These aren’t just tips on ‘how to improve your chances’ of getting a pay raise, No, these are 5 tactical strategies on how to make sure you get one!
To start with – Some Tips
Asking for a pay rise can often seem a tricky and difficult thing to do. However, the sad truth is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Make sure the person you’re asking for the pay rise has the authority to give it. Some things to do with finances and budget will be out of your direct superior’s hands.
Make an official appointment to sit down and speak with your boss. Do not forewarn your boss what the conversation is about (you will be the person taking the initiative here – don’t allow your boss time to build defensive excuses as to why you can’t have a pay rise). If they do ask you why you want to speak with them, tell them you need to talk about your performance.
Decide on a realistic pay raise that you would be happy with – then add a bit more on top. This will be your ASK figure. Your boss will most likely want to negotiate this figure down a bit. Let them, negotiations will go better if you appear to be giving as well as taking.
Don’t make your request for a pay rise in any way to do with your personal finances i.e. you need more money for this or for that, your Mortgage has increased, you need to pay off Credit Cards, you have Medical bills to pay – none of these reasons hold any validity to anyone else but you. They certainly have nothing to do with your boss. We all have stuff to pay for.
Decide on your strategy (see Top 5 List below), go over the wording of what you will say and how you will say it the night before. Repeat your side of the conversation out loud several times, preferably in front of a mirror. Guess how your boss may counter. What objections may he/she raise? Anticipate the problems and come back at them with a legitimate answer. Be careful about being too pushy though. Keep calm and professional at all times. Be firm, be polite and be persuasive.
Go get um’ tiger!
TOP 5 STRATEGIES – HOW TO GET A PAY RISE
5. You are being paid below the ‘market rate’
Look at other similar job titles within your sector, both outside as well as inside the company and compare them to your own responsibilities and rewards. If there is a difference to what is being offered elsewhere compared to what you’re getting, by all means use this in your negotiations with your boss When using this strategy of comparing your salary to similar positions within the industry you operate – NEVER threaten to quit and join a rival company! Your chances of getting a pay rise will be greatly improved if you gently remind your boss of your value to the company and how much you enjoy your job and like working for the company and how you ‘hope’ to continue working for him/her and the ‘only’ negative you have is that you are being paid less than your market worth.
This is reason No 5 as it tends to be its most effective during boom times. However, those who operate in highly skilled niches or in hot market sectors will have the most luck with this Strategy.
4. Find out what Salary band you are in and try to Max it!
When jobs are advertised, they are often banded into a Salary Range.
For example, let’s say you applied (and got) a job as an Operations Manager. The advertised annual salary was 48,500 – 56,000 depending on experience. Based on your experience you were offered (and excepted) 50,000 as your salary.
For this position, the company laid out and specified what they were willing to pay a person like you to do this job and thus set an upper (56,000) and lower (48,500) limit which forms your salary band.
Going off this example – You still have another potential 6,000 within your salary band to attain!
I recommend to readers that they always keep the original job advertisement for any position they accept, keep it together with your employment contract in a safe place.
Not only will the original job advertisement state the salary range for your job, it can also be used as a reference point as to what your responsibilities are within the role, and may state future opportunities for promotion. These kind of details, although present on the job advertisement – are often omitted from your employment contract.
If you have taken on any extra responsibilities in addition to those that you were taken on to do – then make these known in the meeting.
Also, a powerful thing to remember is that you now have more experience than when you first took the job. Bare in mind, it would probably cost your boss a lot more in time money and company resources to take on someone else and train them up, than it would to increase your salary.
This is a good Strategy for those working in the Public Sector
3. Turbo Charge your efforts – Become the Company Golden Boy/Girl for a few months.
OK, so this is somewhat of a players trick (don’t hate the player, hate the game), but hey, there’s no malice in doing what I am about to suggest, and if done with true intent, only good can come out of it anyway, so here goes…
Pick one day a week in which you turbo charge your efforts at work.
On this particular day each week, you must take on and own the status of Golden Boy/Girl of the company. Your mission – To network across departments, volunteer to help on extra things, socialize with your boss, offer to work late, suggest new ideas, offer solutions and help out your colleagues.
Do all of these things (preferably on your least busy day) at least once per week for a few months leading up to making your request for a pay rise.
Be honest and sincere. This strategy won’t work if you go about it with maliciousness in your heart.
Yes, you do have an ulterior motive but your strategy here is to be genuinely helpful to others and improve the performance of the company by your actions.
In no time at all, you will have increased your value in those few months by working harder and better.
Inflation is the overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy. It acts rather like an invisible force and basically what it means in layman’s terms is – Stuff gets more expensive over time.
In a relatively stable economy such as the UK or US, inflation is usually around 2-3% per year.
Inflation can be argued on two fronts.
Firstly, find out what the current rate of inflation is. After each year – If you’re wages have not risen, at least in line with the rate of inflation – you are effectively accepting a pay cut (because your annual salary is being eroded by the rate of inflation).
If you ARE receiving an annual incremental pay rise in line with inflation, you can still argue that your are not getting a pay rise in real terms as your ‘increment’ only offsets inflationary rises – and what you want is a ‘real pay raise’.
The Number 1 reason for asking for a pay rise has to be because you deserve it! – because of your performance.
It would be very hard for your boss to argue against a pay rise if you have been constantly achieving quality results above and beyond what is expected.
Performance can often be subjective. So before going into see your boss to ask for that pay rise, spend the night before making notes on all the things you have achieved and all the things you have brought to the company, list all of your accomplishments, the targets you’ve reached (or indeed exceeded), mention those big deals you closed. Trumpet your achievements and bring all supporting documents with you to the meeting to back-up what you’re saying.
Love your Job. Excel at it. If you love your job, good performance nearly always seems to naturally follow that love. This is a position I would love to see everybody negotiate from. Those lucky few who really enjoy their work are nearly always the ones who perform the best.
These are good strategies to help you get that pay rise. However, if economic times are hard and a pay rise is not an option (for example – a company wide pay freeze is in place), then at least try negotiating better terms for yourself. (i.e. better hours, benefits/perks, training or expenses).