Fresh out of half-year reviews, it’s a good time to ask yourself, “Am I getting paid what I deserve?” Asking for a pay rise can be a daunting conversation to have with your employer. But do-away with the notion that having an open and frank dialogue about your salary and the potential for an increase is in any way inappropriate or unprofessional.
With that in mind, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you’re better equipped to know whether you’re being paid enough and how to go about asking for a pay rise.
Have a plan and be prepared. The worst mistake you can make is not knowing the industry standard wage for someone doing a similar role to yours and, instead, just selecting a number at random. Do your research: jump onto SEEK and review similar roles and try to find out what people doing the same role at other companies are paid. And when it comes to negotiating, always start by asking for above that rate so that you have some room to move.
Wayne Baker, Chief Operations Operator at Symmetry HR says, “Get inside the head of the person who has the control to give you the raise. And think in a tangible way – they want to see something they can measure.” If you can demonstrate that you’re delivering value for the business you stand a better chance of ensuring your request for a pay rise will be approved.
He gives an example of how to present your case: “Say: I’ll perform this task or project over this period of time and we will see this much improvement in revenue.” Whenever possible, point to quantifiable improvements you’ve made to the business; have these ready to cite during the negotiations.
You might want to role-play these kinds of scenarios with a friend. Invite them to challenge you and ask them to put themselves in the shoes of the person who’ll be interviewing you.
It’s business, not personal. Instead of approaching the negotiations as a struggle between you and your manager, identify their underlying interests and work towards finding an outcome that satisfies both parties. You might be surprised just how much your interests overlap. It’s in your employer’s best interests to ensure that you’re happy and satisfied at work; time and again it’s been shown that those who are happy perform much better than those who aren’t. And feeling adequately remunerated goes a long way to making sure you feel like a valued employee.
Money isn’t the only negotiating factor. Think more broadly about what you want from your employer. People commonly speak about wanting more flexibility: the freedom to work from home or the ability to take your leave at any time of the year, for example.
These can be beneficial negotiating chips because you might find that your employer is happier to make some concessions on these points, rather than agree to a significant pay rise.
If you don’t get the pay rise you were after, use this as an opportunity to reassess your situation. If you enjoy your job, perhaps it’s worth continuing to work hard and, armed with the experience you’ve obtained from one round of negotiations, plan for your next salary discussion. If you don’t enjoy what you do and you feel under-appreciated, then it might be time to think about a change.
Do your research: jump onto SEEK and review similar roles and try to find out what people doing the same role at other companies are paid.
Make sure you’re always prepared to jump on opportunity with a SEEK profile.