How to Find the Courage to Ask for a Raise

How to Find the Courage to Ask for a Raise
How to Find the Courage to Ask for a Raise. Image source: Pixabay

You’ve gone through years of school and likely pulled 24-hour shifts in your residency. You handle high pressure work all day, treating patients who put their lives in your hands.

But when it comes to asking for a raise, that strong backbone disappears quickly! Where did it go?

Don’t feel like you’re alone. The truth is that this is actually pretty normal.

It’s an ironic fact that it happens to most of us when we are faced with negotiating our earnings. Putting an amount attached to our own value is more intimidating than working in an ICU!

If you’re ready to make more money but don’t quite have the courage yet to make it happen, these tips can help get you ready!

1. Get to Know Your Money Mindset

How you think about money impacts every factor of your economic situation. Yet, for most of us, this is a subconsciously ingrained process we’ve learned since childhood.

What’s your money mindset?

Do you think that asking for more money means you aren’t humble?

Are you concerned that if you make more money, people will think you’re putting on airs?

Or maybe you were raised to be satisfied with what you have, so asking for more sounds greedy?

When you dig deep into your past to figure out where your thoughts on money came from, it helps you understand your current situation. By knowing your worth, others will appreciate you more, too.

Before you can move forward to ask for a raise, you have to get real with yourself and your money mindset. You are valuable, and it’s okay to get paid well for the skills you worked hard to hone.

2. De-personalize the Situation

In any uncomfortable situation, it’s easy to forget that you are not the only one who has been in those shoes.

For example, your first day on a new job was probably nerve-wracking. You were worried about making a good impression and concerned that you wouldn’t know what to do. It didn’t even cross your mind that you weren’t the first new employee to work there!

Take a step back and try to take “you” out of the situation. Are you the first person to ever ask for a raise? Will you be the last?

Chances are, it’s going to be more stressful for you than the person on the other side of the desk. You can reduce this stress load on yourself by reminding yourself that asking for a raise is a regular part of business.

3. Do Your Homework

If you aren’t exactly sure what you bring to the table, and what the value of that is, it’s harder to convince yourself you’re worth more.

Check into the average salaries of physicians in your area with your specialty. Expand your search to those in neighboring counties, too. This will give you a good idea of what you should be making.

This homework usually results in one of two outcomes. You may realize you’re doing pretty well and suddenly become satisfied with your salary.

Or, you see that the average income for those with your background is a lot higher than you’re making, and you decide you’re not getting paid enough.

This realization usually comes with a bit of irritation or righteous indignation—just enough to give you the courage to ask for that raise! And if push comes to shove and you get turned down, you know you can go somewhere else.


Courage isn’t always about how you act under high pressure situations. Sometimes, it’s about being brave enough to do what needs to be done, even when you don’t want to do it.

You need a raise, for whatever reason it is that you’ve been considering this idea. But asking for money is one of the hardest things many of us can imagine doing, right up there with public speaking!

Part of this difficulty could be because of ingrained money ideas you have from childhood. It could also be because you don’t know how to place a number value on your worth.

These three steps will teach you how to find the courage to politely, yet firmly, let your employer know that you want to get paid what you deserve. That same new backbone will guide you through the rest of your financial decisions in life.

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