How to Ask for a Raise - Sarah Evers

If the thought of asking for a raise makes you nervous, you're not alone. According to a Glassdoor survey, less than half of women, and 60% of men, plan to ask for a raise in the next 12 months. The biggest reported reason is fear. You don't know what to say, or you're afraid of appearing greedy. Or the whole conversation just feels uncomfortable, and so you don't advocate for yourself, and you're not paid what you're worth. Today's guest is here to help. Sarah Evers is a consultant with over 25 years of experience helping leaders reach their goals. Her clients can be found in fashion, global finance and legacy brand firms. We’re talking to Sarah today about how to negotiate a raise, the specific challenges facing women when negotiating pay and how the Bible can help us think about it all.

Scripture References

  • Genesis 18:16-33

Additional Resources

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Leah Archibald: Making It Work is brought to you by The Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Theology of Work Project.

Mark Roberts: Welcome to Making it Work.

LA: Through conversation, scripture and stories, we invite God into work’s biggest challenges... so that you can live out your purpose in the workplace.

MR: I’m Mark Roberts.

LA: And I’m Leah Archibald. And this is Making It Work.

If the thought of asking for a raise makes you nervous, you're not alone. According to a Glassdoor survey, less than half of women, and 60% of men, plan to ask for a raise in the next 12 months. The biggest reported reason is fear. You don't know what to say, or you're afraid of appearing greedy. Or the whole conversation just feels uncomfortable, and so you don't advocate for yourself, and you're not paid what you're worth. Today's guest is here to help. Sarah Evers is a consultant with over 25 years of experience helping leaders reach their goals. Her clients can be found in fashion, global finance and legacy brand firms. We’re talking to Sarah today about how to negotiate a raise, the specific challenges facing women when negotiating pay and how the Bible can help us think about it all. Sarah Evers, welcome to the Making It Work podcast.

Sarah Evers: Thank you, I'm glad to be here.

LA: We are happy to talk to you today. So let's start by grounding this maybe in your personal story. What makes you passionate about the issue of helping people get raises?

SE: Well, I think there are two things that stand out when I think about why I like to help people with this area. First is that I have worked with enough women and men to know that negotiating matters, right? We are talking about providing for today and tomorrow, and creating a generous life and legacy for the people who are in our lives and depend upon us. And all of that depends on your ability to have a frank conversation about a topic that many of us were taught was taboo. Money. So whether you have a family or you're single, you're a single parent, or you have dependent parents, aging parents or other family members depending on you, this matters. And secondly, I had a client talk about a friend who she had encouraged to apply for a job at her company. Her friend who was a woman, was told one very specific salary and that there was no room for negotiation.

She ended up declining the role. The company then very quickly hired a man with less experience and less education for that same role. He was much junior and ended up telling my client how much he was making and that amount was much more than what the company had told this other woman they were paying for this role. So hearing about the inequity and how that contributes to some of the other problems that we talked about, having a generous legacy, being able to provide for your family, being able to create generational wealth. I think that just made it really clear that we are dealing with lots of dynamics here, when you talk about gender, race, ethnicity, it matters.

LA: Even just hearing this brief introduction, Sarah, I feel all these emotions. I'm aware of how tricky and how sticky this issue is because it's so personal to each of us, whether we feel like we have a lot of power or we feel like we have a little power, even just hearing you say the words negotiation, I start to get a little uncomfortable in the pit of my stomach. [chuckle] And I knew we were having this conversation today. I have prepared for it, and just even hearing you bring up a real life scenario, I get kind of uncomfortable and nervous. I don't know if it's because I don't wanna walk into a negotiation, I don't wanna think about other people having the... I just wanna push it off and not deal with it for as long as possible. And Mark, tell me if... I don't know if this is a gender thing and it has to do with part of my aversion as a woman, or do you feel the same kind of pit of your stomach feeling when you think about going into a negotiation?

MR: Yes. And so...

