Appear Professional. Ask for a Raise.

Curated by CLAI

Inaction breeds fear and doubt. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

WHAT PROFESSIONALISM LOOKS LIKE: The notion of being seen as professional may be central to how we define success in the U.S. — and, consequently, how and why certain people aren’t able to attain it, depending on how well they adhere to social norms.

There is no difference between what looks professional for men and women when it comes to number of personal items in your office or cubicle.
Longer tenure in the U.S. were more likely to associate nonwork symbols with lack of professionalism. The perception may be rooted in American ideology: the need to put aside personal concerns to devote full attention to one’s work so as to fulfill one’s moral and spiritual calling.

Professional Office

Professional Office (HBR)

ASKING FOR A RAISE: How women negotiate their career paths is arguably a more important determinant of lifetime earnings than negotiating a little extra money.

  • GROUND WORK: Asking for a raise shouldn’t be rushed or boiled down to one short conversation. To prepare, keep a record of every piece of positive feedback you receive over time, and catalog any objective metrics that help illustrate your contributions.
  • FACT FINDING: Women need to speak with men about salaries, too. If they network only with other women, experts said, they are more likely to come up with numbers that are systematically less.
  • LANGUAGE: Acting feminine enough — that is, showing they care about maintaining good relationships as well as the communal good over themselves, for instance — helps women in the likability department. Women should also frame requests from the employer’s perspective.
  • NEGOTIATE IN PERSON: It comes across very cold, very hard and very direct, so all of the things that women tend to do in conversation that soften their approach are impossible to do in email.
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