Negotiating a pay rise can be one of the biggest and most intimating challenges we each go through in the workplace. In fact, the fear of unsettling our current work situation can be enough to scare anyone from asking. With the New Year quickly approaching, we thought it was best to discuss some tactful ways of asking for a pay raise. You should only ask if you feel you really deserve it and the time is right. Make sure to approach your work in the right way so that everyone feels good about it.
Ask for a meeting
The best way to ask is in a private meeting. This shouldn’t be some quick comment that is casually thrown around. You should schedule some time to sit down with your employer and make sure you are prepared. Keep in mind this meeting is a two way street. Whatever happens, you can advocate for yourself or answer any questions they have but don’t panic. This should be a conversation, not a demand.
Do your homework
Come prepared. Collect some of your recent achievements, the value and knowledge you bring to this role, and why you think now is a good time to ask. You should also do your research on the average salaries for your job in your location. One of the quickest ways to do this is by finding a similar job that is posted online and see how much it’s paying. Alternatively, there are many salary checker compare websites.
Get your timing right
Just because you ask doesn’t mean you’ll receive. Before you approach the conversation, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:
- When was your last pay increase? If it was within the last year, why do you warrant another one so soon?
- Has your performance justified asking for more money? For instance, have you been consistently hitting your targets? Do you outperform your colleagues?
The best time to negotiate a rise is after a period of consistent performance which will make you the obvious candidate for an increase.
It’s awkward talking about yourself. That’s why people struggle to write CVs or have a hard time in interviews. That’s okay, but remember this is a sales pitch. You’ll need to justify the reasons why your employer should invest more in you. Bring up your strengths and your successes. Talk about your contribution to the company in the last 6 months.
Keep in mind that sometimes your boss needs to approve decisions from other people. It helps to bring a written sheet of your achievements so that they can remember for further conversations. This will help them communicate your request to other people.
But you shouldn’t expect a pay raise and then the ability to sit back. This is a business decision so bring something to the table. Talk about your future plans and what you want to achieve in the upcoming months. Give your employer a reason to invest in you.
It’s not just about the money
In many cases, you may not get your pay raise. And more often than not, it doesn’t have much to do with you. Budgets are already set, funds are not available…etc. But your conversation shouldn’t just end at finances. Think of other non-financial benefits your employer can offer you. Maybe more time off, a better allowance for work related items, or additional benefits. Also, if you’re thinking of change jobs in the future (most likely) consider asking for funds that go toward training and development. This will help you increase your skill set and make you more valuable for the next position.
Most importantly, don’t burn your bridges
Despite your best efforts, you may not have been successful in your negotiation. You may feel undervalued or frustrated – all the reasons we try to avoid this conversation in the beginning. But remember, this is a conversation not a demand. Even if you choose to look for another job, your going to need a good reference from your existing employer. Always remain professional despite the outcome. New Zealand is a small country. You never know when your paths may cross again.