When money is tight, it doesn’t help to feel overworked yet underpaid. If you think you’re a valuable asset to your employers, who is good at what they do, it might be time to consider asking for a pay rise. The thought of which may be nerve-wracking to the point where you’d rather not ask for one. But don’t worry, there are more effective ways of going about this than simply marching into your boss’s office demanding one. If you think you deserve a pay rise, here are 6 of the best ways to get one.
1. Have Some Confidence
It’s easy to say ‘go and ask for a pay rise’ but when push comes to shove and you actually have to do it, it’s a little more daunting. Research from This Is Money suggests only one in six UK workers feel confident enough to ask their boss for a pay rise or promotion. Build up your courage by reminding yourself of all you have achieved and why your company is lucky to have you. A panel discussion from Guardian Careers, stated: ‘Your employer wants empowered, successful and confident people at the top or even higher in the ranks than where you are, so not only do you need confidence to get ahead, you need confidence to do the role when you are ahead.’ If you never ask, you’ll never know, so either way it’s worth plucking up the courage to try.
2. Be prepared
Demanding without justification is unlikely to get you very far, so take some time to note down a few of the main reasons you believe you deserve a pay rise to make your case to your boss. Re-read your job description and make a note of anything you’ve been doing that goes above and beyond it. If you’ve been doing any additional activities or taking on any extra responsibility that isn’t covered by your job description, write these down so that you can refer to examples as you make your case.
Talking to Forbes Kim Mullaney executive vice president at Monster, says ‘share examples of projects you have completed and how they’ve positively impacted the business. Was there an increase in revenue? Did you save a customer? If you’ve received positive feedback from colleagues or other leaders regarding your work, be prepared to share that with your manager as well.
3. Do your research
Before arranging a meeting, it’s helpful to find out what your employer’s company policies on pay rises are. For example, maybe they are only considered after a certain length of service, are automatically awarded on a regular basis, or maybe there’s something else you can do to further your chances. On top of that, it’s worth researching the average salary for roles similar to yours, to gauge the going market rate for people with your skills and to see if your salary falls drastically short. Any figures you can show your boss during your meeting to reinforce your position will be helpful.
4. Consider your timing
As much as you’d like to demand the pay rise here and now, you’ve got to be wise about it. For example, if a load of people have recently been let go, or during a week when your boss has a million meetings and no time to think, chances are you won’t be successful. Timing is key. First thing on a Monday, or last thing on a Friday are definite “no no” times to ask for most people. In fact, a survey by Office Angels revealed that a Wednesday afternoon was the best time to ask for a pay rise, as employers were more receptive to requests mid-week.
Try and schedule a time with your boss when you know they haven’t got too much on. An ideal time would be during a performance review, whether yours are usually quarterly, bi-annual or annual. This way you can gauge how likely a pay rise will be after you have heard about your accomplishments. If you don’t particularly fancy waiting months for your next performance review, try and schedule a one off performance and development meeting with your boss at a convenient time. Writing for the Guardian, Jenny Ungless who is a career coach at Monster suggests ‘request a performance review and make it clear you would like to talk about pay.’
5. Be ready for questions
Make sure you practise your pitch before your meeting and rehearse responses for potential questions. It might be useful to practise with a trusted friend, family member or partner. This trial run will help to build your confidence and help you feel more prepared. Talking to Forbes, Danielle Harlan, the founder of The Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential says ‘After role-playing the part of a resistant boss, having the actual conversation with her or him will be infinitely easier—and you’ll have more confidence since you will be able to anticipate their responses and know how to address them.’
6. Accept the answer
If you get a slight increase in pay, but not the full amount you’ve asked for, do not fret. Take your time to consider the offer depending on how close it is and mull over your other options. Tell your employer you’ll sleep on it and get back to them the following day. If you are not happy with the amount, you may be able to haggle for other benefits instead, such as additional holidays.
There is also the chance that you won’t be successful and your pay rise will get completely declined. If this is the case, be open-minded and don’t jump to ultimatums by threatening to leave. Accept your boss’s answer gracefully – you still have to work with them, after all. Instead be seen to be working harder and taking on more responsibility, so you can make an even better case in another six months or so.
We hope this helps you get your pay rise! Have any of these methods worked for you? Let us know in the comments!