Asking for a Raise: The Tarot Can Help You Find Your Inner Courage

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While few of us want to be defined by how much money we have or make, there are very few of us who never have to worry or think about it. Paying rent or the mortgage, covering bills, saving for retirement, going on vacation: It all requires money and, because of that, it is something that is always in the back of our minds. Of course, the primary way we get money is through our jobs, which is why asking for a raise can be important—and difficult. 

When we ask for a raise, we aren’t just asking for a higher salary: We are selling ourselves, presenting our worth, and saying, “This is who I am: recognize my talents, contributions, and value.” We are reluctant to do so because, too often, we feel that our qualities will go unrecognized. A raise rejection is, rightly or wrongly, seen as a rejection of our very selves. It shouldn’t be that way. You are not your job, and there are a million reasons why you might not get a raise. But you will never get one if you don’t ask, and that takes courage, a sense of self-worth, and self-confidence. Gaining these three attributes is a reason so many people call psychic advisors and Tarot readers on Keen to understand who they are, what they want, and where they are going. Raising awareness of yourself is the first step in getting a real raise.

Getting Past Self-Doubt

A client of mine, Tonja, had been working at her job at a company that conducted professional background checks for nearly five years. The job wasn’t glamorous, but it was steady, and she was happy to have been hired after her city was hit hard by the recession, and she was laid off from her previous job. The salary wasn’t great when she started, but she was grateful to have it, and she worked hard. 

Tonja was proud of her hard work and her accomplishments. She had even instituted a new procedure for reporting that saved time and made the company’s clients very happy. The company was doing well, and with the recession mostly in the past, Tonja began to feel that she was worth a lot more. The problem was that she didn’t know how to ask for it. 

When she called me, she had already been agonizing about it for months (years, really, but it was only the last few months that she began to chafe at the disproportionate relationship between the work she did and what she made). She would tell herself that, of course, she was worth it, but then, a second later, feel that, no, she wasn’t. If she was worth it, they would have already offered her a raise, she thought. She was terrified to go into her manager’s office and be turned down. She felt like it would be an almost unendurable humiliation. 

This is the position a lot of people are in when they call us about asking for a raise. They are so worried that someone will say “no” that they don’t want to ask. This, of course, is born out of self-doubt, and that is exactly where Tonja was when she called me.

What Tonja needed to find out during our session was why she was so reluctant to ask for a raise and if it was a good idea to do so. She was worried about poisoning her relationship with her employer and afraid she’d discover that she wasn’t “worth as much” as she believed she was. We did a three-card spread to help reveal some answers.

The Tarot Points the Way

The first card I drew was The Tower. It is a strange and ominous card, showing a tower bursting explosively from the ground, immersed in flames and lightning. It indicates that there will be a time of upheaval and change, usually considered to be turmoil. In the past position, it means that the upheaval is caused by something that happened in the past—a prior trauma or event. 

Tonja, of course, took this to mean that if she asked, she’d be fired. But, I told her, that wasn’t the case. What happened in the past, as we talked it through, was that she had been bounced around by the economic upheaval at the end of the last decade. She had lost jobs and struggled to find anything decent. She had been scarred by that, and that’s what was leading to the tumult in her head about asking for a raise. She was worried about upsetting her employer even the slightest. But, she knew what she was worth, and there would be a storm in her head if she never asked. The Tower didn’t mean that things were going to go badly if she asked for a raise, it meant that if she didn’t ask, she’d be bound by the past and less able to control her future.

To me, this reading was confirmed by the second card I drew, the Six of Wands. On it, a noble knight rides a pure white horse, surrounded by six wands topped with garland. It symbolizes victory and portends a time of great triumph just ahead. 

For Tonja, in the present position, this card portrayed that the triumph isn’t here yet and that it wouldn’t come unearned. The card told us that if Tonja had the courage to discover her confidence and truly understand her worth by asking for a raise, she could achieve a great victory. The card didn’t say victory was hers, but that it could be hers if she reached for it.

The third card I drew was the Eight of Pentacles, which shows a craftsman sitting on a bench hammering out the pentacles. He is diligent in the application of his skill. He knows the path ahead is full of labor, but that he will set forth and do the job he is meant to. 

In the future position, I told Tonja, the Eight of Pentacles was a card that showed that to get what you want, you need to work for it. This didn’t discourage her. She knew that asking for a raise meant putting together a portfolio showing her contributions and talking to her bosses about why she was worth it. It meant not slacking, even for a day, to show to them that not only was she the kind of employee who deserved a raise, but she was one whose loyalty and spirit they would want to reward, keep, and cultivate. It meant not hiding in gratitude for being hired five years ago but combining that gratitude with deserved self-worth to ask for what was hers. 

I couldn’t, of course, guarantee Tonja the raise. But what I could tell her was that while her self-worth was not bound up in a bottom line, and she could summon up her courage to ask for more. Regardless of the outcome, she would discover in herself the strength to see herself not through a mirror occluded by past failures and frustrations, but through one in which the future was reflected over her shoulder. Tonja had her confidence, she knew what she wanted, and she was ready to fight to get it. That was the gift of the Tarot. 

If you need to unlock the courage to take a big step in life or get through something difficult, advisors on Keen can help.

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