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How to Get a Pay Rise at Work

by nick

The recession of recent years has been a good excuse for employers to introduce pay freezes and pay cuts. However, with the economy picking up, companies are starting to feel more confident about the future. With that in mind, if you’ve got the nerve, this could be a good time to negotiate a pay rise.

So, if you feel like you deserve a pay rise, we provide you our tips that will at least increase your chances of boosting your pay.

Pay Rise Guidelines
Find out when your company grants pay rises – Most companies don’t grant pay rises to most employees except during annual pay reviews or employee-review cycles. Also, many companies pay competitive, industry-standard salaries, which they adjust periodically to cover cost of living and inflation. If your company does this and you ask for a random out-of-cycle pay rise or more than the going rate for your position, then you’ll reduce your chances of receiving a pay rise.

Check your company policy on pay rises – Some companies may have a policy related to asking for a pay rise. For example, if the policy states how to go about it, then follow it. But if a policy clearly states that your employer will not consider an out-of-cycle pay rise then it may be best to wait until your next annual pay review.

Set up a meeting with your boss – If there’s no set time for discussing pay rises then arrange a meeting in advance and give your boss some idea about what you want to talk about. This is a much better approach than simply mentioning that you want a pay rise on the spur of the moment. It will also show that you’re serious about a pay rise. Try to time your meeting to coincide with the completion of specific project, especially if you were closely involved. If not, it may be best to hold off until there is such a time.

Follow the chain of command – When asking for a pay rise and setting up a meeting, ensure that you speak to your immediate boss first. For example, if your immediate boss is a supervisor, don’t go over your supervisors head to the department manager. Speak to your immediate boss first and let him or her tell you the next step.

Carry out your research well in advance – Before you pursue a pay rise, do some research. Try to find out what people in comparable positions in the firm earn or what rival companies are offering. Look at job adverts on websites. Most tell you the average salary for your role or profession. Take into account your:

Job description
Your responsibilities, including any management or leadership tasks
Year of experience
List the things you do at work – You need to be able to justify a pay rise. You need to show your boss that you’re exceeding your job requirements. Explain how you’ve taken on extra responsibility or how you’ve taken on additional tasks. Maybe you’ve brought in business or because of redundancies, you’ve been doing the jobs of two people. Include impressive things like:

Revenue you’ve earned
Money you’ve saved
Client testimonials
Product or services you’ve improved
Solutions you’ve implemented
Tight deadlines you’ve met or beat
Extra hours you’ve worked voluntarily
Whatever your justifications are, go through them and make a note of all your accomplishments and the extra things you do now. You can then use this when negotiating a pay rise with your boss.

Offer to take on more – If you’re not doing much more beyond your current job description, offer to do so. Ask if you can take on more responsibility or train a junior member of staff to justify a pay rise. Make a list of what you hope to achieve in the next 18 months and demonstrate how you’ll go about doing this. Not only will you be showing how a pay rise will help the company, you’ll also indicate that you want to progress and improve your work. This will go down a lot better than simply asking for more money, especially if your current responsibilities don’t require you to do much above the call of duty and your employer thinks that you’re pay is in line with your job role.

Use other offers you’ve had to negotiate – Your boss will know that firms need talent and talent costs money. If they don’t pay well then people will go elsewhere. If you’ve been headhunted or have a job offer from a rival firm, don’t be afraid to use it as a bargaining tool. Depending on how much your company values you, they may match or even offer more money just to keep you.

Consider other perks – Remember that pay is only one part of the job package. If your company can’t offer you more money, be open-minded and ask for other benefits. These could be things like more annual leave, pension, private medical cover, life insurance, flexible working, bonuses, employee share plans and share option schemes. Your employer may refuse a pay rise but instead offer an improved job package.

Think twice about threatening to quit – If you threaten to walk out if you’re turned down, it’ll demonstrate a lack of commitment to the company. Don’t think that you’re indispensable. There will be plenty of employees below you willing to learn your job for less pay. If you do threaten to leave, you must be prepared to follow through your threat.

Schedule in a pay review – If you don’t get a pay rise, don’t take the rejection personally. There may be a number of reasons – there might be one or two others performing better than you, or the decision could be merely financial. If you allow rejection to sour your attitude or affect your work, your boss will feel like the right decision was made. The best way to handle rejection is to see it as an opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Ask for feedback from your boss, and use it as an opportunity to learn where you could improve. Also ensure you ask if you can schedule in another pay review in a few months’ time and in the meantime try to improve on any feedback that you received from your boss.

Other tips for getting a pay rise:

Thank your boss for his or her time – always do this no matter the outcome.

Improve your qualifications – Better qualifications mean that you can offer more to your employer. If you can, take a class, get a certification or licence, or show initiative to learn new skills on your own. Use these new skills to demonstrate that you’re worth more than you used to be.

Be realistic – If you’re asking for more than your company is willing to pay, maybe it’ll be better to apply for a different position that has a higher salary, either in your company, or another one.

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