How to Ask for a Pay Rise

Is your salary leaving you with little disposable income and a quality life that doesn’t quite live up to your expectations? Is it forcing you to start shopping around for another job? Well, before you jump ship ask yourself a few questions: Do you enjoy your job? Are you good at your job? Does your job provide you with opportunities you are happy with? Would you be unhappy about leaving? If the answer to these questions is Yes, then perhaps there is another way…perhaps it is time to ask for that pay rise. If the thought of a confrontation and actually asking for a little bit more salary has just filled you with immediate dread, then these tips might help you feel a little bit more confident and ultimately lead to a successful salary negotiation.

Tip 1 – Do Your Research:

There are two main pieces of research you need to do before you ask for a pay rise. Firstly, research your role in other companies, especially direct competitors. It is pointless asking for a pay rise if you are already sitting on a salary way above others in similar roles to yourself, if you are on a lower salary than others in your area of expertise than it will give you a ball park figure to help you decide what amount of money to ask for and if you go into your negotiation with this information available then it will show that you have done your research and are being reasonable in your request.

The second piece of research that you should complete is on yourself. Have a look at the past year or so of your career. Have you; got an example of outstanding performance, gone above and beyond, taken on new responsibilities, had an exemplary sickness record or got involved with projects outside of your job role whist maintaining great standards of work or regularly worked overtime? Make a note of anything similar to this and use it to sell yourself. You need to show them that you are an asset that should be valued and rewarded appropriately with that pay rise!

If you face the negotiation armed with facts and reasoning it will be easier for your boss to understand your request and perspective, allowing them to come to a quicker and easier decision.

Tip 2 – Ensure your Timing is Right:

Don’t start off on the wrong foot by bombarding your boss unexpectedly whilst either they are busy or you should be. If you have regular ‘catch ups’ or one to ones this would be a great time to ask them if they would be able to arrange a meeting with you about your salary. Alternatively, if they are difficult to catch, pop them an email asking them. They will appreciate the warning and not being caught off guard and it might give them some time to do their research too which might just work in your favour.

Tip 3 – Stay Calm and Avoid Confrontation:

Nobody like confrontation so if you attend your meeting with the research you previously carried out as notes, it should help you not to get flustered. Stick to why you deserve the pay rise, why you are an asset to the company and your passion for the role/company you are in rather than why you need the money. As always, it’s important to remain professional so if you bear these things in mind you should be able to approach the meeting as you would any other. Go in with a figure in mind and the reason behind that figure, you don’t want to be caught on the back foot if they begin a negotiation process as this will be sure to fluster you and could diminish your case if they feel you have made an unreasonable proposal.

Tip from a Professional:

The tips above can be applied to negotiating in general as well, Natalie Reynolds, author of “We Have A Deal”, gives some great tips about how to negotiate a pay rise and the concept of anchoring, explaining how to use it to your advantage in the clip below. The concept applies to a variety of different negotiation subjects so it’s a great bit of Learning and Development in negotiation skills in general.