It is a bit of an awkward one isn’t it? I mean you may well have worked your metaphorical arse off in 2016. We’re talking late nights, personal development and not to mention that colossal deal you managed to secure bang on time. It was a good year and you deserve a pack on the back. Some form of thanks, and whilst a free glass of Prosecco at the Christmas party was nice, you may feel a little short-changed. You may have saved your boss’s company time, resources and money but find your paycheck looking incredibly similar to how it looked back in 2015. You know it, I know it - It is time to ask for a payrise.
Do it face to face.
Fortune favours the bold and your boss will in all likelihood respect you more if you show a business ability to negotiate and stand your ground. Your request will also be taken more seriously than if you sheepishly wack off an email just before you head out for lunch or off on holiday. Look them in the eyes and be confident. If you believe you deserve a rise, this belief will be more easily conveyed than via a phone call or email.
Schedule a meeting.
Get a meeting scheduled with your boss to talk about it, and if you can drop a few hints so they know the context. There is nothing worse than the ambiguity of a secret meeting. Save your boss time worrying whether you are moving to Australia or have some kind of fatal disease. Drop words like ‘advancing’ or ‘improving within the company’. This will give your boss some time to really consider your proposal.
Pick your moment.
Choosing when to ask for a pay rise is key. Running a business can be stressful, especially if financially things are not going so well. The last thing your boss will want is your cheerful face asking for a pay rise. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how hard you worked last year, if the company you’re working for is in a bit of a financial slump, the chances are your request will not be granted. You want to wait for a ‘high’ when things are looking positive from a business perspective. Wait for a big deal to come through or an important job to be completed. Essentially, the more flush the company is feeling the more likely you are to get your rise.
Do your homework and find out how much other people in your role are getting paid. A simple google search can often supply the answer. If not call some agencies and see what the going rate is. This is essential information when asking for a rise. If you discover you are close to the top percentage of earners for your role, you should take some time to list your key achievements. Make a note of how you have helped save the company money or ways you have worked above and beyond what was expected of you. Don’t list everything just the key points to highlight your worth.
Look your best.
Looking your best is incredibly important for both your self-confidence and professionalism during any negotiations. You want to feel like a million bucks when you are discussing your worth and you want your boss to take you seriously. Get a haircut and put on a nice suit. Shine your shoes and put on a great tie… trust me, it is the details which make all the difference.
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Don’t use blackmail.
A common tactic employed is to use the threat of resignation. Now although this may work occasionally, I have found it not to be so fruitful. Most people who feel that they are indispensable are in fact completely dispensable. And when you offer your resignation your boss may focus not on what they will lose (you) but rather your lack of commitment. They will probably feel you are already ‘out of the door’, which for the record is not ideal.
Try not to cry.
I know it can be hard but business is business, it is rarely personal and if it makes financial sense you boss will probably agree. If they reject your proposal, it is most likely because you either do not deserve it or the company can’t afford it. Either way communication is key. Be clear on what you want and what your goals are. Ask for advice on how to position yourself in such a way to warrant a pay rise and get a date booked in to reassess your performance and subsequent wage in a few months time.