men. Female MBAs were also twice as likely as men to get no raise at all.

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