Maxwell Stephens

How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Asking questions related to pay and finances can be a bit awkward, although this doesn’t have to be the case. As long as you are courteous and respectful, asking for an increase in pay or discussing bonuses with an employer is totally fair game. Here’s a few points you need to be mindful of when negotiating a pay rise…

Do You Deserve a Pay Rise?

You should initially ask if you truly deserve an increase in pay – are you on top of your workload? Do you arrive to work on time each day? Do you go above and beyond the conditions of your contract? If yes is the answer to these questions, then there should be no problem with organising a discussion with a higher-up to negotiate a pay rise. Problems start to occur when answering no to these questions. If you are behind on work, if you frequently arrive late, if you do the bare minimum, then discussing an increase in salary with your employer may result in an awkward confrontation and you will almost definitely face a rejection. 

Creating a Positive Impression

Remaining authentic and professional is essential. The first impression is very important, so you should aim to present yourself in the best light possible. Speaking in a friendly but organised manner is vital, avoiding any forceful or threatening interactions. Being greedy, arrogant or comparing yourself to other workmates can be an instant ‘turn-off’ for an employer as will almost certainly prevent a pay rise from happening, even if you have a strong work-ethic and are meeting deadlines.

Negotiating at The Right Time

The timing in which the contract negotiations occur is a large aspect of the process and it can often be make or break. Storming into the boss’ office and instantly starting to discuss salary could result in an instant rejection in the vast majority of cases, and potential tarnish your reputation with your superiors permanently. If you are serious about increasing your salary, you ought to create time to broach the subject with your boss in a an official sit-down meeting. Doing this also provides preparation time to gather the appropriate evidence (e.g. increase in sales, productivity metrics, new clients etc) that you deserve an increased salary. You should start contract negotiations at a time when the company which you work for is performing well financially, when they can afford to provide bonuses or higher pay. When the business is struggling, the odds of an increased salary are significantly lower.

Preparing for the Negotiation

Being prepared for the contract negotiations is essential. Before discussing with a boss or manager, practise the negotiations with a friend or family member, ensure that they ask awkward, difficult questions to be prepared for the worst – meaning that there are no shocks or surprises within the real negotiation. Devise a list of reasons why the raise in salary is needed or deserved. Suggest how productivity may increase as a result of this or other ways in which it will benefit your employer. Providing evidence of an excellent performance record, showing to the employer that you are an asset to the company will only increase your chances of success.

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