As great as it can be to sell your old clothes on eBay and walk your neighbour’s dog in exchange for cash, there’s no denying that one of the best ways to boost your income on a consistent basis involves getting a pay rise.
Unfortunately, though you may daydream about getting called into the boss’ office and offered an extra £5,000 a year, the chances of that actually happening are very slim. So if you believe you deserve a pay rise, you’re going to have to ask for it. In this post I’ll share a few tips to help you take on the daunting experience of asking for a raise.
Prove your worth
Your boss doesn’t care that you’re saving for a deposit on a house and your car has failed its MOT. All your boss cares about is how much money you make the company. As a result, make sure you’re equipped with plenty of information that highlights the value you bring to your employer – rather than the benefits a pay rise would give you.
Set some time aside to think about your accomplishments so far in your career. What have you achieved so far? How much value do you bring to the team? What unique skills do you have? Do you have any ideas to help the company to grow?
“It’s better to ask and be told ‘no’ than to not ask at all.” Chelsea Clinton
Do some research
Find out what someone with your experience and skills typically makes in matching roles elsewhere. This probably isn’t something that you should discuss with your own colleagues, but if you have any close friends in similar positions at other companies, it could be worth having a chat with them.
There are also plenty of online resources that allow you to search average salaries in a particular field. You could also have a look at job websites to see how much other employers are offering candidates looking for similar roles to yours.
Lisa from Not Quite Enough has another suggestion for those who want to work out how much they should be earning. She says: “I definitely recommend ringing a recruitment consultant for getting an insight into what the market is paying. Most will be happy to give ballpark figures or even be a bit more specific. This helped me when it came to salary review time last year as I knew what market rate for my level was which gave me a stronger position to start from.”
“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.” Amy Poehler
Think outside the box
Don’t be afraid to ask for more than just money. Perhaps you need a flexible work schedule, you’d like more responsibility, or you’d like to go on a training course to develop your skills. Go ahead and ask for what you want. Gone are the days where employees are at the mercy of their employers – the best leaders understand the importance of helping their most talented staff to succeed. If you have an understanding boss, even if they’re unable to meet your request, they should be willing to work with you to find a solution and help you achieve your goals.
“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.” Sheryl Sandberg
Ask at the right time
Many people recommend waiting a year before asking for a pay rise. However, I personally believe that if you hit the ground running when you first started the role and have smashed targets and exceeded expectations time and time again, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask for a rise sooner.
After all, the very best salary negotiators ask for more money before they’ve even stepped foot in the company. They ask for more as soon as they receive their initial job offer! Why can’t you ask for more after six months of awesomeness in a particular position?
If you do decide to ask for a rise after a short period of time, you will really need to emphasise just how valuable you are to the team and highlight each and every one of your achievements. It’s not enough to say you ‘work hard’, you’ll need to explain exactly what you bring to the table, how that has helped the company progress, and why you’re irreplaceable.
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Oprah Winfrey
Try to make the meeting as positive as possible. Avoid using phrases such as “I haven’t had a pay rise since…” and never under any circumstances say “I know this isn’t the best time but…” That just gives them an excuse to say no!
Don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get what you want. Don’t complain about how overworked you are. Don’t suggest that you’re unhappy in your role. Your boss won’t want to give you a pay rise if they suspect you’ll only move to another company in a few months time.
Instead, explain how much you love your role, highlight how much of an asset you are to the team, and express a desire to help the company progress.
Asking for a pay rise can be scary, but you have to take charge of your own success because no one else will do it for you. Don’t be afraid to emphasise your awesomeness and talk about your achievements. Have confidence, believe in yourself, and good luck!