LA: Phew! That makes me feel better. [chuckle]

MR: Well, and if, you know, from the reading I've done, and Sarah would be much better able to respond to this, it does seem that more women than men have that discomfort, but I am clearly one of those men that have that discomfort. And what's so interesting is, I mean, Leah, you know my boss, Michaela, she's on the opposite. She gets energized by that. And I love... I love to watch her, I would love to have her be my advocate now, she is the best. And so there a lot of factors. But I know for me, I was raised not to make anyone uncomfortable, including myself, but also any person I'm talking to. And so if I'm gonna have a conversation with somebody that's gonna make that person uncomfortable, then everything in my upbringing says, "Don't go there."

SE: Well, you're not alone.

LA: Yeah, tell us how common this is, Sarah.

SE: It's very common, right? Part of the way that Americans are raised is that we avoid certain topics of conversation, so people in other parts of the world are much more comfortable having direct conversations, but Americans, we tend to think that we're direct, but we're not about certain subjects, money being one of them. Leah, you're just talking about how uncomfortable you felt even with this topic of negotiation. And again, I'd say you're not alone, you're in really good company. A lot of people are uncomfortable because it's almost like you have to fight for what is due to you, or you have to prove your value, you have to prove your worth, you have to prove that you're worth the investment, and I think that there's some tension there. Tension and fear.

LA: Do you think, for those of us who were raised with a faith, does that make it easier or harder to advocate for yourself in a negotiation?

SE: Well, I think in some cases, it makes it much more difficult. I think of one client who thought, "I'll just work hard and my company will see my hard work and they'll reward me for what I do." And I don't think that always happens. I also think that we can put these layers of interpretation about what our faith looks like in the every day upon ourselves, and so then we don't advocate for ourselves. We don't speak up. We wait for others to notice what we've done, or it feels like hubris to demand or it feels like we're demanding what we're worth. And then it gets really hard, 'cause again, it feels like pride to say, "Look what I've done, look what I've earned, and I deserve this," and I think in some faith tradition, it's really hard to say what we deserve for the wages of sin is death, and what we've deserved for what we've done is separation, right? It's really hard to say, "I did good, I deserve good."

LA: Yeah, I think there's some sort of expectation that if I'm putting in my hard work every day, that will be rewarded in a way that's financial, [laughter] which I don't know if that thinking comes explicitly from the Bible or if it comes more from a pylon of our faith, tradition. Mark, have you thought about this before?

MR: Well, I have. And again, I think there are a variety of reasons, and some of it is just the way families raise us or the particular culture in which we find ourselves, and certainly issues of gender and race, figure in and partly... So Jesus was a small businessman for most of his adult life. He was a carpenter, we think of that, but that meant he was negotiating. People would come and they'd want a table and they're only gonna pay him four shekels, and he knows it's worth five shekels. Wouldn't you love just like a little addition to the gospel, just like Jesus negotiating a deal? Now, some traditions would say, "Well, he just would always go the second mile, which means he would take any bad... " No, he had to support his family. He had to keep this business afloat. But we don't get that. The only really that I can remember... The only real negotiation we get in scripture with Jesus is with the devil, but that's not quite the right context. [chuckle] So I just think we miss this and then a whole lot of other things come into play about what it is to be a nice Christian person, and we don't... We're not well prepared for this.

SE: I think some of that is importing this American version of Christianity on top of biblical Christianity. Right, Mark? You just used that word, nice, which Americans want to be nice.

MR: Well, and that's why... And Sarah, when I was learning about you prior to this conversation, I thought, "Oh man, we need people like you who are people of faith, but really get what it is to flourish in the world for good," 'cause you're not advocating greed or self-aggrandizement or whatever, you're advocating for fair compensation and for people being treated in the way that they ought to be treated. And, yes, don't we wish the systems would just do that? But recognizing they don't, then we need to play our part, and I love it that you're coaching people to do that thing.

SE: Yeah, we live in a broken world with broken systems, and we are broken people trying to navigate those systems, which means sometimes we're gonna get it wrong, but goodness, Lord willing, sometimes we're gonna get it right. And so learning how to speak up for yourself with courage and confidence makes all the difference in knowing when and how, it makes a huge difference.

