Asking for a Pay Increase When None Is Forthcoming – Part One

2021, Career Guidance

Asking for a pay increase can be difficult, especially in this economic climate. However, if you believe you are really providing great value to your company and believe that your pay, salary or compensation is not quite enough, you are probably justified in asking for more.

If you want the most chance of getting a pay rise, you need to be prepared for that particular conversation with your boss; this blog article provides some hints and tips to help you prepare and how to handle the conversation itself.

That conversation is ultimately about agreeing upon your value to the company.  Try to get an idea of what you should be asking for by speaking to people doing similar roles to you within your company or in the same sector and in similar organisations. Most people are familiar with the advice to start with a high number, but some research suggests that a precise number makes a more powerful statement in negotiations. That means if you are currently earning $96,500, instead of throwing out a round number of $100,000, go for, say, $104,500.

A round number suggests you are simply high-balling. A precise number leads the other party to think that you have done research to arrive at a very particular number, making them think you are likely correct. 

Asking for a pay increase can be difficult, especially in this economic climate

But whatever you do, do not sit down and immediately launch in on the topic of money. We suggest kicking off the conversation with something like, “I really enjoy working here and find my projects very challenging. In the last year, I have felt that the scope of my work has expanded quite a bit. I believe my roles and responsibilities, and my contributions have risen. I’d like to discuss with you the possibilities of reviewing my compensation.” This is a useful way to open the conversation, as it put the onus on your boss to point out why you should not be entitled to a raise – which, if you have done your homework, should be an impossible gambit. After all, if you have not been doing your job right, you would be having a vastly different conversation, and you would not have had to call it. So, deliver a fait accomplis – replete with actual accomplishments to back up your claims – and then move on to saying that you are not here to rest on your laurels. Bring up your strengths and talents, your accomplishments, your desire to do even more, and your ideas and plans for the future in your role at the organisation. 

Whatever you do, do not use your own personal financial position as a reason why you think you deserve a pay increase. Do not tell your boss that you cannot afford your rent or that you need a raise to cover other personal expenses. Stick to your accomplishments and the value you add to the company.

One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate to your boss that you deserve a raise or at least some form of recognition for your results is to have other people endorse the work you have done and how it helped them. This may be done through a phone call to your boss or an e-mail. The more your manager hears about how your work has contributed to organisation goals and results, the stronger you will be positioned to be seen as someone deserving of consideration for an exception in the time of no raises or at least some form of recognition. 

Just remember, your manager may need a few days to think it over and get back to you, so do not be disheartened if you do not get an instant “Yes.” There is also a chance your boss is not the one to make the ultimate decision. He or she might have to go further up the chain with your request.

Next time, we will give you some more insight and tips into how to successfully be asking for a pay increase. 

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Using Your Active Voice and Other Career and Resume Tips
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Asking for a Pay Increase When None Is Forthcoming – Part Two
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