Get a pay rise

May 3, 2017

It’s never easy asking for money. Asking your boss for a salary increase is probably on the top half of your list of least favourable things to do – right in between doing your taxes and cleaning the gutters. But salary freezes are now starting to thaw and this might be your year to finally get that hard earned increase. If you are feeling a little nervous about approaching your boss, here are a few tips that will help you get a pay rise:

Ask for it face-to-face.

Never ask for a pay rise via email or SMS, because you never know what your boss might be doing at that very moment. If your boss is about to go off the top of the stress-o-meter, the last thing he or she wants is to receive a message from an employee asking for more money.

When you ask for a pay rise face-to-face, your boss will be able to see that you are the sort of person who can negotiate and stand your ground in a business context.

Schedule a meeting.

Scheduling a meeting ensures that you are able to discuss the possibility of receiving a pay rise without interruption. However, ensure that you give your employer a clue of what the meeting is about. Nothing is more annoying than telling your employer: “there’s something important I need to discuss with you,” and no clue as to whether you are planning on moving to Timbuktu, received a better job offer, or have some fatal disease.

It is helpful to prepare your employer, so that he or she may have a chance to go through the budget or your performance reviews before the meeting.

Do it when things look positive.

Any boss is going to be more pleasantly disposed towards handing out pay rises when things are looking positive, from a cash-flow and profit perspective. But don’t even think of doing it if the company has issued a profits warning, or has lost a big contract.

Do your homework.

Figure out what people are being paid for similar roles in other companies, by asking around, checking newspaper ads, and calling agencies. It is also a good idea to compile a list of your key achievements over that last year or so. The list does not have to be extensive, but if you can tangibly identify how you have helped to generate profits for the company, share that.

Don’t offer to do more work for more money.

If you are asking for a pay rise, chances are that you feel as though you are already doing more work than what your role expects of you. So offering to do more work for more money may simply be undeliverable and could come back to bite you. Asking for a pay rise is – in a nutshell – asking to be rewarded for the work that you are doing now. If there is no cash on the table, perhaps there are other benefits that can be negotiated, such as medical cover or share options.

It can be helpful to work out exactly how your employer and the company is going to benefit from your salary rise, in terms of what you hope to deliver in the next year.

Don’t use blackmail or threaten to resign.

Threatening to resign shows lack of commitment. Nobody is indispensable, even when they’re convinced that they are. Your boss knows that when someone hands in their resignation, mentally they are already out of the door. So if you hand in your resignation in hopes of being rehired by your employer, chances are that you will end up unemployed and can forget about that increase.

Don’t make it personal.

What you do with your money is your affair. It is not your employer’s problem if you can’t keep up with your high-roller friends and their fast cars and big houses. Complaining about your current financial situation is also not your employer’s problem. Asking for a pay rise isn’t about what you want it’s about what you deserve.

Don’t cry if you don’t get it.

There are only a few reasons to justify tears in the office, and being turned down for a pay rise is not one of them. There may be a good reason why your approach didn’t work. For example, the company is doing badly or your employer thinks that you could try harder. Hopefully, the reason for not receiving a pay rise will be communicated to you.

Unless your boss is an ogre or a tyrant, if you follow these tips you may very well receive a pay rise. However, if your employer is the aforementioned ogre or tyrant, it is not time for a rise. It is time to look for another job. And while many people may command higher earnings, after doing research about your role in the business you may find that you are actually better off than you thought.

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