How to get a pay rise

It’s a new year and you’re feeling like it’s time for all your efforts and diligence at work to be recognised. In 2018, the Central Bank of Ireland reported that salaries would rise by 7% over the next two years. So, if you want to be part of this trend in 2019, it’s time to get wise about asking for a pay rise.

Successfully getting a pay rise can have many benefits aside from the obvious higher salary. It will do wonders for your confidence, workplace motivation and general feelings of satisfaction in your career.

Yet, asking for an increase can be tricky. Plus, if you want to avoid any awkward situations it’s best to prepare. Our blog will give you advice on how to get a pay rise that you’ll be satisfied with.

Consider your reasoning

The first thing you need to do when thinking about how to get a pay rise is ask yourself ‘why is it that I deserve a raise?’ If you’re finding it difficult to think of reasons, perhaps you need to take a step back and reconsider your argument.

It’s not always easy to critique yourself accurately, but it’s crucial to be honest about your progress. Have you taken on more responsibility than your job calls for? Or, have you taken a step back? Without a proven track record of good performance, it will be hard to win your boss over.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to have some examples at the ready of when you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes and think about why they should invest a greater proportion of their budget in you.

This isn’t a decision that your employer will make lightly, so your arguments will need to be convincing. For example, once you have some examples about what you’ve done to improve the business, consider what your role was in these tasks and what unique set of skills you bring to the table. And avoid the temptation to exaggerate!

Do your research

You’ll need to know your worth before you expect to get a pay rise. Rather than trying to compare yourself to colleagues (as their salary information is confidential), it’s a good idea to do some research.

To gauge a better idea of how much to ask for, search for jobs on websites like CV-Library to find comparable rates of pay for your position, or check out online salary guides.

Once you’ve had a chance to do your research, write down some facts and figures which you can then bring into your meeting. This shows that you’re serious about asking for a pay rise and creates a more compelling argument. Moreover, you won’t forget any numbers in the heat of the moment.

Arrange a meeting

Once you’re ready to speak to your boss, you’ll need to arrange a meeting, at a sensible time. Most likely they won’t be so interested in talking to you during the rush of a Monday morning. Make it clear what your intentions are so that they don’t feel ambushed and are able to take time to discuss it with you.

Asking for a pay rise, even when you’re prepared, can be scary. Yet it’s important to make the most out of the opportunity, as you may have to wait a while to ask again. You have nothing to lose by asking – providing you handle the situation professionally.

If a negotiation arises, remain polite and reasonable. You don’t want to leave your boss with a worse impression of you than when you started!

It’s also recommendable to bring a written copy of your argument to the meeting for your boss to take away. They can read this after your meeting to remind them of your key points. What’s more, they can also show this to other senior staff who might influence whether you’ll get a pay rise.

In this letter, highlight your achievements and set your desired increase in salary against these. Back this up with your comparative salary research. Don’t forget to finish by saying how much you enjoy working for the company!

What happens after you’ve asked for a pay rise?

You’ve made your case, given it your best shot and hopefully been successful. If you have, then fantastic – be sure to follow up on any extra duties you said you would fulfil to justify the pay rise.

However, be prepared to accept a different outcome. There may be wider reasons as to why your boss can’t give you a salary bump at this time. For example, if your company is having to make budget cuts it will be more difficult to get a pay rise.

Whatever the case, make sure you’re clear about your boss’ reasoning. Run through it with them and make notes of what you can do to improve. There’s no harm in asking again in six months’ time after you’ve implemented these changes. You may even get yourself a promotion!

Bethan Port

About Bethan Port

Beth did her degree in English Literature, but loves all things language-related and is trying to learn Spanish too! She kept a blog on her year abroad and loves being able to write creatively about all things career-related.

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