MR: Well, we could pursue those questions a little bit, and you want to, Leah? You set us up, Sarah.


LA: I'm ready. So give us a little bit of coaching.

MR: Does your boss know you're having this conversation right now?


LA: I'm gonna have to pursue the negotiation with him before this podcast is edited and out the door so I can be in the advantage. So after... So let's say we've gotten to the point that we've agreed, "Okay, negotiation is good, I want to... As a worker, I deserve my wages, I wanna negotiate for myself and be paid what I'm worth in the marketplace." What is the next step for me?

SE: Alright, this is the work part of asking for a raise, and this is the part that happens before you even make that appointment with your boss or your supervisor. There is work that happens. There are four things you need to know before you ask for a raise. You need to know your contribution, you need to know your competitive advantage, you need to know your company's situation, and you need to know your worth.

LA: Okay, so three C's and a W. [chuckle]

SE: Right, I know I couldn't make it four C's, but three C's and a W; contribution, competitive advantage, company situation, and worth. When you start with your contribution, know your contribution, you need to review your company's key performance indicators or the OKRs or whatever it is your company uses to keep score, whatever language or system you guys use, you wanna look at how have you contributed at work this quarter and this year, and keep tabs of that or your request for a raise is gonna come out of the blue and shock your supervisor. So I had a client I was working with, and he was the boss. He was astounded when one of his direct reports came to him asking for a raise, because while that employee had been hitting their numbers and sales, they were consistently late to meetings, and sometimes they never even showed up to meetings.

So, my client had had several conversations with this employee about these issues, and so he thought the next step for his direct report was a performance improvement plan, not rewarding them with a raise, so this request for raise was completely out of alignment with the contribution that employee had made. You've really gotta make sure that your contribution is above the level of expectation that your company has set.

LA: And that's in all areas, so even if you're hitting your KPIs, you also have to be showing up for meeting on time and making sure that you are following what it is that your supervisor cares about.

SE: Yes, you've gotta be a good employee, [chuckle] that you're showing up, participating, leaning in, and that you're not phoning it in, even if you're remote.

LA: Okay.


MR: You know what, we're gonna have to change that metaphor, aren't we?

LA: We're zooming it in.

MR: Phone in my work.

SE: Right, like camera on, leaning in, attentive.

LA: That's gonna be our... Fifth C is for camera?

SE: Right.

LA: Don't phone it in, be on camera. Alright, so let's say I am aware that I've done my work. I've kept track of all the compliments that my clients have given me over the year, I've put them in my spreadsheet. This is something that someone told me to do when I was in a female leadership class in business school. They said every time you get a good recommendation from a client and get a really good email, drop it into a spreadsheet, so you have a running document of all these accolades that are coming from different areas in your work, so you can bring that out, 'cause you only get a performance review once a year and you're often only remembering what happened in the last two weeks, so anyway. I digressed.

SE: Absolutely.

LA: So let's say you have been contributing and you're hitting your numbers, I'm sure that's not the only thing that you have to think about when you're going into a negotiation 'cause you kinda have to see it from your supervisor's point of view.

SE: Right, so not only do you need to know your contribution with your quotes, hard C, quotes from your clients, from your fan base, you also need to know your competitive advantage, so you need to know what differentiates you from your colleagues and others who might be interested in your job, so if you haven't written your value proposition, this is the time to do it, you have to figure out how do you do your job differently than other people? What's the total package that you bring to your role? Now, I had a client who continually reminded her supervisor how she brought value and at times even more value to the organization than her peers, and she did this in a direct way, but not with hubris, there was a balance there, and her boss knew what she had to offer and he wanted to keep her.

And in the marketplace, we're looking at people are making transitions quickly. It is less expensive for an organization to reward high performer than to lose them, because then they have to recruit and train someone else, and the sad reality is that only 19% of new hires are considered high performers 18 months after they start with a new company, so it is in an organization's best interest to retain high performers. So you need to know your competitive advantage, what sets you apart, if your contribution is at that high level, how do you work differently and add value than your peers or other people who want your job.

