You need more money. Which means you’re going to have to ask for a raise. Feeling squeamish? Here’s why:

“An employer often plays a very parent-like role in a person’s psyche,” says Jana Morgan, a psychologist in private practice in Northcliff, Johannesburg. “If this is the case, a salary is more than just an economic exchange for your time and knowledge: it’s an expression of appreciation. Asking for more can make you feel very vulnerable, as though you are asking for approval.” Extricate yourself from this emotional stickiness by relying on cold economic logic. “Approach it like a business proposal. Tell the boss what you’ve done for the company and ask for something in return,” says Morgan. Knowing you’re prepared will soothe your nerves – as will understanding that what’s at stake is not your value as a human being.

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