How to negotiate a pay rise

How to negotiate a pay rise

Money can be something we feel uncomfortable discussing and therefore it is vital to be prepared when negotiating a pay rise to give you the greatest chance of success. The opportunity to have these discussions often only comes around once a year and you want to make the most of it, when it does. An argument based on emotion; “I feel I deserve a pay rise” may be less successful then an argument based on fact. Below are a number of pointers which will help:

Timing is everything

Unfortunately, not everyone is entitled to a pay rise just because they want one. While there is nothing wrong with making a case for a salary increase, it’s important to get your timing right. There’s little point asking for a rise if you know your company is going through a difficult patch financially for example, or the market conditions are not ideal, or you may be at the end of a long queue of others looking for the same thing. If your timing is right, and your performance warrants a raise, you are more likely to be successful.

Do your market research

There are so many job boards available to you which will have similar roles advertised, to the one you are doing. Importantly, they will state the requirements for the role and relevant years of experience as well as the salary, which will allow you to build an understanding of what comparable roles will pay. You may also have a good relationship with a recruitment consultant who you have worked with previously, who will be able to advise on market levels and what you should be expecting. As well as your base salary, consider your core working hours and benefits also as they do all influence the final package you receive.

Have your original job spec to hand

When you joined the business, your role should have been outlined in a job spec and the salary you were offered would have been based on performing that specific role. A good idea is to go through that job spec and add to it any other tasks you do on top of the original requirements. This can then clearly show how your role has grown and developed and subsequently how the new role should be at a higher salary level to the one you started with. Having a list of your achievements will provide you with factual information to back up your argument and show your additional value to the business.

Have an end goal in mind and take your time

Go in to the meeting with a figure or package in your head of what you are expecting and take time to think about any offer which is presented to you. Don't be tempted into speaking or committing yourself to an offer too early, a night to sleep on it can be really valuable and shows you take the process seriously. This then gives you the option to go back with a compromise or other suggestions once you have had time to reflect.

Other options

If a pay rise isn’t something that is possible at the time of your discussion, ask for an outline of what you will need to achieve and a timeline for this, for you to be applicable for future pay rises. Alternatively if the business cannot support a pay rise, you could ask for more holiday, or flexible working, something that won’t be an actual cost to the business. Another option could be asking to receive further training and development which would benefit both you and the business. This then in time will also allow you to become a greater asset to the business.

Follow up the meeting in writing

Follow up with your meeting in writing, so you have something to work from for your next review and so everything that was discussed is noted. Do remember that your boss may not be the final decision maker, so writing your case down in a clear and concise manner will help them to communicate your request to the relevant parties.

Always remain professional

If, in spite of your best efforts you are not successful with your pay rise negotiations, do remember to remain calm and professional. You don’t want to resign in haste due to frustrations and then find yourself without a job. You will need your employer for future references and you never know when your paths might cross, especially if you stay within the same sector, and you don’t want to burn any bridges. Handled correctly, a pay rise should show you are keen to develop within the firm and are serious about your career, so whatever the end result, it can highlight you as a strong contender when promotions are being considered as someone looking to progress.

Posted on Feb 28, 2020

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