Asking for a pay rise is a necessary process, that is, if you want to progress in business.
If you are equipped with the right strategies and tools, you will become a pro at asking for more dough!
Here are some tips to prepare you:
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
1. Track your successes
This requires you to think ahead and track all the company-related successes that are both directly and indirectly connected to your work or projects.
CEOs and boards are looking for metrics – what worked, what didn’t work. Make sure you are tracking everything you do so you can give them exact figures when prompted. For example, you might have saved the company 20% on a particular activity or increased profit by 30%.
We often shy away from tooting our own horn, but remember, if you don’t promote your successes, no one else will.
2. Perception is everything
This may sound like an unusual tip, but unless you are confident in yourself and literally believe you deserve a pay rise then no one else will. People need to look at you and want to sign on the dotted line, literally opening the company’s wallet and investing in your potential.
This includes dressing the part, walking the walk and talking the talk.
3. Do your research
What are others being paid within your organisation? How about other people in similar roles within the competition?
There are plenty of salary comparison surveys available these days so you can have an understanding of what the market is currently paying. There are plenty of resources available without having to ask around your colleagues; to do that would be very unprofessional.
Of course this doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. If you have stats to prove you are worth more and you believe in yourself then why not be the first to break through a threshold?
4. Have a back-up plan
This is what I like to call preparing for the worst-case scenario. It’s not preempting failure; it’s being smart. Every business situation needs a contingency plan; what happens if this fails?
If you don’t receive a pay rise, or you receive one that is lower than your expectations, are you happy to stay in your position at the current agreement, or will you stay for another three months to work hard then negotiate? Or is it time seek out new opportunities?
Consider applying for a range of other roles until you land one. Why? Because you want to make sure that if things don’t go according to plan with the request for an increase you have the option to walk away. It’s called ‘calling bluff’.
Power lies in the hand of the person who cares least. Therefore, if you know you have another job secured elsewhere, having your request rejected isn’t a fear.
You can confidently present your case and if they say no, you have the option to hand in your resignation. And if your company has a good idea that you’re wanted elsewhere, they’re more likely to see value in your proposal and agree to your demands to make you stay.
5. Leave room for negotiation
You never, ever ask for the exact amount you are happy to settle for. As the saying goes “ask for the baker’s shop and get a loaf of bread”.
This will give you room to negotiate. In the back of your mind you need to have a number you know you can live with. Never go below it or you will start resenting where you work and stop enjoying your job. The livable amount of money is always above what is financially manageable, as in, paying your expenses such as bills. If you work just to live, you won’t ever feel rewarded.
In short, when requesting a pay rise always make sure you have a strong case to present. Don’t do it on a whim or just because someone else has! And never share your experience with a colleague, whether you get one or not. This puts the whole process in jeopardy.