How to ask for a pay rise
There aren’t many people who would admit that they don’t want to be successful, and many are prepared to work hard to get there. Accordingly, there’s no reason not to be properly compensated for a job well done, but this doesn’t mean that appropriate financial reward will come automatically. So what should you do?
Rather than going in blind and simply asking for more money, prepare and plan how to proceed. Start by taking a look at your job description and gather examples of where you have met the requirements of your role. If your employer regularly sends out bulletins about the business, read these and note any details you can bring up that are relevant to your position.
If you’re aware of the salaries of any of your colleagues, take these into account and use them to your advantage. If you aren’t aware, take advantage of an online salary checker, which will outline the average salary that someone in your position is earning.
Pick the right time
By timing your request to coincide with your annual review, you’ll ensure that your line manager has details of your work to hand. It’ll be easier to present your skills and achievements as they will be collated in your review. Similarly, if a bonus is usually paid in December, plan to ask for a rise at least a month beforehand (this doesn’t mean this is the only time a pay rise can be requested).
Also, understand the way the business is going and be sensible – asking for a rise after a round of redundancies wouldn’t be prudent.
Request a formal meeting
Although a casual chat in a bar or in the corridor may seem like a convenient way to ask for a rise, it is also a good way for a conversation to be quickly forgotten or not taken seriously. Avoid this issue by handling it formally and requesting a meeting with your line manager to discuss your salary. Take notes during the meeting, especially if you’re given any advice about the requirements that are taken into account when considering a rise. Similarly, if you are given any specific tasks that could lead to a rise, make sure you take down full details.
Relax and be sensible
Nerves will only make you look as though you don’t believe what you’re saying when you assert that you deserve a pay rise. There’s no need to be nervous – the worst that could happen is you get a ‘no’, and you certainly can’t be disciplined or dismissed for asking for a rise. Be confident – without straying into cocky – by giving the impression that you’re assured of a rise, so there’s nothing to worry about. If you intend to ask for a specific sum rather than any rise offered, make sure it's not an outlandish amount that far exceeds your experience.
Don’t assume that management is aware of the extent and quality of your work, especially if you work in a large firm. Bear in mind that being humble and understated about your achievements won’t highlight why you deserve a rise, so bring them to the fore. Remember that you’re less likely to get something you don’t ask for.