3 Things That Could Happen If I Ask For A Raise

Casey Mazzotti

April 04, 2021

  • Share:    
Here, it goes!

I've been with this company for a long time; I've worked hard, produced great product, spent outside-of-work hours working, and it's finally time for me to ask for a raise.

I won't be asking for much - just a fair, competitive wage - except I had to figure out what that is on my own and, really, it seems like people will pay you what they're willing to pay you. Either way, I'm ready to formally request a pay increase - I've done the work, and I deserve it! (That feels snotty to say.)

I've done hours upon hours of research: "asking for a raise" yields 513 million results on Google, so, yeah, I've looked into it.

I've got my notes prepared - can't forget my rationale for why I need a raise in the first place! Beyond notes, I've got examples of how I've added value in my time as an employee, and to top it all off, I've got a lovely pitch ready to go at a moment's notice.

For all intents and purposes, I'm ready to have this meeting - but, why am I freaking out?

There's a running list in my mind of all the potential things that could go wrong once I get in there and start talking…

1) I run away

Sure, a bit on the dramatic side; but really, I might combust. I could get into the meeting and melt, never even getting the words out!

It wouldn't be the first time, either. My brain says, Remember that time you were supposed to read your poem at the assembly in 8th grade, but you ended up running off the stage instead? Yeah, I suppose something like that could happen again.

2) I end up crying

I'm a strong, independent woman - and sometimes, I cry. I can't stop the floodgates once they open. I suppose I could run to the nearest bathroom if tears well up, but what if it's taken? What if I can't leave and I just have to sit there while both of us know I'm about to cry but neither of us will acknowledge it?

Am I even allowed to cry in front of my boss during working hours? I've never really had to consider that before. Are they going to take those 15 minutes out of my paycheck?

I just have to remember that I've practiced this speech a million times, and if I get upset, well, I get upset, but it doesn't have to be that way. Maybe I'm putting a bit too much pressure on this...

3) *GASP* They say no

The worst case scenario - what if I go in there, get through all of my talking points, ask for the raise and they immediately say 'no'? It'll be the most awkward silence - and I hate awkward encounters. It's why I take the stairs.

If they give me a straight 'no,' I'll be pretty upset - should I quit on the spot? I mean, if they're shooting me down, why should I work there? Am I really prepared to do that?

Or maybe they'll say no for an understandable reason, like budget cuts - everyone gets that, but there's no way to know how long I'll have to wait for another chance at a raise.


There are tons of reasons it could all go awry, I can't possibly predict them all. That's maybe where my anxieties are coming into play - how can I be prepared when I have no idea what will happen?

On the other hand, what if it all works out? They could say yes! That makes it worth asking for - I'll have to swallow my worries and just go for it; maybe it won't be so scary after all. I'll need the practice anyway if I'm ever going to ask for anything else!

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

Become a WITI Member!

Are you interested in boosting your career, personal development, networking, and giving back? If so, WITI is the place for you! Become a WITI Member and receive exclusive access to attend our WITI members-only events, webinars, online coaching circles, find mentorship opportunities (become a mentor; find a mentor), and more!

Become a Member

Member Coaching Circles

There are no WITI online coaching circles scheduled at this time. Please check back soon for updates.

More Coaching Circles

Our Story

Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.

Read More

The organization delivers leading edge programs and platforms for individuals and companies -- designed to empower professionals, boost competitiveness and cultivate partnerships, globally. WITI’s ecosystem includes more than a million professionals, 60 networks and 300 partners, worldwide.

WITI's Mission

Empower Innovators.
Inspire Future Generations.
Build Inclusive Cultures.

As Part of That Mission WITI Is Committed to

Building Your Network.
Building Your Brand.
Advancing Your Career.