How to negotiate a pay rise
Get your timing right - unfortunately not everyone deserves a pay rise (as much as you may think you are worth more!).
Preliminary questions you need to ask yourself are:
Have you worked there over one year?
Have you taken on a heavier workload or more responsibilities since you started?
Have you continually over achieved?
Has the market changed?
These are all indicators that your value has gone up and that you may be worth more.
The best time to negotiate a pay rise is after a constant period of over achieving or constantly hitting targets, be mindful what your colleagues are on and how long they have worked there in comparison to you, this will give you a good idea of what to expect. For most instances I would say 1 year should be the minimum amount of time spent at a company before asking for a pay rise.
Now you have a time scale set in place you should ask your manager for a meeting to discuss your performance. Understandably this is no easy feat but it is a necessary skill to develop similar to interviewing and will help push your comfort zones.
Do your homework! You should see this meeting as an internal interview where you will have to sell yourself and justify your worth. This should NOT be an aggressive sales pitch or sound defensive. You should use facts and logic to back up your reasoning such as the average salaries of similar roles which you can find on job boards or call a specialist recruitment company (like us!) and ask. You should also be able to demonstrate your contribution to the company, whether that be financially or your expertise.
It is important to remember that your boss is probably not the person who holds there purse strings and that more often than not they will have to feed the information back to someone else. So no matter how strong your relationship is you will have to give them enough information for them to fight your case. You should also offer something in return to help sweeten the deal, for example increasing any responsibilities you have or another way you can add value.
If you don’t think your company is in a financial position to offer you a pay rise you could negotiate for something else. You could ask for more paid time off, a better car allowance, subsided travel costs, a gym membership or funding towards training and development.
No matter the outcome of the meeting you don’t want to leave a sour taste. Asking for a pay rise shouldn’t be seen as a negative as it shows you want to stay within the company and progress. You should plan for the worst case scenario so if you don’t get the pay rise you were after you should can ask for a review again for in 6 months’ time, with some targets or deadlines to hit by then. Even if you decide to look for a job elsewhere it is important not to burn your bridges with your current employer as they will be the ones giving you a reference and vouching for your achievements. Most industries are quite close knit so you don’t want to get yourself blacklisted.