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How To Ask For A Pay Rise

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How to ask for a pay rise


By Tiro Talent Services


You’ve been working hard, smashing the targets and feedback is glowing….yet your income remains the same. If you know you’re exceeding in our role and it’s not reflected in your pay packet, it’s time to ask for pay rise.

Not always the easiest thing to do – and certainly nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before! However, it’s not as hard as you think. And you don’t have to be the most senior person in the office to go for what you deserve. Many firms respect those people who do stick their neck out and present their achievements, after all your hard work is an asset to the company.

Here’s a plan of action we suggest will help you gather your thoughts, prepare your evidence and assume the confidence to get that pay rise with ease.

Prepare your case

You need to be realistic as well as ambitious. Before you ask for a particular figure plucked from the air, talk to someone in HR and ask them how pay rises are calculated, there’s less chance of getting a pay rise that bucks the trend than one that works within the existing systems.

Then make sure you have a good understanding of what your colleagues are being paid and what other companies pay their employees in your position. That’s easy enough to do by searching through job adverts. Be mindful that pay varies in different regions.
If you need advice we often chat to candidates who are considering progression but may not be ready to make the move yet, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to truly understand your potential from someone objective.

Make your reasons clear

Again, this might be a good time to speak to colleagues and previous managers to get their assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Use clear and recent examples (within 12 months) to demonstrate how you’ve gone beyond your basic job description.

• When have you made something better?
• When did you take responsibility / been a leader?
• When have you shown creativity?

Highlight the key instances where you’ve taken initiative, made improvements or supported others, in your team or across departments. Are you exceeding targets? Say so – but back it up.

Timing is important

Set a meeting date that is realistic and doesn’t put your manager under pressure. You may be itching to talk to them but the last thing you want is for them to be rushed, stressed and with other things on their mind.

It’s up to you whether you want to pre-warn them that you want to talk about pay. You don’t have to but judge your boss – would they prefer to know in advance?

And if you can, take yourselves out of the normal working environment. It makes a big difference when you’re somewhere neutral but also, being somewhere you won’t be disturbed is essential.

The big question

You’ve stated your case and your manager has listened. Now stay calm, then clearly and concisely state your figure. Don’t waffle and don’t make yourself sound negative. After all, you’ve just built the case to demonstrate you’re an asset, don’t undermine it by sounding hard-done by. Use positive language and an open-ended question such as ‘what do you think?’ Then listen to the answer.

If the answer is no

If the answer is yes, fantastic! It might be a ‘not yet’ however. If you get a knock back, don’t be disheartened. Really listen to what your manager is saying. Ask for feedback. Ask how you can make your performance match your salary expectations. And accept what is said if the company just aren’t going to budge. They might not, but you can. There are other jobs out there if there really are no prospects for you in your current role.

You could seize the moment and ask for flexible working arrangements instead. Could you work from home? Could you work condensed hours? You’re not changing your income but you may still be able to improve your work life balance, and don’t forget, travel adds up, as does lunch and coffee! If you could get one or two days working from home you may end up better off after all.

Seal the deal

Whatever the outcome, make the meeting a positive one and follow up with an email. You can still make a good impression and learn more so make sure you keep a record of your progress.

Many people sit and wait for change to come to them, but you don’t have to. Try it and see what happens!

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