Asking your boss for a pay rise isn’t the easiest thing to do, and the fear of being turned down often stops us from being paid what we should for the work that we provide. A little pre-planning can go a long way in proving to your boss you’re worth every extra penny. Our simple guide gives you the most effective tips for how to ask for a raise, and what you should do if you’re knocked back.
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How To Ask For A Raise (and what to do if you’re refused)
1. Preparation is key
The first, most important step is to prepare yourself thoroughly before pitching for your pay rise by researching the average pay for your position. If you find the figures aren’t matching up–this will give you much more leverage when negotiating a salary increase with your boss, and help you figure out exactly how much you want to ask for.
2. Timing is everything
The best time to ask for a raise is immediately after you’ve just aced a big project, taking on new responsibilities or something equally as noteworthy. Obviously, if your performance isn’t up to par, or it’s common knowledge that business isn’t exactly booming–forget about it. Did you know? Friday afternoon is actually the best time to ask for a raise as your boss then has the entire weekend to mull over your pitch and/or worry you might jump ship.
3. Prove it!
Negotiating your pay rise from a power position will maximise your chances of a decent pay rise. Document all the reasons why you’re worth it. Clearly note down your contribution to outstanding customer service, business growth and revenue. Also, if you’re integral to the team/project and hard to replace, this gives you even more power when negotiating for your pay rise.
4. Clue upon company policy
Re-read your employee handbook or chat to somebody in HR to determine whether or not your company require annual performance reviews to determine your salary, or whether salaries advance according to a certain schedule or rank.
5. Leave all emotion out of it
Try to remember, pay rises aren’t about being ‘fair’–they are a business decision like any other business decision. You will only be given a raise because you can prove the value you bring to the company, so professing how you’re deeply in debt is completely irrelevant. Sell your boss on your stellar performance. When you truly believe you’re worth it, it’ll be much easier to convince your boss you are too.
6. Just do it!
Once you’ve done all the necessary research and prepared your pitch, it’s time to put aside any anxiety and take the plunge. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They can say no? Well, in that case, it won’t hurt to go in with some other ideas on how they can reward you should they not have the budget to increase your salary, as a better work-life balance or study leave.
What to do if your boss declines your request for a raise?
- Be stoic and professional: If things don’t exactly go to plan, don’t get emotional or embarrassed. Instead, smile and say you understand their situation, however, you would like to know when it might be a better time to consider your request, or what else you would have to do to warrant a salary increase.
- See if you can revise your job title: If you truly believe the work you do does warrant a job title revision, see if this is possible. If you can obtain a better title, this will not only improve your future job prospects, but you’ll also be able to compare your pay with other people in higher-level positions at other companies.
- A better offer: If all else fails, unfortunately, the best way to up your leverage in the pay-rise stakes is to be offered a job elsewhere that offers a higher salary. Of course, this can be highly risky if you don’t actually want to leave, as you need to be extremely confident your boss values you highly enough to fight to keep you.