How to Ask for a Pay Increase Like a Boss.
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it” – Estée Lauder.
Asking your boss for more money can be terrifying. But one thing I’ve learned is that if you never ask, the answer will always be no.
Every once in a while, I reflect upon the early stages of my career. I was petrified of asking my boss for a day off, let alone asking for more money. I’ve since realised through experience, that asking for a pay increase doesn’t have to be a daunting experience.
In this post, I share with you my key tips and tricks for how you can prepare yourself to ask for an increase:
I know this may sound like an obvious question. But if you can’t adequately answer it yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
Responses such as ‘my cost of living has increased’ or ‘I want to be able to afford a better lifestyle’ may be genuine reasons to you, however it’s meaningless to your employer. You are paid according to the worth you bring to the marketplace, not because of your wishes, dreams or personal circumstances.
Consider the impact you have made to the role and to the organisation. Are there any notable achievements you have accomplished? What is the value that you have added to the organisation? Are you able to quantify it and provide specific examples?
If your contribution is not easily attributed to a dollar value, then consider what else you have done to improve business. The successful implementation of new ideas, processes and ways of working are some examples of value you may have added.
Before you ask for a pay increase, ensure you do your research to establish your worth in the marketplace. Job boards such as Seek and LinkedIn provide pay guides. Many recruitment agencies produce annual salary surveys you can use as a benchmark.
It’s important to understand there are many contributing factors to salary such as industry, turnover, company size and years of experience. Doing your research and ensuring you understand your worth in the marketplace is key.
The best way to ask for a pay increase is to present a business case, showcasing your key achievements and accomplishments. Preparing a business case is an excellent way to include tangible data, such as how much money you have made or saved the organisation, as well as other initiatives you have implemented that have added value.
Utilise your job description and call out any notable achievements where you have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Measure how you have performed against your key performance indicators.
Preparing a business case to request for a pay increase means that your boss has something physical they can take with them from the meeting. A written business case can be utilised to gain approval from the board or executive committee.
Timing is crucial when it comes to ask your boss for a pay increase. If your boss is having a bad day or is looking stressed or overwhelmed, it’s probably not the best time to request for an increase. Equally, if your company is going through a tough trading period, consider whether it’s an appropriate time to ask for an increase.
Schedule a meeting with your boss at a time you know they will be at their best, most relaxed self. First thing Monday morning or last thing on a Friday afternoon are generally not ideal from a timings perspective. Ensure your boss is aware the purpose of the meeting is to discuss your remuneration. This way, they will not feel ambushed or put on the spot.
The key to negotiating is confidence. Ensure you show up to the meeting prepared and able to present your case clearly and succinctly. Be respectful and gracious – even if the meeting does not result in the outcome you hoped for, you can leave the meeting with your head held high, and not regret being rude or unprofessional.
Be willing to negotiate. If the business is not in a position to provide you with the increase you are after at that point in time, consider some other benefits which are meaningful to you. Flexible work arrangements, additional annual leave or learning & development opportunities may offer significant value to you. So long as you are respectful and professional, you will not leave the meeting any worse-off than when you entered.
Do you have any strategies or tips of how you have successfully asked for a pay increase? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, please leave your comments below!