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2 months ago by George Bandy

Asking for a Pay Rise: Please Sir, can I 'ave Some More?

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Pay Rise Request, or New Job Quest?

It’s inevitable – with steady inflation, your increasing level of experience, and goals of career progression, at some point you are going to want to climb the corporate ladder. Even if you don’t have your eyes set on a change to your title or promotion, very few people would be unhappy with a little more cash in the bank. What should you do, then, to achieve that? Naturally you can consider finding a new place of employment, but you might want to consider exhausting your present options first – it would feel a bit rubbish to have to turn down a new job offer because your current employer was able to make a superior counter-offer; as such, investigating a Pay Rise may be the optimal first route.

Is the Grass Greener, or is it just the angle of the light when looking from your side?

It’s easy to look at postings for your equivalent role in other companies and assume that you’d be better off there because of a 2% bump in salary. Before you rush to apply for the “greener grass” on the other side, though, consider your own; if it could do with a little fertiliser, then there is no harm in asking. Maybe your grass requires far fewer hours of mowing per week, and in terms of time spent doing lawn maintenance, you may already be getting more out of it per hour. Just make sure that if you are looking elsewhere, it is an active choice because you are dissatisfied with your current position/pay and you have found an objective improvement that is not offered where you already are. 

If the grass truly is greener, though, then try asking for a Pay Increase. It’s daunting, I know, but the worst that can happen is you are told no. On average, across the UK, employees received an average of 3.3% increase to pay last year – if you’re not receiving yours, it might be worth asking why not. Here are a few tips to approaching this potentially daunting conversation with your boss.

Top Tips to ask for a Pay Rise

  • Do your homework: Come prepared with some hard numbers and researched facts. Demonstrate that you are making the company more than would be lost by the extra pay, and illustrate documented successes you have facilitated in your time there. Have some firm statistics for what other companies pay for people with your experience.
  • Shoot high, but prepare to meet: Always come in with a higher number than you are expecting to gain. If you quote a number that your employer immediately accepts, then you know you have lost out, but by slightly increasing your requests, you can meet in the middle at a higher point than if you lowball yourself.
  • Don’t bargain unless you can follow through: Don’t tell your employer that you have another job lined up, or imply that you will leave unless you are paid more, unless that is your genuine intention; otherwise, you will lose all your future bargaining power and demonstrate that your loyalties are not as secure as they might have once been, with no real benefit if your bluff is called.
  • Be Patient: Wait for the right time – research suggests that arranging a meeting just after lunchtime, and when your team isn’t in the middle of any large or urgent projects, is a good time to strike. A half-hour chat opened with a frank discussion of your progress, contributions to the company, and how you have exceeded your job description, will set you up well to ask. Don’t expect an instant reply, though, as many managers will need to consult with senior management or the financial team to ensure that there is space in the budget.

They said no – what now?

It’s not the end of the world! There are lots of things to consider:

  • Other Opportunities: Sometimes there simply isn’t any excess in the salary budgets, but it’s always worth asking for other benefits or opportunities. Perhaps there is some key training that can be funded for you to further your career down the line, or work benefits like flexible working schemes or extra holiday to reward your success.
  • Future Potential: A “no” now doesn’t mean a “no” forever. The best way to ensure you move onwards and upwards is to ask what you can do to change the answer; is there a specific target you need to achieve, or some key training that is required for a promotion? If so, make sure you have confirmed what needs actioning, so that you can action it and come back with a stronger case, supported by your manager’s own suggestions.
  • Looking elsewhere: If you are worried that you are being underpaid for your skills and experience, then a free no-obligations chat with an experienced consultant can help you explore options for alternative places of employment or opportunities.

Remember that it’s always better to ask your current employer about further opportunities or pay before you start seeking a new job – make sure you are as informed as you can be! If you are curious about what’s available, though, or just want to know more about the current market rates for people in your position in order to have a stronger negotiating position, then why not give Gleeson a call?