Guest Blog from Louise Goodman, Marketing Director, UK & Ireland at Monster.
When’s the right time to ask?
You can ask for a pay rise at any time, but there are certain moments that are more naturally suited to it than others like a performance review or the end of the calendar or financial year. However, don’t ask more than once a year as you’ll come across as unrealistic, if not unreasonable in your boss’ eyes.
Preparing to pop the question
Book some time in the diary with your boss. Afternoons are generally better as the stress of the morning will have disappeared. Prepare for the meeting thoroughly. Compare your salary against similar jobs being advertised at the moment, or use an online salary calculator. The stronger the case you can present the better your chances of getting what you want. Use every possible advantage to help weight your case, including any recent achievements or additional training, qualifications or skills you have gained. Don’t forget to mention soft skills (attitude, teamwork, good time keeping etc.) as these can be crucial in helping your boss to see why you are worth the extra money and makes it easier for him to imagine you in a more senior role.
Making your case
You’ll probably be nervous, but make sure to sit up straight, make eye contact with your boss and don’t fidget. Confidence is key, so speak slowly and deliberately, and use hand gestures to reinforce your points if this is your natural style. Don’t giggle nervously or allow your gaze to wander round the room or cover your mouth while speaking – these are all suggestions that you are uncomfortable or insecure about what you’re asking. Begin the meeting by mentioning a recent project you have completed successfully, this will immediately put you in their good books. Don’t feel the need to fill in any silences or ramble, wait for a response to your questions and put the onus onto your manager to respond. The more certain you are of what you want to achieve and the more convincingly you can present your value, the better your chances of achieving the pay rise you’re looking for.
As with any negotiation, always ask for more than you expect to get, but make sure you don’t go in ridiculously high or you may end up being seen as naive or overly demanding. Let them know you’re willing to take on more responsibility in return for extra money. Don’t rush things, but do ask to be kept up-to-date with how your request is progressing. Expect some resistance and be prepared to fight your corner, but don’t over do it. If the cash you want is not available, be prepared to ask for additional benefits such as a company car or an increased employer’s contribution to your pension scheme or even flexible working hours and extra few days’ holiday can be an option.