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How to Ask For a Pay Rise (And Get It)

When it comes to asking for more money, women are lagging behind men.

Indeed, in a survey published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the findings reveal that unless women are specifically informed that their salary is negotiable or that they can request a pay rise, we tend not to do so – unlike our male counterparts.

With women’s wages back in the news – David Cameron announcing that he vows to eliminate the gender pay gap “within a generation” – we thought we’d look at what you can do now to try and help even the balance. So if you feel you are worth more than your current pay packet, read on for some expert tips on how to approach your boss and ask for a pay rise.

Take a Chance

Pay is always a sticky subject and not many of us like mentioning money. However, whilst asking for a pay rise isn’t easy, do not let fear put you off. The saying, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’, seems apt here.

Think Like a Lawyer: Prepare Your Case

A well prepared case is crucial when asking for a pay rise, as your boss will probably ask you to justify why you deserve a raise. There are two things you must therefore do before calling a meeting:

1. Look back at your achievements over the last year and make a note of them. Use this as a prompt to demonstrate how valuable you are to the business.

2. Research the salary expectations for your position. A good place to start is by looking at job adverts and salary surveys to find out what other organisations are willing to pay for someone with your talents. This will make clear to your boss that you’ve done your research, whilst also strengthening your negotiating hand accordingly.

Find the Right Moment

Many employers have a set period for reviewing performance, often once a year or every six months. If this isn’t the case at your organisation, use your common sense. It is not a good idea to ask for a pay rise if your boss is in a bad mood, is in the middle of a stressful project, or if you know the business is going through a hard time. Similarly, first thing on a Monday morning or last thing on a Friday afternoon are worth avoiding. Pick a time when your manager isn’t too busy or under pressure, and has the capacity to give your request proper consideration.

Be Realistic

Your chance of getting a pay rise dramatically increases if you’ve done your research and have a realistic figure in mind, taking into account the size, structure and current financial circumstances of your company. Open the conversation with a statement such as, “I’ve been thinking about my responsibilities and how they might be reflected in my pay. What do you think?”, to set a positive tone.

Be Assertive but Friendly

Go into any appraisal or pay review fully believing that you deserve a raise. Be assertive and strong in putting your case forward, but avoid becoming angry and emotional if negotiations aren’t going your way. Do not give an ultimatum in the heat of the moment! Maintain a friendly stance throughout and remember to reaffirm your commitment to the company and show you’re up for the challenges presented by your current position.

Good luck!

This article was originally published on City Calling and has been repurposed with their kind permission.

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