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Does asking for more money damage your career?

nocnica profile image Nočnica Fee ・1 min read

cover image By Basile Morin CC BY-SA 4.0

Whether it's in the initial interview process or during your performance review, some of us are extremely nervous to ask for more pay. The concern, in general, is that it will 'damage your career.'

Before going any further it's important to acknowledge that discrimination is a real part of the job market. Women ask for raises just as often as men, but are more likely to be denied. This post isn't implying that changing our behavior can 'solve' discrimination.

For me, I have had one job offer rescinded after I tried to negotiate pay. In retrospect I'm glad! The initial offer would have been difficult to live off, and by rescinding they made it clear that they weren't likely to ever give me a raise.

I'm curious if there was ever a time you asked for more money, and wished afterward you hadn't.

Discussion (4)

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio • Edited

Only If your bosses, laughter offends you. lol

To answer your question, I have not felt slighted when I have asked for more money. Knowing your own personal worth is important and reflects on how highly you view yourself as well.

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nocnica profile image
Nočnica Fee Author

I feel this! I think if a manager is complaining that you value yourself too highly, that's a strong signal that it's time to leave

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coagmano profile image
Frederick Stark

Every time I've asked for more money, I've both been terrified and pleasantly surprised.

I had an unusual entry into the corporate tech world, having worked for a bunch of non-profits, associations, campaigns and freelance before my first "industry" job as a software developer.
This meant it was really hard to get my foot in the door and had to accept a pay cut.

6 months later I got a 7.5% raise based on performance. Also after struggling to get a job, this was when recruiters started contacting me regularly.

Another 6 months and I decided to go to a couple of interviews and used that to ask for another raise at my 1yr performance review.
They weren't happy but gave me a 20% pay rise.

1 year later the company turned a loss and so I didn't ask for a raise (also didn't have a performance review so there wasn't an obvious time to ask for one)

Another year later I knew I could do more interesting work (and get paid more) elsewhere and decided to start looking. Then COVID happened and our wages were cut by 50%, so I started looking with urgency. Side note, things were so bad we started selling off the office furniture while I was still there.

I went around asking for 1/3rd (33.33%) more as a negotiating tactic, both to project confidence and totally expecting to be negotiated down. This was pretty scary considering I was in a much worse financial position and nobody knew what was going to happen under COVID.

I ended up getting an offer for 22% more and one with the full 33.3% and share options on top, which I took immediately 😄

So to answer the question, I don't think asking for more money can ever hurt your career. An employer that punishes staff for wanting to grow in value and responsibility (and get paid for it) doesn't deserve to keep their staff.
(Note: The way in which you ask might be a separate issue, but asking is always fine)

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Nočnica Fee Author

I want to make this comment its own post! Such nice insight, and told the way I always give career advice: "just my experienc e"