Learning how and when to negotiate a pay rise is a skill that, once mastered, will serve you well throughout your career.
As firm finish the financial year and plan for the next 12 months you may be looking at your own finances too.
This month: How to negotiate a pay rise
When to ask for one
Timing is crucial to the skill of any negotiation, particularly when it comes to your salary. Find out from HR or your boss how the pay review process works. Is it tied in with your annual performance review or is it separate? Once you know this, you will be able choose when to ask for your pay rise.
Research what you are worth
Speak to friends and associates that do a similar role to you in a similar sized firm. Search online for job adverts for roles similar to yours. Speak to us and we can give you an idea of the market rates.
Be clear about what you want and why you want it
Write down why you want a pay rise. Have you been working extremely hard lately or have you found that someone is paid more than you? (this is never a good reason to ask for a pay rise!) As much as you can, find out how the firm is doing and how profitable your department is. This will show the management that you think more widely than just your own role.
Would you be willing to accept some other form of recognition eg a car allowance, health insurance, an increase in pension payments etc? A salary increase may not be available but other benefits might be.
First things first – make sure you know who to ask. This is where your knowledge of the pay review process will pay dividends. Also, don’t assume the person you are asking knows what you have achieved in the last six to 12 months. Prepare a short document or presentation that evidences your recent achievements. Draw their attention to tangible results as well as the quality of your relationships with clients and colleagues.
In order to enter into any negotiation, you need to know your boundaries. What is acceptable to you and what is not? Don’t feel you have to do all the talking and don’t be afraid of silences. If an offer is forthcoming, say that you appreciate the offer and will get back to them. Take as long as you need – overnight is usually fine.
Always say ‘thank you’ whatever the outcome of your discussion about your pay rise. If you have an offer that is acceptable to you, stay at the firm. If you don’t, it’s up to you if you stay another year and try again, or consider leaving for a better paid role.