Asking for a pay rise is always going to be an experience riddled with nerves and whilst you may think you deserve a salary boost, you may find it doesn’t always come up in conversation. As the saying goes ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ so make it your role to convince your boss to increase your earnings.
With many sometimes opting to find a new job rather than ask for a raise from their current employer, it seems many of us are running for the door rather than talking to our current employer about why a pay rise should be on the agenda, so if you need advice on how to go about the matter then keep reading for the steps you need to take.
Get Your Timing Right
Timing is everything, so do your research when it comes to finding the best time to discuss a pay review with your employer. Many businesses schedule in pay reviews at specific times in the year so make sure you’re aware if this is the case and plan accordingly.
If your company does already have a policy in place regarding salary discussions then research this before you begin any negotiations, as you may find there are guidelines in place as to how the process works.
Prepare a Case
You wouldn’t go into a meeting without preparing an agenda or bringing a portfolio if presenting to a client, and when going into the boardroom to discuss a pay rise you should have the same mentality.
Take the time to collate the reasons why you’ve earned a raise. Have you met and exceeded your targets since you joined the business? Have you completed any courses or expanded your skill set? Won new business? Jot down your journey at the company so far, keep it factual and back it up with evidence to prove your hard work. You should be saying ‘this is what I’ve done so far to deserve a pay rise, and here’s the evidence to prove it.’
Consider the Future
Take the time to consider your career goals and where you want to be in the next few years. Think about the wider company goals too. Are there any challenges ahead that you could help divert? Or projects on the horizon that your role is particularly crucial for?
Predicting the future of the business market isn’t easy but if it does play a big part in your role then don’t neglect the issue. Listing your previous achievements is great, but you also need to include what potentially lies ahead and how you feel your expertise can help.
It’s Not Always about Money
I know the title is about getting a pay rise, but it’s not always about the money when you’re looking to improve your employment situation. Is there something else other than a wage increase that you’d prefer – flexible hours? Increased holiday allowance? A better working environment?
Peter Brown, Senior Reward Consultant at Paydata (1) explains why jumping ship if you don’t get a pay rise isn’t always the best idea: “It’s worth thinking hard about what you get from your current job – and not just the pay, but also the benefits. Pensions may not be the first thing on your mind at this stage, but they are important and some are better than others. You may have some other perks like free tea and coffee that might not be available in the new role you’re looking at. The location where you are now may suit you better and not involve much commuting time or cost. Also, the hours may work well for you – will you have the same in the new role or are you going to have to change your social life to fit in? You may really like the people you work with and the culture of your present organisation – what do you know about the new company’s?”
Research the Market
When asking for a pay rise you’re likely to already have a particular figure in mind, but failing to do your research on the current job market could mean you end up over estimating your figure and end up disappointed. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as you may find that your talents are worth more than you initially calculated.
There are many DIY tools (2) out there that can help you to estimate how roles in your area at similar sized companies shape up. You could also speak to an independent adviser to gain an idea of the region your pay should be in.
Most employers are more than willing to discuss a possible pay review, so build up your confidence and organise a discussion where you are able to put across your case as to why you should be earning more. Employers know that valued staff are more likely to stay long term, so don’t shy away from asking for a well-deserved increase.
About the author: Emily Jarvis is a former business consultant, she is currently working as a freelance writer sharing her expert advice and tips within the business industry.