LA: Can you just give me a concrete example of how you would state that? Let's say before going into a negotiation, but just on a regular week, I just don't wanna remind the people I work with of my value proposition, what it is, specifically that I contribute. How would you like, "Hey, remember guys, I'm really nice to you plus I do my work." How do you do that?

SE: Yeah, I think part of it is understanding how are you wired, how is it that you are naturally gifted to get work done. What are your strengths that you bring to the role? Are you a creative thinker? Are you an empathetic listener? Are you a team-oriented competitor? What is it that you do differently that adds value to the organization? I would say, you can use strengths assessments or the Enneagram or the Myers-Briggs, like any one of these assessments will give you some insight into how God wired you to be different and to represent Him and image Him in the marketplace, so you can pull words and phrases and sort of knit that together into your value proposition.

LA: Alright. So we've got two C's. Go ahead, Mark.

MR: I think it's fascinating, this is great. And would you ever encourage anyone to talk to a colleague at work about these things? 'Cause I just think that sometimes I can get a compliment from somebody with whom I work, and I'll think, "Huh?" I didn't really attend to that in myself. And I'm just wondering, and there's certain risks in that, but would you ever encourage somebody to talk to a couple of trusted colleagues to say, "How am I doing? What's good? Where do I need to improve?" Or is that... What do you think of that? Yeah, what...

SE: Yes, absolutely. [laughter]

MR: Okay. Good.

SE: Absolutely. That is a very good source of information, and there's a 360 process that we run called the Clarity 360. And what we encourage you to do is invite your current colleagues to give you feedback. And one of the questions that we ask is, "How does this person make a difference? What is it that gives them energy in their job and what they do?" Because you wanna hear how people interpret your work. How are they blessed or cursed by the way that you do your work? How does your attitude and your ability to complete tasks in a timely manner influence their ability to get work done? Because really in a work situation, it's actually sort of like an ecosystem and everyone ends up depending upon each other unless you're completely siloed. But even in those silos, there's interdependence, and so we wanna get that feedback, it's healthy to get that feedback, and if your organization doesn't already have some sort of 360 performance report system set up, we're happy to come in and help you get that kind of... Collect that feedback.

MR: That's helpful.

LA: You know what's so funny in our work culture is that collaboration is so important to getting the work done, working as a team is so important, but then each of us goes into the salary negotiation alone. And we also don't have a culture where we necessarily know what our co-workers are making for their salary, or maybe even if our co-worker might get a promotion, get a raise, and we're not even aware of it. There's a lot of secrecy around it. So we have this collaboration in our work, but then when we go into that one-on-one negotiation with our boss and the door's closed, there's the lack of the rest of team support or even maybe you feel like you're asking for a raise and you're taking it out of your team's coffers or something like that, especially with... If you're at a small company. So, Sarah, do you feel like that's particularly challenging maybe for your clients who are very collaborative, they have less of a ability to stand up for themselves in a one-on-one negotiation?

SE: That can be hard, especially when you do collaborate so tightly, that's where it becomes very important that you are clear with your boss about your specific role. What is your job description? What are your measurable outcomes? What are you being measured against when it comes for your annual review, and salary bonuses or raises? Because when you have that kind of clarity, which takes uncomfortable work [chuckle] to get to, but when you have that kind of clarity, you're then able to set yourself up for those negotiations later. And that's part of knowing your worth, right? If we jump over that third C and get to that W number four, it's knowing your worth, what is your value that you bring?

And you have to do your research. You need to know what people are being paid for similar work, and you can figure that out in your company by maybe having uncomfortable conversations with other colleagues. In some companies, salaries are very clear, they're upfront, they're stated. In other organizations, it's not. So you can also check job postings at other companies for similar roles. You wanna check other industries with a similar role in your geographic location, 'cause often times salaries are based on geography where you live, you can look online and...

LA: Look at Glassdoor, that's... We mentioned a Glassdoor survey in our introduction, but they have national averages posted for salaries.

