There will usually come a time in your career where you feel the work you do is worth more than you’re currently paid for. However, asking for a pay-rise can be an incredibly challenging issue to address. Although most will encounter this situation at least once in their professional life, it’s not something we are trained in dealing with. The fear of feeling too pushy can cause you to delay bringing it up, prolonging the frustration as you continue to feel you are getting less than you deserve. We have provided a few tips to bring it up tactfully, politely, and positively.
Be up-front. When asking your boss for a meeting, ensure they know what it’s about beforehand. Although it can be nerve-wracking, it’s important to allow them to prepare in advance in order to get the most out of the opportunity. Without any prior research, your boss may not know whether a pay-rise would be feasible in regards to the company budget and other affecting circumstances.
Know your market. It’s also equally important for you to be prepared. Prior to your meeting, do some research to find out what a reasonable salary would be for your role. Try to avoid asking your colleagues about their own salaries as this is often not permitted in many companies and can be seen as highly unprofessional. It may also add to your frustration, causing more disappointment if they happen to earn more. Instead, it can be helpful to browse recruitment websites to learn what similar roles are paying. It may also be beneficial to speak to a recruitment agency to get their opinion on the value of your role.
Bring evidence. Show your boss why you deserve a pay-rise. Think about any times you have gone above and beyond your job description and how that has benefitted the company. Perhaps your job description has changed since you began the role; if so, show why your new job description is worth more. Your case may also be supported by referring to any recent appraisals in which you have been recognised as an asset to the business. Don’t be afraid of coming across as boastful, as long as you’re honest and sincere about your examples. Finally, address any goals you are already working towards, showing yourself to be pro-active and passionate.
Remain diplomatic and understanding. While it’s important to have a figure in mind, it’s a good idea to be prepared that it may not be accepted. Make sure you remain adaptable to a counter-offer but also know your limit. If the answer is ‘no’, be sure to listen to why. Try to find out what you can do to earn a pay-rise and set a date for a discussion in the future. Critically, it is important that you feel valued in your workplace. Therefore, if you feel the response is unjustified, it may be time to look for a new challenge.