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How to ask for a pay rise – and actually get it

How to ask for a pay rise – and actually get it

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​Nothing makes people feel quite as awkward as asking for more money. Here’s the negotiation etiquette you need to know next time you’re asking for a raise.

So you've smashed your KPIs, taken on extra work and exceeded expectations. Think it's time for a pay raise? It'll benefit you to think carefully about why you deserve it, how you'll bring up the topic and what you'll say to prove your point. Consider the following before bringing up the conversation. Good luck!

1. Gather the facts

Arm yourself with facts about how your work has directly enhanced business results. Include any relevant and impressive achievements and quantify where possible to back yourself up.

It can be helpful to use a task manager like Trello or Asana. These tools can help you to track what projects you're working on and the tasks that you've done and need to do.

Another way to quantify your achievements is to track your metrics and KPIs. Keep a record of them and keep them ready to show to your manager when you go into the conversation.

2. Research

During your preparation, research both the average and top salaries of your position. If your pay is below the market average, communicate with your employer that you are aware you are being underpaid and mention what you think you’re worth - backed by the facts you gathered in step 1 of course.

You can look for these on Seek and PayScale. Just make sure the wages you see are relevant to your region and role.

3. Can you justify it?

It seriously doesn’t hurt to have a speech prepared. In fact, we recommend it. If you can’t articulate yourself and communicate all the points you’ve prepared in step 1 and 2, then you aren’t likely to land yourself the pay increase you had in mind.

Try speaking to someone you trust and see if your pitch can convince them to give you a pay raise.

4. All in

Discuss and negotiate any issues all at once, don’t get one negotiation done and then ask for more changes. Most employers will expect, if they agree to your terms, that you’ll be accepting – not immediately asking for more. You don't want to seem ungrateful or even conceited.

5. Difficult questions

When asked tough questions in a negotiation it is crucial to be prepared - but never lie. Have your responses ready to go and take a moment to think about your answer so you do not crumble under the pressure.

Think about it like a job interview. Think about potential questions or push-back you might receive and be ready to provide answers with relevant examples.

6. Before you ask, consider the following:

  • Have you been meeting your KPI’s?

  • Are you outperforming your job description?

  • Are you actually being underpaid for your level of experience or qualifications?

  • If the answer is no, then the negotiation may not go the way you want it to.

  • Consider waiting until you have more experience or are consistently exceeding your KPIs before diving into any salary review conversations.

7. When to walk away

There are times when salaries are capped and non-negotiable; you will not be able to change this no matter how convincing your argument is. In these times, consider asking for another perk, such as on-site parking, more holiday pay or a bonus – just because it’s not money doesn’t mean it is not highly valuable and motivating. If your business has benefited from the advantages of remote work, try negotiating more flexibility or the option to work from home for part of your week.

Not in a position where you can ask for a raise? Check out these things to ask your boss for instead of more money!