4 step process when asking for a pay rise

It’s a very British thing isn’t it, to not talk about what we earn, (which is also no doubt contributing to the gender pay gap). Negotiating our salary when we start a new job can be excruciating as we fear being perceived as a trouble maker, or even worse, having the job offer being withdrawn.  Even once we’re in situ, we then often stay schtum about pay concerns as we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot, despite no one ever having been fired or having had an offer withdrawn for negotiating their salary (I would imagine).  

So what can you do?

You can, and should, ask for a pay rise if you think, or know, that your pay is out of kilter and these steps can help:

1.       Gather evidence of what the same or similar jobs are paying elsewhere. Online job sites and publications often advertise salaries on job advertisements, and recruitment agencies produce annual compensation reports per industry. Ensure you compare like with like job and industry wise and analyse the data accordingly. 

2.       If the data suggests that you do in fact warrant an increase, prepare a clear and concise argument drawing on the data and comparisons with your role. Outline your additional responsibilities since your last increase and the impact it’s had on the department and business. Prepare a list of your achievements over the last 12-18 months and again, the impact you’ve made.  Keep it factual. Avoid using arguments such as: ‘I work hard’ because as far as the business is concerned, everyone should be working hard and so this may damage the credibility of your argument. Be clear as to the salary increase you want, in line with the data.

3.       Once you’re fully prepared, arrange a meeting with your line manager in the first instance. Conversations of this nature should be done face to face as although nerve wracking, it puts you in a stronger position to influence than it would over email. Ensure the location is confidential and free from interruptions and allow ample time. Be clear, firm, positive and professional. Your preparation will help mitigate those nerves!

4.       Follow up. You may not get an immediate answer and so ask what the process is from here and when you can expect to get a response. Professionally, keep the heat on. If an increase can’t be awarded at this time, ask when it will be reviewed and present your case again.      

Good luck!

Julie Greaves is a career coach and HR professional. For more information about how Julie can help you manage your career, contact info@carrot-coaching.co.uk or call 07841 158540.  

Julie Greaves