Cracking the Code: Ask for it!

Many women grow up believing the fairy tale that one day “Prince Charming” –a man, an inheritance, a lottery win, some external force – will come along and financially rescue them, the damsels in distress. Believing that Prince Charming is coming on his white horse to sweep you up and rescue you handicaps you from taking the necessary personal responsibility for achieving your own financial success.

My experience is that “Prince Charming” does not have to come in the form of a huge windfall or lottery win.

If you become a little more strategic, it can result from your annual compensation and salary review.

Men know that no one is going to tap them on the shoulder and say, “You have done great work. Here is a big unexpected bonus or raise.” They know that they have to position themselves for that and ask for it. Women, unfortunately, are much more likely to sit there waiting for that tap on the shoulder.

When I was in high school, I wanted a summer internship or a job with The Boston Globe, and my uncle got me an interview with a man there who was very high up. The interview went well. I was sure he liked me and was therefore shocked when my uncle informed me I was going to be offered neither an unpaid internship nor the job.

Yes, he said, the man had, in fact, liked me a great deal. He had decided not to give me the job because I did not ask for it. I was shocked.

I thought someone who liked me and saw my potential would offer me a position!

It never crossed my mind to ask for it. That does not mean I learned the “Ask For It” lesson in high school after that rejection. I had to experience being passed over because I did not ask for it a few more times before I understood what was happening.

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  For more visit:

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