How do you pluck up the courage to ask for that dreaded pay rise?
Is it even possible in these low-pay, post-recessionary times?
If you feel you’ve waited long enough for that much-needed cash boost, here’s how to go about getting it.
- The wages situation now
- How to ask for a rise – our 10-point plan
- If a pay rise really isn’t possible
In the UK there has been an increase in work opportunities and employment has improved significantly over the last year. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that unemployment has fallen to it’s lowest level in six years.
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills said, ‘It’s encouraging that we are seeing a renewed rise in people finding work with an employer, rather than in self-employment’.
However, in most areas, pay has not increased at all. In fact, compared with house price rises, wages have lagged behind massively.
- The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that ‘In April last year, average gross weekly earnings for full time-employees stood at £518 up 0.1% or £1 from £517 in 2013’. A very sluggish pay rise rate – the smallest annual growth in 17 years.
- The ONS also found that 196,000 jobs paying less than the statutory minimum wage were held by employees aged 21 or over.
So, it’s not the easiest time to ask for a rise but things are improving in the economy so get yourself ready to give it a go.
We’ve spoken to award-winning business author Catherine Kaputa for tips on how to get a pay rise.
Kaputa is an American brand strategist, author and speaker. She focuses on showing people how to think and act like a brand, and talks about how to have a successful career in business.
These tips are based on her latest book ‘Women who brand: How smart women promote themselves and get ahead’.
1. Do you think your boss is a mind-reader?
Most people think that if your boss sees you working hard they’ll just hand a pay rise to you or give you a pay rise when you have your pay review. It doesn’t work that way unfortunately.
It’s much more likely that your boss is busy thinking about his own pay rise!
So first easy step, schedule a meeting with your boss asking to discuss your pay.
2. You are the greatest…aren’t you?
So the scheduled meeting has arrived…don’t be daunted!
- Have some confidence and most importantly express to your boss what you are doing right and how you are helping the company to develop and grow.
- Emphasise how and in what ways you are benefiting the company and making your fellow employees lives easier.
- Are you exceeding expectations and being applauded on your performance? If yes, this is a good sign and shows that you are succeeding in your role, doing a great job and hopefully on the road to getting a good pay rise.
3. Show your evidence
Look closely at your job description and make a list of any additional tasks you do.
- Are you taking on extra responsibility and being supportive of co-workers and new team workers?This will contribute significantly to a pay rise when you have personal annual reviews with your managers and pay reviews.
Simply, make sure you have supportive, effective evidence if you are going to ask for a pay rise.
4. Remember that fortune favours the brave
You won’t get paid more unless you ask for it.
Summoning up the courage to ask for a pay rise can be very difficult for some people.
However, you may well be entitled to a rise and you have nothing to lose by asking. Remember it is your right to ask and it is a reasonable request. So get out of the mind set that nice people don’t ask for a pay rise!
5. Eyeball ’em!
Make sure you ask your boss in person for a pay rise.
This will show you are the type of person who can negotiate in a professional, business environment and shows you can be assertive in a fair, respectful way.
Just sending a pleading email won’t get you anywhere. In fact it’s generally easier to fob people off on email than it is in person, so pluck up the courage and get that meeting!
6. Er…don’t buy that Ferrari right away
Don’t expect a pay rise instantly.
Even if you feel you deserve one, there might be a particular process the company you work for has to go through in giving employees a pay rise.
- Ask your boss for a pay rise, but not for now – ask for it to be rewarded to you in six months time or, hopefully, a shorter period. This shows that you are being reasonable, you have expressed what you want and are willing to work for it.
- It might be the case that your boss will set you objectives and goals to meet in order to get a rise. Agree on these objectives with your manager, do these and you will hopefully be on the way to getting a higher income.
Marketing expert Razwana Wahid spoke to one of our team and said when asking your boss for a pay rise…
7. Pester, pester, pester
We are only human and we all forget things.
Make sure to email your boss monthly, reminding them of your agreed set objectives and detail how you have been achieving and working towards meeting them.
Importantly, this will keep the agreement fresh in their minds, demonstrate that you’re committed and shows your progress.
8. Love your company
Many companies have core values so make sure you are knowledgeable about them and talk about how you are fulfilling these in pay reviews with your manager.
Also, make sure to emphasise how you have grown throughout your time at the company. Have you met your set targets and goals? Tell your boss about them.
In other words, make sure you sell yourself.
Nervously Allen (CEO of global accounting firm Deloitte) made the decision to confront her boss over the missed promotion, telling him she had done, ‘A, B, C, D successful projects last year’. Her boss responded, ‘Sharon I didn’t know you had done all those things, you never told me’.
She never made that mistake again!
So go ahead and be vocal about your achievements within the workplace.
9. Loyalty doesn’t always pay
When you present your personal pitch for a pay rise, it’s good to have researched similar roles to yours in other companies.
Why are they earning more than you?
Highlight this to your boss and emphasise that you are performing similar duties and exceeding expectations.
Also keep a record of certificates, training courses and, prior to performance reviews, research how the company is doing.
Some companies give pay rises on your knowledge of the company’s results and their success, as this shows you have a strong interest and are enthusiastic about the company you work for.
10. Get that cash
Arrange a meeting with your boss to review your progress and agree on a pay rise.
Top Tip: Enjoy your pay rise when your rewarded it, but remember the importance of saving a bit too.
See our Top Five Money Saving Tips here.
Marketing expert Razwana Wahid and online business blogger says ‘When you first ask for a raise, 90% of the time you’ll be told there isn’t any room in the budget for it’.
She encourages workers to keep pushing for it or for other benefits if a pay rise really isn’t possible.
Negotiate with your manager and ask for other possible benefits such as:
- Additional holiday days in the year
- Working from home or other more flexible working arrangements
- Training or qualifications the company pays for
- Change in working hours – eg. starting earlier and finishing earlier to pick up the kids
- Possibilities of a financial bonus after a successful project – not an increase in salary but a one-off reward payment for your hard work
- Sabbatical period where you can do something different (eg- start a side business!)
…and don’t forget you can make extra cash
If you’re interested in making more money on the side have a look at our popular article 44 ideas to make more money…
Also, if you’re looking for work take a look at our article on how to write a killer CV and 16 top tips if you’ve lost the confidence to go for jobs.
Have you managed to get a pay rise? Maybe you’re just getting ready to pluck up the courage? Tell us in the comments section below!