They Will Fire Me if I Ask

That’s a scary thought.   Does it enter your mind each time you go to your boss there is a possibility you will be fired?  Recently I have heard this from multiple women regarding various topics including:

  • Clarifying the date each month an invoice needs to be submitted
  • Investigating the possibility of working part-time
  • Supplying proof of completion for a course

Granted these items are very different yet it highlights that the fear of causing trouble may result in the loss of a job.  The economy though improving does have some impact on this perception.  Yet with women we do tend to hold this perception even in good times.  Let’s carry this argument through and see how likely it is for you to get fired because you talked to your boss about a topic you believe can be troublesome.

Replacing an employee is costly both in actual dollars and in time.  There are actual turnover cost calculators that will monetize the cost your company will incur by replacing you and other employees through a year.   Depending on the job level the replacement costs can be 150% -250% of your salary.

Including in the costs are:

  • Lost productivity
  • Severance and benefits
  • Impact on unemployment insurance
  • Recruitment costs such as advertising, interviews, and travel
  • Training of new personnel

Now with a new understanding of the time and money it will cost your company to replace you do you think any of the three items I mentioned above will trip the “fire her” button in your boss?  What about a request for a 20% raise?  20% doesn’t seem like such an outrageous request anymore once you compare it to 150%.

Comparing your request to your boss’ alternatives can show how a relatively small cost to your employer can have a huge positive impact on your life and make you a much happier employee.  Try to hold on to this thought as you decide whether or not to talk to your boss.

© Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited