Talk Money Week: five tips on how to ask for a pay rise

09 November, 2020Eleanor James

Talk Money Week is an initiative from the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) to get us talking about finances. But a salary or fee can be especially difficult to discuss with employers or clients. Eleanor James offers five tips to help you negotiate your pay.

Women-stacking-coins-in-pilesThe economic impact of Covid-19 has made conversations about money even more critical. And another devastating effect of the pandemic is that it has reversed some of the progress made on working towards workplace equality.

Over 90% of women work for companies that pay them less than their male colleagues.  

Research conducted by Robert Walters with over 9,000 UK employees, found that 57% of female respondents had never attempted to negotiate a pay rise. On the other hand, men were 23% more likely to negotiate a rise at all stages of their careers.

So how should you approach that awkward conversation?

1. Research, research, research!

As a starting point, use free resources like LinkedIn salary, PayScale or Glassdoor, to understand what people in similar job roles and locations to you are earning.

Prepare yourself with as much knowledge and data as possible about your sector. It could prove to be a powerful negotiating tool.

2. Frame the conversation

Put together a solid business case for your manager to consider.

Outline clearly why you deserve a pay rise and have specific performance-related examples ready, so that you can show how you have personally added value to the company.

Do you have a mentor at work? Or someone you trust who’s well respected in your company? It might be useful to talk to them first to use them as a sounding board?

3. Own your accomplishments

It’s good practice to document your victories at work and build up a portfolio of projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate your value and highlight your skillset.

This isn’t about bragging or ‘blowing your own trumpet’. It’s simply about evidencing your hard work.

Plus, reminding yourself of your achievements is a great confidence booster!

4. Be reasonable

Is the timing of your ask appropriate? And is your ask reasonable?

Give yourself the best possible chance and consider other factors that could influence whether your request is granted or denied.

For example, if you’ve you just been involved in the completion of a successful project, this could be a great time to put your case forward.

However, if your company has just announced a pay or recruitment freeze, chances are it won’t be the most opportune time to secure a salary increase.

5. Follow up

Be proactive in arranging the next steps after your initial conversation. Follow up is key!

Don’t be disheartened if your request isn’t met. Find out why.

Is it because there’s no budget available at the moment? Or because your performance hasn’t warranted a pay rise?

Whatever the verdict, remain persistent and ask for your request or performance to be reviewed again at an agreed time in the future. 

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