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How To Ask For A Pay Rise

IN Career
ON January 22, 2024

Working for a few years can be rewarding but also involves several decisions, such as asking for more pay. Although asking for a pay rise is a normal thing to do as an employee, it takes tact, ample preparation, timing, and other elements to raise this topic with your employer. For some workers, the competitiveness of the job search market makes this topic a no-go area due to the fear of losing their role to others. Getting reliable career advice at this stage of your professional life is crucial as that can provide the needed guidance to progress professionally and financially.

Choose The Right Time

Timing can make all the difference if you’re considering asking for a much-deserved pay rise. It may not be the best approach to walk up to your manager or employer upfront to demand it, as that can backfire, and your request will likely not see the light of day. It takes careful planning, assessments, and certain evaluations before booking that appointment with your employer to discuss the inevitable. Below are some factors to consider to help you determine if it’s the right time to ask for a raise.

The Business’s Current Financial Health

Assuming this was three or four years ago, it would have been wrong to ask your bosses for a pay rise, even if you deserved it. The reason is that businesses suffered a major economic crunch when the pandemic hit in 2020, and asking for a pay rise in that period would have been a bad idea. The truth is that your employer will likely approve your request when the company has recorded strong financial performance in the year under review. Anything contrary to that growth will be met with disapproval or significant delay.

Your Recent Achievements To Support Your Pay Rise Request

Many organisations conduct employee performance reviews to assist with goal setting and to recognise individual achievements, among others. Highlighting your recent accomplishments makes your request easier to consider. For instance, if you have exceeded targets and have been on an upward climb on all work projects, there’s no reason why your request wouldn’t be considered or tabled before the approving board. You have an opportunity to showcase your value to the company and boost your professional image within the business. One significant career advice for any employee who wants to succeed is to set, meet, and exceed your goals.

The Time Of Year

It pays to be mindful of the company’s budget cycles for salary adjustments. This is the period when your employer reviews employee remunerations and makes upward adjustments where necessary. Every business worth its salt factors this into the financial year, and it will be in your interest to find out when that happens. You may not always be aware of the company’s cycles when you haven’t worked there for long. However, if you have, that will be a walk in the park. Being mindful of these cycles helps you align your request accordingly.

Research Comparable Salaries

It is prudent to research comparable salaries if you intend to negotiate a pay rise. That will give you an idea of what the current ranges are. Apart from asking friends and colleagues working in similar positions for other organisations, you can check the following to research comparable salaries.

Online Job Search Platforms

Online job search platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Reed tend to advertise roles with expected salary ranges. This data is often a realistic benchmark you can rely on for your pay rise negotiation with your employer. 

Industry Reports

Take a moment to research the average pay scales for your position. It’s even better when you read reports dating back a few years to the present to see how often salary increments are conducted in your industry. The efforts you put into a job search must match your research activities to justify a pay rise request.

Be Willing To Negotiate

Be ready to negotiate with your employer when you decide to approach them for a pay rise. Negotiation is a two-way street, and you must learn the nuances to improve your chances of walking away with an upward salary adjustment.

Define Your Ideal Range

Let your bosses know the salary range you deem acceptable and justifiable. By defining your range, you set the tone for a cordial discussion that may help meet your target.

Consider Non-Monetary Benefits

Sometimes, your employer may offer other benefits that may not exactly be what you had in mind. For instance, if the company is not in a position to meet your desired salary, they may suggest other benefits like:

  • flexible work hours
  • additional vacation days
  • paid-for professional development opportunities

These are possible benefits to have in mind and be open to if your original expectations are unmet.

Preempt Possible Questions

Many applicants, during a job search, prepare feverishly for interviews, and one thing most do is to preempt possible questions. This is a technique you must rely on as you prepare to ask for a pay rise. Your employer has the right to ask pertinent questions regarding your justification for an increase. You risk losing a good opportunity to boost your finances if you fail to preempt these questions. As you prepare for the possible questions that could come up, you will also be able to determine potential compromises and alternative arrangements if things don’t go as planned.

Lastly, always know who to ask for a pay rise. In some organisations, this can be your direct supervisor or HR. You risk getting into trouble if you walk straight up to the CEO to make your request. That can be interpreted as overlooking due company processes.

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