How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

March 07, 2020

Negotiate a Pay Rise

The idea of asking for a pay rise can leave you feeling rather uncomfortable, let alone having the courage to actually insinuate the conversation. Here are our top tips on how to have the confidence to do it, and execute it perfectly.

Time to Feel like a Million Bucks (ish)

When you have a job, you are essentially selling your time (not in a dodgy way), and if you feel you’re not being paid what you’re worth, you should be making that apparent. We’re all about you doing you to the best of your ability, and if you’re undervaluing yourself (in the literal sense), that won’t be happening.

Millennials are apparently the worst for this, with research suggesting that more than 60% of you do not negotiate your salary (funny, for the generation that is supposedly hugely materialistic and money orientated, you sure don’t seem that way!). This can turn out to be rather detrimental, as if you don’t pluck up the courage at the beginning of your career, you could be missing out on $1 million throughout your lifetime earnings.

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

Research is a must. If the industry average for the role you’re in is £25,000, and you’re going in asking for 40k, chances are you’re not going to be successful. Glassdoor is a great place to start; you can get a feel for how much demand there is for your job, and therefore how detrimental it would be if you were to leave your company – both of which are great bargaining chips.

A Woman? As Per, You’re Doomed

Whilst women are as confident as men when it comes to asking for a pay rise, unfortunately men are 25% more likely to get one (thanks to their actual balls, not the metaphorical ones). Think that’s bad? It gets worse. Women are essentially punished just for asking. Turns out that doing the exact same as your male colleagues can result in disadvantages for women. According to a study, women who had asked for pay increases found that managers were less likely to want to work with them. This is because gender norms dictate that women should be passive and never ask, only be offered (ludicrous considering it’s 2018).

Even though it’s a struggle for women to be successful in their negotiations, here are some tips to help you along the way. Firstly, you need to be clear. Start by giving your boss plenty of warning, don’t spring a request for an extra 5 grand a year on them whilst making their morning cup of tea. Send an email requesting a meeting in which you make it unambiguous as to what the goal is.

Once you’ve got the date in the diary and the day has come, you need to make it distinct that what you’re asking for you are deserving of, so present your boss with the facts we touched on earlier. Point out what your offer is missing and why you’re worthy of more in a direct but polite manner. You need to back yourself and remind your boss how amazing you are (cue list of achievements).

The Decision

You need to not leave without an answer. The wishy washy “I’ll get back to you” need not be accepted, unless there is a date on which you’ve been promised a yes or no. You have to remember that in these circumstances if you don’t ask, you don’t get. However, that’s not to say the request will be accepted, and if it isn’t you shouldn’t take that personally. It’s a decision that is out of your hands and if your proposal is rejected, use it to motivate you to produce better results in the next quarter to re-approach negotiations with improvements in your performance; so much so that they’ll be begging to pay you more!

If you’re organised, realistic and polite in your pay negotiations, you’ll hopefully be on your way to that rise.

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