In 2022 nearly everyone experienced a significant increase in their cost of living. Mortgage rates went up, the cost of groceries was more expensive and energy costs went through the roof! Saving money got a hell of a lot tougher and 2023 isn’t looking like a picnic.
It’s times like this where a pay rise can be very handy to the household budget. Now depending on the organization you work for, you may have automatic annual pay reviews or it may be ad hoc where you have to ask.
Below we go through 3 tips to score a pay rise.
1. Ask for a pay rise
Make sure this is done in a formal way and via the correct chain of command however as the old saying goes if you don’t ask you don’t get. Now asking for a pay rise is one thing, getting that pay rise is another!
Before you ask for your pay rise, be realistic with your own performance during that last 12 months and also take stock of the current financial situation your company is currently experiencing.
If corporate revenues are up and there’s a buoyant mood around your company there’s a good chance your pay rise will be looked at fairly. If on the other hand your company is going through job cuts and layoffs then put your request aside until things pick up again or it might even be time to look elsewhere.
When asking for a pay rise, make sure you have a detailed reason (with examples) as to why you deserve a pay rise. Examples could include:
- Leading a team where revenue and profits are up 40% on the year
- Managing an area that has come well under budget for the year
- Or leading a team during a merger where no clients were lost and profits increased.
Further to the above, the more detail with accurate real examples will put in your better stead to secure your pay rise. This doesn’t need to be a professionally edited 100 page powerpoint slide detailing every single thing you’ve done at your company over the last year, however make sure you detail several examples of what you’ve done, why you deserve the pay rise and the amount you are asking for.
Always base your negotiation around the pay rise you are willing to accept though you should never start with the amount you will accept, start with a reasonable amount that you want.
Regarding the amount, if salaries around your office are known you could base your rise on superior salaries or you can use job websites such as Glass Door.
Most importantly, have a contingency plan if this doesn’t go the way you want. You may think you deserve a pay rise, your employer may not no matter how compelling your case. What is your next step in this case?
Whilst initially you are at the mercy of your employer as to what you will accept i.e there could be no pay rise and you accept and your employer now won’t take you seriously or doesn’t value you as much as you think which means you may have to look elsewhere sooner rather than later to get your full worth.
In a worse case scenario this could put you on the outer with your boss or superiors with your future likely lying at another organization though this is more likely at a less well run company or one with a lower reputation, one that you probably don’t want to be working for longer term.
2. Take on more responsibility at work
Whilst you can (and should if the conditions are right) ask for a pay rise, another option to secure a pay rise (without asking for one) is to take on more responsibility at work. If you were previously someone that did the minimum and left once 5pm hit by approaching your boss or team member for extra work.
This can be as simple as asking your superior is there anything you can help them with at the start of before the end of the day. On a bigger scale you could volunteer for one of the bigger work projects (particularly if your skill set is suited and it’s a potential revenue earner for your company).
It’s likely that this will be noted by the decision makers in your company or office however also track this extra work and how you have contributed.
If your work at your business isn’t as stellar as you’d like and a pay rise request would likely be turned down then doing the above is a great step to improve your standing with your employer and will set you on the right path for a pay rise.
Be careful here that taking on more responsibility isn’t you taking on more work and your boss or employer take advantage of you. This is to help build your case as to why you are indispensable and deserve a pay rise.
3. Take on additional training or industry accredited/recognized courses
If your employer offers extra training or education (especially industry wide accreditation courses or training) then this is a step you should be taking. By increasing your qualifications this not only makes you more valuable to your current company it also allows you to leverage these new skills for future job opportunities.
If you are lucky enough to work for an organization that will pay for high quality courses, certification or even college then jump at this chance and do your research as to where you want to be working longer term and what course or education will offer you the best bang for your buck.
Best case scenario your employer will see that you have these extra qualifications and they offer you a pay rise, worst case scenario is you have some extra awesome industry qualifications that will boost your resume and it is likely your future job options have increased.
These are a couple of tips that you can look at when trying to score a pay rise, however a couple of points to note:
- As mentioned above, always have a Plan B in place BEFORE you ask for a payrise. It’s a bit like the saying that lawyers are taught to never ask a question unless you know the answer. Asking for a pay rise COULD put you offside with the boss/management and could diminish your chances of promotion within the company. Gauge the temperature of your company, are they having a great fiscal year, are they selling lots or products or bringing on lot’s of new clients or customers? A premature pay rise discussion may put you offside. Make sure you have options internally and externally.
- If you have been with the company less than 12 months unless they’ve been killing it your chances of receiving a. If you are asking within 6 months then we’d advise against it as it’s likely to do more harm than good as you could earn a reputation as a mercenary particularly if you try and leverage another offer for a pay rise. Many employers or managers won’t forget a tactic like this and if the business experiences layoffs in the future (unless you are an exceptional talent) your head could be on the chopping block if you take this approach.
- If you are knocked back for a pay rise this may be a blow to your confidence however don’t be afraid to ask for feedback as to why you were denied a pay rise. It may be due to financial reasons at your employer which is fair enough, however keep tracking your work and your achievements and when things improve then ask again and make your case.
- Learn how to negotiate and know your worth. One of the hardest exercises for a lot of people is the art of negotiation. Many people don’t have a lot of confidence or self belief in this area and tend to accept what they are given however it doesn’t have to be like this. As mentioned before if you don’t ask you don’t get, so work on your negotiating skills, not just with a potential pay rise but across all aspects of life.
- Let’s say you are in the market for a new television and visit your local electronics store. You might find a make and model at a suitable price and make the purchase or you might approach the salesperson and negotiate. It doesn’t have to be this sweat and nausea inducing duel. You only need to ask something like “is there anything that can be done on the price?” The worst thing the salesperson can say is no and if you are prepared to buy the television then you’ll make the purchase or you might get lucky and get a cheaper price. Just ask, they can only say no.
- Always know your worth and track your current position/industry pay rates. Look at websites such as Glass Door and also visit industry specific job websites or forums to keep your finger on the salary pulse.
- As much as it might suck networking at work functions (particularly though frequented by your boss or higher ups) may also be beneficial for any future pay rises. Expand your network outside your workplace and meet decision makers in other companies or industries. The bigger your network the higher your chance of opportunities both now and in the future.