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How to Get a Pay Rise

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Pay Rise Getting A Pay Rise Job Employer

Many of us go to work and on occasion, feel that we are undervalued and underpaid but, apart from an annual company pay review, most of us do not seek to rectify the situation by asking for a pay rise.

How do I go About Asking for a Pay Rise?

Tact, diplomacy, preparation and timing are the main key ingredients you should have if you are considering asking for a pay rise. It’s important not to be blatant about asking for one directly. A useful way of raising the issue would be to request a review meeting with your employer or supervisor to discuss your performance.

This would give you the opportunity to discuss your contribution to the company’s performance. However, you want to be negotiating from a position of strength so you should only raise the subject of a pay rise if you are confident that you have been making contributions to the company which have exceeded your employer’s expectations and you can show hard evidence of this. For example, you might be able to illustrate how you have increased company profits, reduced costs or provided excellent levels of customer service.

You should ‘sell’ yourself in a clear and concise manner as the person with whom you are raising the issue may not be the ultimate decision maker so don’t waffle and do make it clear what you are requesting and why, so that they can take that information forward to the key decision maker.

Don’t Ask for too Much

You need to do your homework when considering your worth. If you’re looking for a pay rise which well exceeds the average rate for the job you are doing, your negotiations will be very short and unproductive indeed. So, just as you’d prepare your workload, so you should take equal care in preparing to discuss a pay rise. Do some research amongst both fellow employees or on the internet to find out how much money workers get in other companies who do a similar job to you.

Timing is Everything!

It’s crucial that you time your request at the most opportune moment if you want to succeed in getting a pay rise. Firstly, ask yourself when was the last time you received one? If it was within the past year, you need to be able to show concrete evidence that you merit a further one so soon.

Alternatively, you may be better off waiting a few more months before raising the matter again. And, unless you’re regularly outperforming your colleagues significantly, you’re unlikely to get the response you want. Also, only ask for a pay rise if your company is enjoying a profitable period. If they are losing orders and their overall profits are falling, it will be much harder to justify a pay rise.

A useful ‘tip’ too is to try to raise the matter on a Friday as not only is there more of a relaxed atmosphere on a Friday with the weekend approaching but your boss will have more time over the weekend to worry about whether you’re likely to leave the company if your request isn’t granted.

And, What if I don’t Succeed?

It’s important that you don’t lose your cool if you don’t get your pay rise immediately. Depending on what transpired at the meeting, you may well have been given cause for optimism if your boss has said that they’ll look at your case again sympathetically a few months down the track. But, if they can’t agree to increase your salary, even though they acknowledge your contribution, perhaps you could ask them to consider other kinds of ‘rewards’.

These might include additional training and development with a view to a promotion, a higher car allowance or maybe even a subsidised gym membership.

If you enjoy working at the company, you should always try to leave the door open for further negotiations in a few months time. And, although you should never burn bridges immediately just because your wishes are not granted, you might decide to do some research about obtaining similar employment within another company where the pay is better.

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