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

2021, Career Guidance

In our last blog article, we looked at how to approach your boss when asking for a pay increase. Here, we will give you some more tips and techniques to get the salary increase you deserve. 

Remain focused on the positive things you bring to your position in your company.  Always focus on the value that you add to your role and to your business; keep the mood and conversation upbeat and constructive — Use words like ‘I am’, ‘I can’, ‘I have’ etc. Don’t talk too much about negatives – never ask for a pay rise due to negative factors (“I’ve been overlooked”, “Helen earns more than me”, etc.) This will put both you and your boss in a negative state of mind and makes it easier for them to say ‘no’.

Here are a few things not to do. Never give an ultimatum.  No one, least of all your boss, responds well to ultimatums.  Don’t talk too much – leave silences so that your boss can speak. If you are nervous, there is a tendency to talk a lot; avoid that; you do not want to do all the talking, so take time to listen. Remember, it is a two-way conversation. And do not wait for the right time; it will never come – schedule a meeting soon and get it in your boss’s diary.

Remember, there is a natural tendency when entering into a conversation to negotiate a pay increase to find an outcome that makes both parties happy and particularly your own boss. Looking for a win-win from the start means giving something up without necessarily getting your desired outcome will earn you nothing more than good feelings, which won’t pay your mortgage. 

Is now the right time to request a pay increase?

People who seek a a win-win may feel better about themselves but end up ultimately doing worse in salary negotiations than those who seek a win-lose. Those negotiators may feel worse, but they end up with a higher salary. And that’s your desired outcome. 

Let’s assume you do get an offer, but it’s not quite what you had hoped for – what then? Each situation is different, and you may need more or less time to consider the offer depending on how close it is to what you wanted and what the other options may be. If you’re asked how long you need to think the offer over, say you’ll let them know that day or that you’ll sleep on it, depending on how much time you need. Even if you think that the offer is perfect, we would recommend giving yourself at least a night to think it through.

This also helps you stay in control of the situation. The people negotiating with you need to know this is important, and it is absolutely fair enough for you to take your time in making a decision or thinking about what your next move will be. After all, if you say yes straight away, your boss may think he is over-compensated you and look deeper into your achievements. So slow the speed of negotiations down to your own pace. 

Ultimately, if you have a good case for a salary increase, come prepared to present concrete information about why you deserve it. Don’t be confrontational and try not to use legalistic arguments, such as age or gender discrimination, even though they may be true.

Instead, focus on proving your value to the organisation. If you fail to get what you want, have a backup plan that includes a job search.

Remember too, that the negotiations may not go your way, and you need to think of a strategy to deal with that decision. You can accept it and carry on, meaning that the next time you attempt a negotiation, you will be in a potential position of weakness as your efforts had not been successful in the past. The alternative in this scenario is to be prepared to look for another role and move on to a job where your market worth will be recognised.

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Asking for a Pay Increase When None Is Forthcoming – Part One
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Don’t Let Your Lack of Confidence Affect Your Work – Part One
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