Asking for a raise – one of those dreaded, awkward moments, isn’t it? So many of us have no problem at all negotiating the best deals for our clients and yet, when it comes to negotiating for ourselves, we’re not so confident. Imposter syndrome kicks in as do the questions. Do we really deserve it? Are we as good as they say we are? Have my achievements just been a spate of good luck? What if they say No? What if I come across as arrogant, cheeky or even worse – greedy?! The questions are endless and in fact, so many employees choose not to go there in the hope that perhaps the employer will.
A 2016 survey by Totaljobs found that an overwhelming 67% of employees do not feel comfortable asking for a raise. So what to do? Hope that perhaps the employer might bring it up? The truth is that not many employers initiate this conversation. If you want a raise, the likelihood is that you’re going to have to ask for it. And just like an interview, if you do some research and prepare yourself, you will feel more confident and less awkward.
Here are some things to take to consider when you’re negotiating your pay and to help you get what you want!
Don’t choose Mondays
It seems that Mondays and Fridays are the worst days to ask for a raise, so avoid them. Choose a day when your boss is not as busy as usual and there are no deadlines or urgent situations to deal with in the office.
Seems like an obvious one right? But it has to be said. Use the right tone and don’t start off on the defensive. Going down the route of saying that you will leave unless you get a raise, or that you have been offered a higher salary by a competitor, will not go down well. Although you may, (unlikely), get the compensation you’re after, you will lose any respect you’ve earned and will become known as ‘the one who knows no loyalty and is only in it for the money’. Your days are numbered.
Do highlight your achievements
Have you proved your worth? You certainly can’t expect a pay rise just because you want one, or all your friends are making ‘x’ amount of money. Consider how long have you been in the company? Have you added value to the company and have you shown commitment? Present your case to your boss, ideally not too long after your latest success and explain that you feel you would like to discuss the possibility of a pay rise in light of this last achievement.
Do be objective
This is a negotiation, which means there’s something in it for both parties. Try and understand what is of value or what is especially interesting to your boss. Can you commit to working towards ‘that’ in return for better compensation? Are you willing to take on more responsibilities? Put a bit (a lot) of work into it and explain to them how you can benefit the company.
Don’t focus on the money
What I mean here is don’t just think about your salary. There are other things you might want to consider, such as shares in the company, better commissions, flexible working hours, remote working or any other perks. Think about what you would prefer and present what you would like clearly, but do keep an open mind and be prepared to meet them halfway. Perhaps they would be happier to increase your salary by less than what you asked but also offer other incentives instead. So do consider other options that you would be ok with and be ready to compromise.
Do your research
Do you know what your market worth truly is? If you want to get that pay rise you need to do your research. Speak to any contacts that can give you reliable information and confirm what the going rate is for someone with your skills and responsibility, in your industry. Once you get an idea, you can aim a little bit higher, knowing that your boss will probably negotiate, but don’t go too high as you may seem arrogant. Also, keep in mind how your industry is doing at the moment, and of course, if your company is going through a rough patch you might agree that it is not the right time to ask for a raise. Be sensitive to these things or you will just come across as self-serving or downright clueless.
Do say thanks
Once you do get it, write an email to say thank you. It’s good manners and also shows appreciation that your value has been recognised.
What if you get a No?
Think about what your next step will be if you get a No. Try and understand why you got a negative reply. Perhaps it was not the right time, or you haven’t hit the targets expected? You could even ask your boss what their feedback is and what their reason is for their no. Learn from this and try to pinpoint areas where you could improve, both in your job as well as in the pay negotiation process itself.
Read other Keepmeposted blogs for more work tips.