Asking for a pay rise, just merely reading that sentence brings up all sorts of conflicting emotions! Approaching your employer to discuss your salary is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks you'll undertake during your career. However, if you feel a pay rise is well deserved, and have the evidence to support your request, then you shouldn't let these feelings deter you.
Once you've made the all-important decision to approach your employer and ask for that much-wanted pay rise, the next step is knowing how to approach that sensitive conversation in the right way, which is exactly where we come in! Keep reading for our top tips on how to negotiate your salary expectations from a strengthened position.
Timing It Right:
Some might say there's no good time to discuss salary expectations, but we're inclined to disagree, although there certainly is something to be said for choosing the right time and the right place. Salary negotiations are a sensitive subject and not the kind of discussion that should take place in a busy working environment. Make sure that before you decide to act on your instinct, you choose a time that works well for both you and your employer. Getting your timing spot on here is crucial. If the business you're employed by has had a tough few months revenue-wise, then perhaps hold off broaching the subject for a while. There will likely be a more opportune time to discuss the expectation of a salary increase when things settle down.
If you've recently received a promotion or pay increase, perhaps within the last year or two, it’s worth asking yourself why you feel you warrant another one so soon. If you feel you've been overachieving since your last promotion and are confident in your decision, it would be ideal if you could time this request with a PDR meeting (Personal Development Review). This the best time and place to raise the question. If you don't have a PDR booked in for the near future, you could politely approach your manager for an earlier discussion.
Research Your Worth:
Before starting the conversation, it's important to do your homework and assess your market value. You can't walk into a pay negotiation blindly, so research average salaries within your industry for your role. An easy way to do this is by searching your role on various job sites to compare relevant salaries, but remember – this can vary significantly dependent on region.
You might find it helpful to know and understand what salaries are typically paid to your colleagues working within the same, or similar roles and sometimes you can gain this knowledge through informal discussions with those you are comfortable with. Remember, generally salary information is a confidential matter and both your employer and colleagues have no obligation to share this with you.
This is your best chance at having an open and honest conversation about your salary with your employer – prepare for it! You will need to go into this meeting equipped with evidence to support your reasoning for requesting a pay rise. Your employer will be asking hard-hitting questions about why you feel like you deserve a raise, so it's best to come prepared.
Keep a record of specific things you have achieved and succeeded at. Have you headed up more meetings recently? Secured new clients? Outperformed some of your colleagues? Bring all of this evidence to your meeting to demonstrate how you have positively contributed to the company over the last few months. While talking about what you have done, don't forget to mention what you will be doing in the foreseeable future to assist the company with its business growth goals. This could be promising to increase your responsibilities or offering to take on additional daily duties.
While compiling your evidence, it’s important to provide tangible data. Companies love being able to physically see the impact you have made, and this will give them something to look at whilst considering your proposed salary expectation.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate:
Sometimes you won't be in luck when it comes to successfully securing a pay rise, or you could be offered a promotion that doesn't match your expectation. It can be tempting to settle and walk away, but if you feel you truly deserve this raise, don't be afraid to negotiate with your employer.
In some situations, there is room for compromise. Employers could instead suggest subsidised gym memberships or travel costs. If you have a family, for instance, perhaps you could request flexible working hours as an alternative to a pay rise, if that's completely off the table for now. Alternatively, you could enquire about further training or attending relevant courses to improve your skills and career prospects. Occasionally, you can create a package that works for you and your employer, but just be very clear about why you want what you're asking for.
Think About It:
Take your time when considering the offer if you aren't sure or need some time to think about it. Go home, talk it through with a partner or family members, or mull it over in the bathtub. Even if the offer is exactly what you wanted, it’s still wise to give yourself a day or two to contemplate the offer.
Telling your employers that you’d like to have some time to think about it also allows you to stay in control of the situation. This will convey to them that this is an important time in your life, and will demonstrate how seriously you are taking the offer that's been proposed to you.
Stay On Good Terms:
You might not be successful and how you handle that rejection is important. Maintaining a respectful and healthy relationship with your employer is crucial to your future. If your conversation didn't go the way you’d hoped for, you can always try again the following year, if you're inclined to stay in your current position.
Should you decide to move on, remember that all-important reference that you'll need as you transition to your next career goal. Keeping the relationship positively respectful is a sure-fire way of securing that glowing recommendation. Also, you never know when your paths may cross again, especially if you are staying within the same industry. Remember, even if you choose another path, your current employer has played a critical role in your professional progression.
Wrap It Up:
No matter what the outcome, it's important to close the conversation on a polite note. Thank them for the opportunity for discussion and show that you appreciate them taking the time to listen to you.
There you have it! Good luck if you’re contemplating the conversation of a pay negotiation, support your reasoning with tangible evidence and go in confident in your achievements.