Worst-Case Scenario

Many situations arise at work that are terrifying.  Asking for a raise.  Asking for a promotion.  Asking to work from home.  The reason these situations are terrifying is because they often represent uncharted territory for us as new employees.  You have never asked for anything major from management, as they are usually the ones with requests for you.  There are preconceived notions of what your manager will think as a result of your ask, too.  Will they think of me as greedy?  Will they think of me as self-centered?  This is a natural thought process, but in reality it is highly unlikely this will occur.

Managers, for the most part are reasonable and rational thinkers.  They understand what you’re thinking and your motivations.  They also understand that you are providing value for them and the company.  So, when asking for something, like a pay raise, all of this is considered.

From your standpoint, though, there is still a feeling of fear leading up to making a request of your manager.  Think about the worst-case scenario of asking for a promotion.  It really isn’t that bad: the manager says “no.”  That isn’t so bad, is it?  Nothing has changed - you are right back where you started.  Plus, as a result of making this request your manager now knows it is important enough for you to bring up to them, so in the future they can reconsider.

The best-case scenario is you get exactly what you want.  Likely, you will end up somewhere between what you asked for and the worst-case scenario of “no,” which, in turn, is a win for you.

Gaining the courage to ask for a raise requires preparation.  But, never fear this conversation.  Always think about the worst-case scenario and what that means for you.  It is never as bad as what you think.

Thoughts Starters

  • What scenarios have you been concerned with talking to your boss about, but then realized the end result wasn’t as bad as expected?
  • How can you mentally prepare for these situations better?