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Due a raise? How not to negotiate a pay rise

Negotiate a pay rise

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Thinking you should be paid more for your work is not only frustrating, it can be insulting and is unlikely to inspire a healthy and productive working environment. Of course you should be rewarded appropriately, but often we see people entering into negotiations totally inappropriately. Every situation will be different, but here we imagine some scenarios of how some people might approach the pay-rise chat, and consider how to do it without being left red-faced, or worse, jobless. 

Scenario 1

You realise your boss is stressed as they attempt to meet their targets; they have been circulating emails asking how costs can be cut. You are still eager for a pay rise, however. You approach this by walking into your boss’s office and openly demanding more money.

Probably not the best timing. With any requests, be reasonable, sympathetic and understanding. It could be better to wait a couple of months until things start to pick up financially before you start floating the idea of being given more cash. Of course you probably don’t have access to company accounts, but try to gauge success and then act accordingly, and not aggressively. Demands in cash-strapped times are likely to be refused and met with an element of disdain.

Scenario 2

You are often complaining to your colleagues about your lack of a pay rise and are critical of others who are appearing to stride ahead of you. You often talk about how empty your bank account is and how you can’t afford to shop at Waitrose! You think it’s unfair that others are being paid more than you.  

Just because others in the industry may be getting a pay rise doesn’t automatically mean that you will. Remember, each case is individual. Complaining about this openly with your colleagues could also be counter-productive. It will likely feed back to your boss and gain you a bad reputation. It is far better to tackle this in a restrained, calm and one-on-one situation, as opposed to being the victim all the time. Nobody wants to hear about your financial woes.

Scenario 3

Your spending has spiralled out of control. You don’t want to compromise on any of your expensive tastes so you ask your boss for an unrealistic pay rise.

Realistic requests are far more likely to be granted than demands that seem disproportionate to your current salary. Try to think objectively and practically about what your job and your performance are worth. You could do this by comparing your salary with equivalent roles in your industry with a recruitment consultant and seriously consider if your job can meet your lifestyle expectations. Once you have done this you can consider naming a figure you would like; if you are uncomfortable doing this, you could alternatively ask for a review of your salary with a manager and see what they suggest.

The most important part of negotiating any pay rise is preparation. Consider how and when you will make your requests. And instead of complaining, focus on your value as an individual, what you contribute to the company and why you think you deserve greater remuneration. If you enter into the conversation positively, the outcome is far more likely to swing in your favour.

Job hunting can be full of uncertainty. But with us, you can be sure that we’ll do everything we can to get you to your ideal job. Send your CV to us to get started or search for the latest job vacancies and we’ll get the ball rolling.