Asking for a pay increase
A basic employment right, but difficult nevertheless...
Do not ever think that negotiating your salary is easy. You will have to persuade your boss that whilst everything is going well with your work; you feel that a slightly higher salary is justified. It is a game between you and your employer. If you prepare for the negotiation in advance, and work out a winning strategy, you are much more likely to be successful. Below is a list of skilful tips that might make the process easier:
- Ensure that you know the exact market rate for your job. Are you getting the same salary as other personnel with your training and experience? You can find details of current salary scales on the Internet, and ask representatives from your Trade Union Federation using your own network.
- State in advance the minimum and maximum you are seeking. If you do this, you automatically create a negotiating space, leaving room for compromise. The minimum shouldn’t be too low, as your manager will try to bargain on this, and the eventual amount offered could end up even lower.
- Make sure that you include any other changes you are seeking in workload, training etc., then if your manager says ‘No’ to the pay increase, you can at least continue to negotiate for these.
- Collect evidence to support your argument. For example, what are the company’s internal rules for pay increases? Think out your future career plans, and try to predict the questions you may be asked.
- Ensure there is sufficient time in the meeting for a thorough discussion of your case.
- Try to appear assured, self-confident and assertive, and present your arguments in a positive manner. Have a really clear idea of your value to the company, and state exactly why you feel you are entitled to higher remunerations. Make it clear that you have a right to ask for a higher salary, why you feel you are worth it, and what you would be willing to do in future to justify the increase.
- Make your manager aware that he is the only person who can answer your request.
- Avoid getting overheated! Let your manager know that the salary increase is important to you but don’t get angry or hostile!
- Negotiate for the future. Sometimes a raise is not feasible at the present time. In such circumstances, present your case for the future, e.g. in six months time, and the amount you might expect to get then.
- Don’t make a hurried decision. If your boss makes an offer, thank him and ask for time to think it over.
- Finally: make sure you go over any agreements face to face, and item by item. There may be areas of uncertainty which should be discussed. Always ask for written confirmation.
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