SE: So you wanna know what's the salary range. And Leah, you said something that was really key here, and that's when there's so much secrecy and you're trying to get raise after raise after raise, it is really important when you land a new job, that you negotiate as much as you can for that first starting salary. 'Cause that salary is gonna determine if you've got a 7% raise or a 13% raise, it's gonna depend on that on that first initial salary. So even when you get a new job, we encourage all of our clients to negotiate a signing bonus or a raise.

MR: I'm curious, so you work with a lot of different people, and it does seem to me, and even in my own experience, there are bosses or supervisors or owners, managers who actually want to compensate their people better, who think about raises, and then there are many who don't think about it, and then I'm sure there are some that are very resistant. I'm just curious what... Do you have any thoughts about that? What is it that... Why do some bosses actually want to do this and others never think of it? And others are like, "No stinking way."


SE: 'Cause some people are greedy jerks and others are generous benefactors.

MR: Okay. Well...


SE: Part of it, yes, that could be true. It also can be a part of your family of origin perspective on work. My dad worked for the same company his whole life, he was in the military. [chuckle] And then when he retired from the military, he had a whole another career, retired from that and had another career. But what I learned growing up from work is that you join one organization and you stay with them for life. And that military upbringing taught me, "Yes ma'am, yes sir. And I'm thankful for what I have." [chuckle] There's no negotiating in the military.

MR: Yeah.

SE: So negotiating with something, even negotiating conflict, I had a lot of that that I had to start learning in college, and there were things that I had to... I almost felt like I was in the remedial course where other people had certain skills because of their upbringing. So some of these perspectives, they're also driven by the market, what's happening in the market with that company or that industry, what are the drivers happening there? So, there's... It's a complex question that comes off simple.

MR: That's really interesting. And I'm sure you're right about the family of origin stuff. I connect to that too. I'm just thinking that we have... I'm sure many who are listening to this podcast are people in management positions who actually are gonna be on the other side of this conversation. And I just... And part of me wants to know how I could be better as a manager and supervisor in these things.

LA: Yeah.

MR: Many managers really do care for their people. And they're...

SE: Yes. Yes.

MR: Is there some learning on the management side do you think it could be helpful?

SE: Absolutely. I am an advocate for lifelong learning. I think when you stop learning, you start stagnating. So I would definitely say there's learning to happen here. And there's also pressure from management to keep costs low, so that profits are high for the stakeholders. So that becomes a bit of attention also. But we're seeing more transparency and more generosity in organizations across the board where organizations that did well during COVID are giving generous bonuses to their current employees and raises. So that sort of sharing mentality, like, "You as an employee worked hard. We have been profitable. And now we're gonna share that with you." We're hearing more and more stories about that. So I think there is a trend to honoring the people who work for you. And I do think it is an issue of honor. Honor, respect.

MR: That's a great way to put it. Just a quick story. And this is true. It blew me away. Talked with the woman a couple of weeks ago, whom I know through work. And she'd worked in the same company for like 20, 25 years, built her office from very small to very large and profitable. And she had been compensated well. But she made her company a ton of money. So anyway, so she hears that the CEO wants to meet with her, have a meeting. And she's very nervous. Because she's also a little older. And she's thinking, "Maybe they're gonna move me out." So anyway, she has this meeting with the CEO. And the CEO starts out with, "Thank you. You've done such great work." And she's really nervous. "And we've done really well this year. So we're giving some bonuses. And we wanna give you a bonus." And she's like, "Oh, phew." Now this is true. "So we're giving you a million dollars."

LA: What?

SE: Bonus?

MR: But this so illustrate... I mean, this is a mega illustration. Yeah. And she was on Zoom. She said she totally went off screen. Because she was falling and didn't... But now, that's not always gonna happen. But what you've said is, maybe not to that extent, but that kind of thinking may be growing in some organizations and leaders.

SE: Yeah. Boy I sure would love to be in that position of having to fall over and faint because of a million dollar bonus.


MR: Don't you think? And just a follow-up. After the call... She's very much a faithful Christian. And she says, "Okay, God, you gave me this money. I don't really need this money. So now this money is all yours." So she's gonna spend the next chunk of her life giving away generously, which is just...

SE: Yes.

MR: It's just an amazing story. But I was just impressed that you said, Sarah, that some of this is actually growing, which is encouraging.

