Guest Post By: Nick Williams
Asking for a pay rise from an existing or new manager is never easy. Partly because it’s hard finding the right words and partly because knowing what the right amount to ask for, without under or over selling yourself, is hard to gauge. But unless you review how much you are getting paid, you will never be in a situation where you are paid your worth.
Having that conversation regardless of which situation you are in doesn’t have to be such an ordeal as long as your approach is well informed and justified. Here are 6 easy steps on negotiating the salary you deserve.
1. Do your research
It is important to know what that going rate is before you decide whether or not you are being underpaid. Carry out job searches for similar roles that match your skills set, seniority level and location. Record the salaries that these jobs are offering and compare the average with yours. This way you can enter the conversation armed with justifiable data.
Job sites such as Jobserve and Monster Jobs are great sources for roles similar to yours, particularly because they are not agents – instead agents and companies alike post their vacancies on there.
2. Money isn’t the only way to get the salary you deserve
It is a good idea to think about why you feel that you are not getting the salary you believe you deserve and question; is it just the money? Sure, you have bills to pay and you feel like you are working too hard, but perhaps you can suggest a reduction of work hours, or perhaps a company phone for example, in order to balance your salary with your needs. If you can make your working life easier with something like a company phone, you may feel like you are regaining the balance between your salary and your level of work.
3. Get the timing right
No matter how urgent you feel your need is to ask for a pay rise give yourself a bigger chance for success by choosing your timing carefully. After all, this is not the sort of conversation you want to be having every few months.
4. Set your stall up
Before asking for a higher salary, it is important that the reasons you deserve it are fresh in your employer’s mind and that they should not all need to be stated by you. Start going the extra mile so as to get noticed for your talents. In line with getting the timing right, wait until people have noticed your efforts and then ask for the meeting.
5. Don’t be desperate
You need to remember that despite your boss’s office being an area in which they typically hold all the cards you are both adults and, in that sense, equals. You should not, therefore, present your ‘case’ as though you are asking for a favour and instead, ooze professionalism and conviction. Once you have said your piece, wait for the answer. You may not get a decision straight away, but when you do, think about the offer and don’t be scared to negotiate if you think the offer is not right.
6. Word it carefully
Ensure that you phrase your ‘argument’ carefully. You are having a business related conversation with a fellow professional, so adjust your language accordingly. Don’t reference your needs outside work, such as increased rent or a desire to get the latest iPad. Instead, justify your request with business related reasons.
A useful tip is to phrase your question in relation to the amount you want your salary to be raised by – this sounds a lot less daunting than stating the overall salary you want!
In theory, when presented with sufficient evidence it is hard for most employers not to acknowledge their need to meet your requests. But companies have budgets to think about and often what you consider a small increase simply doesn’t fit with their books. Whilst getting paid your worth is important, so is considering how the job fits in with your long term goals. For example, perhaps accepting a lower salary for a year’s worth of experience will help you propel your career to the next stage.
However, if you really do not feel like you are getting a salary that reflects what you deserve and if your employer shows no signs of changing that you should look for a job elsewhere where you will feel more valued.
Nick Williams works for Acuity Training, who provide hands-on professional training from their two UK offices. Nick works as an assistant on the negotiation skills training course as well as the majority of technical/development courses.