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How to ask for a pay rise

inflation remains stubbornly high and with food and energy bills at historic levels, many of us will be asking for a pay rise to help weather the cost of living crisis.

What qualifies you for a rise?

Before requesting a pay rise, be clear on the reasons why you deserve to be paid more, such as:

  • Increased responsibilities since your last pay review
  • A promotion
  • You have gained further qualifications or completed a training programme
  • Time spent at the company means your experience is not reflected in your salary
  • Outstanding performance in your role that exceeds expectations

The strength of your position, the financial standing of the company and how well you negotiate are factors that will determine whether you are given the lowest possible wage rise or a more generous sum – or, perhaps, any increase at all.

Tips for getting a pay rise

Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, but it’s an important skill to have.

Knowing how to get a pay rise – through preparation, practice and a confident delivery – could increase the chances that your wage-rise pitch is a success.

1. Choose the right time

Scheduling a time in advance will give you and your boss time to prepare and means you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

2. Prepare your case

Gather evidence and prepare examples of your achievements that you can confidently summarise. Have a list of what you have achieved and how you have developed yourself.

  • Initiatives you have implemented and their impact on company results
  • Extra responsibilities you have taken on
  • Innovation you have introduced that is reliant on your skills for success
  • Training and qualifications you have gained

3. Have a figure in mind

Do this by:

  • Using a salary checker – the big recruitment websites such as Totaljobs, Indeed and Reed all have online tools that will show what the average salary is for your sector
  • Speaking to a recruiter
  • Looking at jobs boards to see what salaries are being offered
  • Asking other professionals in similar roles to give you an idea of their earnings

4. Be prepared to negotiate

This is a negotiation, so be ready to answer questions, provide further evidence or to receive a counter-offer from your boss.

This is where your research and preparation are worth their weight in gold. If you are told that the figure you have requested isn’t possible, summarise why it is reasonable and in line with the market, and ask for an explanation.

Be ready to compromise. Threatening to quit if you don’t get what you want is a risky strategy.

5. Get everything in writing

Whichever way the meeting went, get your employer to confirm the details in writing.

If it’s a rejection, seek an explanation of why your request was refused and what you can do to work towards a higher salary. Ask for another review in six months to re-evaluate your performance and salary request.

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