SE: Yeah, I have one client who talked about how her company did so well that raises across the board were higher than ever before. And that bonuses were higher also. And I had another client talk about her firm had also been profitable. And so they were giving mid-year bonuses when they normally didn't do that. Because they had a surplus. Good gracious.

MR: Well, that's for blessing them.

LA: As I'm reflecting on this topic, I'm thinking a lot of the fear about negotiation has more to do with the culture than it does about the underpinnings of our faith. Because if we think of loving relationships in the Bible, there is some aspect of negotiation there, especially between people and God. And Mark earlier, you lamented that we don't have the example of Jesus as a carpenter negotiating with someone over the price of a table. But we do... Where we have examples of negotiation in the Bible, they're often examples of people negotiating with God. I think of Abraham negotiating with God. If we think of example of negotiation in the Bible, there's Abraham literally negotiates with God over the fate of Sodom. And he's using numbers. Like if I can... They're going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth over the number of people.

But that's not the only time Abraham negotiates with God. He's also holding God to this promise over and over again that God is gonna give him descendants. And he's saying, "God, the only... " This is before Isaac is born. "The only person in my household that I can pass on my fortunes to is not my own personal descendant." So he's holding God to these promises. And there's no part where... And it's like, "And God was kind of pissed off and loved Abraham less." There's no bit of that in the Bible. So I think even from this very early relationship model of God and Abraham, we have a model of negotiation being okay within that intimate relationship. And I, which is also a paradynamic, like Abraham needs God, you know, God obviously has more power than Abraham and he is the giver in this situation. And not that our bosses are the models for God necessarily in our workplaces, but there is a biblical model of being able to maintain integrity in a committed relationship and where negotiation is not a sign of disloyalty.

MR: Great example. I love that, Leah.

SE: Yes. And then that last phrase you said, I think bears repeating that negotiating is not a sign of disloyalty. I think that's, again, one of those fears, the reasons some people don't negotiate is their fear that they're gonna come off greedy, but disloyal that they're only in it for the money. But that's...

LA: And I think the sad thing about that is what more often happens is someone will refuse... Not refuse to negotiate, but someone will keep themselves for negotiating to a salary level if they believe they're worth, but then they'll just leave their job, for another job at some point. And then their existing relationships with their co-workers and their boss will say, "Hey, what gives, if we only knew that you wanted to be paid more, we could have made something work and kept you on instead of having you go to another company." I don't know if that's, I don't have statistics to back me up, but it seems like that could be the inevitable conclusion from relationship that you could set up in your work, where you don't negotiate for yourself and you keep feeling more and more disgruntled as time goes on.

SE: Oh yeah. You gotta watch that bitterness that sets in when you don't feel like you're being honored or compensated fairly appropriately for the contribution that you're making.

MR: Yeah. Sarah, I'm curious, I mean, let assume this is such important work. How did you get into this piece of it? I know you do a variety of things, but how did you get into this particular focus?

SE: Well, I started working with, I've often worked with people in career transition over the last several years. But it's become a lot more focused since the pandemic with helping people land jobs. So a lot of people were laid off during the pandemic, people weren't sure what was gonna happen. So there, I found myself working with a lot of people who needed new jobs, needed new jobs quickly. And so I started working with, I call the career navigators who were trying to make the step from one industry to another, in the same kind of role. So that's where I think a lot of this really got intense for me with taking things to the next level. So I saw the needs that women and men had for having courageous conversations about uncomfortable topics, like money and salary.

And I saw the difference, the disparity between women and men and their willingness to lean into those conversations. Where it seemed like it was easier or more common for men to bring up these topics or to negotiate even a signing salary than women. It just seemed to me like we needed to help women, help all people, but especially help women find the courage to have those hard conversations. Again, that starting salary matters. And if a woman doesn't negotiate her starting salary, but a man at the same company at the same role does, he starts higher. And then every year, every two years, every three years, when they hand out the percentage raises he, in five, 10 years is gonna be making exponentially more money than she is.

