Career Advice

How To Negotiate a Raise After Returning From Maternity Leave

If you’re like a lot of new mothers, probably one of the last things on your mind after having a baby is to try and get a raise from your employer. Instead, you’re likely just grateful that you were given time off from your job to be with your family and new addition. But the reality is that you might just very well deserve a raise! If you’ve remained committed to your employer, hitting your targets before and after your leave, even setting up your temporary replacement for while you’d be out, then you’re just as deserving as your colleague in the next cubicle over.

Read on for some tips on how to successfully ask your employer for a raise after you’ve been out on maternity leave. While it might sound intimidating, you can do this, and, trust us, it’ll be worth it once you have a little extra money in your pocket to cover childcare costs and other needs.


Tip #1: Recognize Your Worth

When you’re MIA at the office because of family obligations, it can be hard to keep your chin up and feel as dedicated to your job as your coworkers. But truthfully, you probably have a lot more on your plate right now than they do and yet are still reaching your goals and getting things done. You might feel like you’re running from fire to fire, but you’re actually putting leadership, communication, organization, and problem-solving skills to good use – even on four hours of sleep. Honestly, you’re like superwoman right now! Remember that and negotiate for a raise from a position of strength.


Tip #2: Note Your Achievements

This tip goes hand in hand with recognizing your worth. One way to cultivate and grow your confidence is to recall your accomplishments over the past year. Despite your maternity leave (and birthing a baby!), what job responsibilities did you effectively oversee and handle? Did you surpass any sales targets? Did you train the person who covered your duties while you were out of the office?

Take a few minutes on a daily or weekly basis to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Not only will this be great for your self-confidence, but then you’ll also have tons of talking points prepared for the negotiation with your boss. You’ll know exactly why you deserve a raise and be able to easily articulate it.


Tip #3: Combat the Discrimination

It’s funny (not really) because when men take time off for a new baby, most people assume that they are becoming increasingly committed to their job. After all, they’re “breadwinners” who need to earn even more money now, right? And yet women are typically viewed as less devoted to their jobs in this same scenario because it’s assumed that they’re putting 100% of their time and effort into caring for their child (and not into their job).


It’s imperative that you fight this kind of discrimination so you don’t get financially gypped because of misconceptions and biases at the negotiation table. To do this, stay in touch with your team and manager during your maternity leave. Be sure to reference ongoing projects and what you plan to accomplish when you return. Remind them of how committed you are so they don’t write you off.

If you follow the above tips, you won’t have any trouble asking for what you’re worth during the next meeting with your boss. In essence, it’s all about recognizing what you’ve achieved and what you’re truly worth (which is unfortunately too easy for women, especially mothers, to downplay) and reminding your colleagues and manager of your value. Do this and be rewarded financially!