Monday, February 28, 2011

misplaced guilt

So, last week I asked for a raise/promotion. I haven't heard back yet, but I feel guilty for asking. I know, at some level, that I shouldn't. I know I worked hard, have valuable skills, and have performed exceptionally well. I know that. But I also know how I feel. I may deserve what I asked for -- actually I am sure that I do.

But I also know I have co-workers that make much less than I already make. That the money for salaries is not infinite, and that paying me more means someone else may have to take less. That really I already make enough. Intellectually, I also know that this is not my problem.

But it still feels like my problem. Maybe this is why women don't ask for raises. Maybe we empathize to much with the other guy. I don't know. Studies say that women don't tend to ask for promotions or raises, where their male counterparts do. I have seen articles that attribute much of the pay gap between men and women to this reticence.

I think I'm experiencing misplaced guilt. The kicker is I might not even get what I asked for. Maybe the answer is no. Will I be relieved or angry if that's the answer?


Sue said...

Yeah, I know how you feel. Like when I used to play racquetball with a friend; I'd feel bad if I lost, and bad if I won...

But while the money for salaries isn't infinite, it's not necessarily a zero-sum game, either. Your gain doesn't necessarily mean someone else's loss. Maybe the institution could allot more money for salaries, and less, say, for advertising or landscaping. I think you are right to ask for what you think you deserve. The worst that can happen is that they disagree with you and say "no". Good luck!

changejunkie said...

Thanks, honey. I did in fact get some additional $$. And a commitment to work with HR on a development plan so I can bump up eventually.