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In the lead up to Christmas, money tends to be on our minds a lot. One way to increase your income is to ask for a pay rise.
However, asking for a pay rise can be one of the most daunting things in your career. Some companies may automatically increase your pay by a certain percentage every year, but in most cases, employees need to take action into their own hands.
So, how can you deal with such a potentially awkward and touchy subject?
The first part of asking for a pay rise is to determine whether you’re actually due for a pay rise or not.
To work out how much your salary should be, use a tool such as ValueMyCV from Adzuna and PayScale. All you have to do is input your skills, your current job title, location and current salary. Then, your estimated salary worth will be revealed.
No – it’s illegal for a company to fire an employee simply for asking for a pay rise. In the event that someone is let go because they asked for a pay rise, then it’s classed as an unfair dismissal. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working there either – and it’s unlikely a company will bother firing you for asking – because they can get in a lot of trouble.
There are a few steps to take when asking for a pay rise:
It is worth bearing in mind that if you work for a local authority, charity or other institution then you may be paid according to a salary grade. If you are, then it’s highly likely your employer already has a pay review process in place, so it makes it far easier for you to build up the courage to try and convince management that your role comes under a different pay grade.
Of course, the best time to ask for a pay rise is during your annual performance review. But there isn’t necessarily a ‘perfect’ moment to ask for a pay rise – there are several scenarios where asking for a pay rise is more likely to result in a ‘yes’ though:
It’s probably obvious when you shouldn’t ask for a pay rise, but some overlooked times include:
Gulp! Here comes the scariest bit. You’ve finally managed to wangle a 30 minute meeting with your boss to discuss your potential pay rise…but what do you say and how do you say it?
Thank your manager first for giving you the time to argue your case for a pay rise. Make it clear you enjoy what you do. Next it’s time to list your achievements over the last six months (or however long it’s been!) and how the results of those achievements have benefited the company. Then outline your ideas for things like keeping employees happy, boosting productivity, new projects, new business prospects and so on.
Now it’s time to bring out the numbers. Tell your boss what the average local salary is for your role and what the percentage gap is. For example, “I’ve consistently passed my sales target year on year. The average salary for my role is £30,000. That’s 10% above my current salary and I want to discuss how we can bridge the gap.”
Make sure the language you use is strong (and by this we don’t mean swear words!). Instead of saying “I was hoping” or “I just wanted,” be assertive and precise. Do say “Ideally, I’d need a salary of £X.” It makes it look like you know what you’re talking about.
Good luck and we hope you get the pay rise you deserve for your chosen field!