LA: How do you coach women differently? If you're talking to me, what [chuckle] I'm a woman, what advice would you give me that would be particularly effective to helping me negotiate for a salary that I'm worth?

SE: Practice. Practice makes progress. Before women go into negotiating, I want them to write out their script. And I want them to practice it in front of a mirror. I want them to look at themselves in the eyes. I want them to watch their body posture. Are they slouched? Are they, "Oh, please, please, sir may I have some more?" [chuckle] Is it apologetic? I want them to look at their language. Is it the language of apology or is it the language of accomplishment? I want them to be clear about what they're saying. Succinct, short, brief, upfront, honest. Sometimes we women can get ourselves into a loop of repetition or excuses of why we're, "Oh, if it's not a good time... " But I don't see that tendency happening in as many of my men clients. So a lot of it comes down to practice and confidence. And if you're not confident, it's the old adage "fake it till you make it". Nobody in the room has to know how nervous you are.

MR: Isn't it interesting that many of us and I would include myself in this, might not practice for such an important moment as that, whereas if we were gonna give a speech somewhere or do a... We would practice. For that moment we wouldn't. So what you're saying just seems to hit the center of the target.

LA: And maybe we don't wanna practice... I won't say we, I'll say me, maybe I don't wanna practice for a negotiation because I feel this discomfort, but then I continue to feel the discomfort because I haven't practiced.

SE: Alright, so that's why I think it's so key that you know your contribution, you know your competitive advantage, you know your company's situation. "Is this a good time to ask for a raise? Is there a hiring freeze? Is there a hiring surge? Are other people getting raises?" When you know what's happening in your company's fiscal situation, it allows you to ask with a little bit more courage and confidence. So I think you need to know that and you need to know your worth and when you have done the work to prepare an update on your contribution and your competitive advantage, how you stand out from other people, when you know what's happening financially with your firm and you know what the salary is in your industry and you know what the appropriate range is, then you can ask for a raise, a percentage or a bonus with confidence knowing that it's reasonable. It's not just okay, but it's reasonable and it's an acceptable thing to ask and it's a regular business habit. It's one of those cyclical habits that needs to be in your calendar to remember to start getting ready to negotiate your raise.

LA: How often should it be in your calendar? [laughter] Just so I start to get ready to negotiate for a raise.

SE: Well, not quarterly.

LA: Okay.

SE: Not a quarterly request, but a lot of people will keep a spreadsheet open... Leah, you mentioned this earlier from your course that you took, they encourage you to put client feedback in a spreadsheet. Yes, a lot of people will keep track of their metrics in a spreadsheet, and that's partly where you're starting to build your case is look at that spreadsheet and think about what other things need to go in there. Big wins for the organization, ways that you've represented the team, wins internally, wins externally, that spreadsheet becomes the basis of your argument of your position and gives you some of that leverage. Helps you win the negotiation, if you're competitive, you might say win the negotiation or have a win-win conversation, if you're more collaborative.

LA: Let's say someone takes all of your feedback, really takes this to heart, what is your overall hope for these type of conversations? Do you see, envision, for your clients, a hope that's beyond just living through this conversation and getting a raise? But do you really hope for a situation where everyone is flourishing as a result of having more open conversations about compensation?

SE: What I long to see is women and men, I wanna see women and men step through that doorway or into the Zoom room with confidence, with shoulders back and awareness of what God has poured into them and they're pouring out into their organization. I want them to walk in there, not with apology, but with confidence, and I want them to ask with courage. I want them to then be able to live a generous lifestyle, a lifestyle of stewardship, stewarding what has been entrusted to them, and thereby blessing the communities around them. And communities they might never be able to touch because they'd never go there. I think generosity can beget generosity, and when we feel like people have dealt with us uprightly with honor and even with generosity, it enables us to release resources into the kingdom and resources into the communities around us.

LA: That's beautiful, I'll take it.

MR: It is. Yeah. No, that is beautiful.

LA: Sarah Evers, it has been such a pleasure talking with you today. Thank you so much.

MR: Yes, thank you.

SE: Thank you. Thank you for having me, been a pleasure.

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