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Why asking how much money other people make will help you get a raise: Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry

Key Points
  • Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour, learned a valuable lesson about overcoming the anxiety associated with asking an employer for more money when she worked at CNN.
  • Developing a "salary whisperer network" is key for workers who deserve more money but may be too afraid to ask. 
Why asking how much money other people make will help you get a raise: Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry

Samantha Barry says "knowledge is absolutely power" — especially when it comes time to negotiate a raise.

Even for Type A personalities, asking for more money at work can be an intimidating prospect.

"I have some professional, competent people in my life, and in every other part of their life they're so confident and they sit in a room across from a boss and the thought of asking for more money, they fall apart," says Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour, where she oversees content development and consumer experiences across the brand's digital, social, video and print platforms.

Even an individual who knows they deserve to get paid more can struggle figuring out how to ask for more without seeming audacious, and that can be enough to scare most people off the critical task.

When Barry was renegotiating her contract with her former employer CNN as executive producer for social and emerging media, she experienced the anxiety of not knowing how much she could ask for. To get a better idea of what her male counterparts were earning, Barry recalled, "I took them, three or four EPs [executive producers], men, out ... got them drunk and asked them how much they were paid."

Barry did not say her exact method was necessary. There are ways to find out how much your colleagues are earning. She suggests starting with people in your industry. "Who are your trusted friends? What's their job?"

Barry calls this the "salary whisperer network."

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Knowing what your colleagues are earning will create more confidence to "go in and brazenly ask for that and more," she said.

Networking with your peers can also lead to more career opportunities. A survey by LinkedIn and the Adler Group revealed that 85% of critical jobs are filled through network connections.

But there is more you should ask for than just a larger salary. Barry says that as a manager, she finds that employees perform at the highest level when they ask for more than money. "Like an executive coach or extra training."

Managers and companies often have programs to enrich their employees skills. However, your employer may not tell you what is available – the best way to learn more is to ask.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.