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How to ask for the salary you want with zero risk of sounding obnoxious

a woman talks to two managers
Unsplash/Tim Gouw
Mustering the courage.
  • Lila MacLellan
By Lila MacLellan

Quartz at Work reporter

Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’re like me, you dread conversations about your salary, and you probably don’t know anyone who feels perfectly at ease with the topic, regardless of gender, age, or level of experience.

But to young professionals not yet familiar with a market and where they fit in, asking for a raise or establishing’s one salary can feel like an especially fraught process. So, not surprisingly, the crowd of mostly 20-something women gathered at a Well + Good Talk on female leadership this month in New York listened with rapt attention as a small panel of women, including Kelly Coffey, CEO of JPMorgan Chase’s US Private Bank, shared advice on the topic.

Coffey, appropriately, as the finance executive on the panel, offered the audience an especially smart strategy. To avoid the common fear of sounding greedy or obnoxious, don’t simply ask for more money. Instead say, “I would like to make $X. What would it take for me to get there?”

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