Emily Fisher

30, UX researcher, New York

"So about six months into [a job] we had had this evaluation. And [my boss] said, 'You're great, here's what I want you to improve, and I'm giving you a 5 percent raise.' Which isn't what I was hoping for. It was pretty trivial considering what I was thinking of.

So I went back and talked to people in my life that I turn to guidance for in this stuff. So with the help of those people, I came up with a proposal to ask for an adjustment — an adjustment to market value. I don't know if that's a word, but it was my phrase. I wasn't asking for a 40 percent raise — I know that doesn't work. But I'm asking for a 40 percent adjustment to be brought up to market.

So I came to this boss and proposed the adjustment. I said, 'I want an additional $15,000.' And he didn't react well to the surprise. I kind of expected he would balk at it. So he said, 'Let me think about it, and we can talk about it.' So he came back to me in a few days and said, 'Okay, what you're asking for is reasonable. But let's set up a framework. At our one-year review in six months' time, let's see if you've reached the goals I've wanted you to reach. I'll set in place this adjustment.' And so that's what I did. When it was time for this review, we didn't even meet. He just called me and said, 'Okay, I'm giving you your $15,000.' It was a huge victory."