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How do I ask for a pay rise?    

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By Jane Wilson – Alpaca


How do I ask for a pay rise?    

Asking your boss for a pay rise can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you don’t have much experience of doing it. Here are a few Alpaca tips to help you to put yourself in the strongest possible position when approaching the subject.

Planning and preparation are key

One thing for sure is that you will have to help your boss to realise that you are worth the raise! So it is important for you to think your request through carefully so that you are ready to justify why you think you deserve the extra cash. It could be a good idea to set up a meeting and give your boss an idea of what you want to talk about ahead of the meeting. Also, give some thought as to what you will say to open the conversation up and how you will progress it!

Focus on the positives

Talk about your own strengths and highlight your accomplishments (be ready with specific examples). Think about positives that have happened in the past 12 months, for example, have you brought in a big chunk of business, have you helped the business to save money? Also think about how giving you a pay rise will help the business in the future – what do you plan to achieve in the next 12 months. Focus on these things, emphasise how you enjoy working for the business and how you want your future to be there and avoid complaining about the fact that you’ve not had a pay rise in a long time!

Do your research

Research the market-based pay rates for your job/similar jobs in your location. It is relatively easy to find out how much equivalent jobs at other businesses pay by looking at job adverts or online. Avoid comparing yourself to co-workers, this could make you look like you’ve been gossiping in the workplace, it could draw unwanted attention to the person who you are comparing yourself to, and in any event you’re asking for a pay rise for yourself so you should make it all about you – see above, focus on the positives!

Timing is everything

Exercise good judgment here. It may be that there is an obvious time of year to have these conversations, for example if your employer operates a yearly appraisal/performance review system. If not, use your common sense – the end of the day when your boss is getting ready to leave the office to go home is probably not the best time to make your move, apart from anything else you want to allow enough time to discuss the matter properly. Likewise, think about the financial state of the business and, for example if you know profits are down you might need to put your request on the back burner until things pick up.

What if my request is turned down?

If you don’t get a positive response this time, challenge yourself and your boss by asking what you would need to do in order to get a raise. If you’re feeling brave and it seems appropriate you could also ask when you can discuss the matter again.

It is not unusual for people to feel uncomfortable having these sorts of conversations but if you really do think you’re worth it, you carefully plan your strategy for going about it and you ask in the right way, you’ve not really got anything to lose!


Read Janes article on interview tips to help you get that role, click here
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