Life is full of times when you have to ask difficult questions, i.e. asking a person out for the first time, asking the person with the annoying loud music on the train to please turn it down, asking the office who would like a drink when you go to get one (as you know everybody will say ‘yes’) & the list goes on but the one question that people avoid asking possibly more than any other is asking their manager about getting a pay rise!! In fact, some people would rather look at moving companies to avoid asking this simple question!!
So why are we so afraid to ask a question when the worst possible outcome is that you hear the word ‘no’?? And how can we prepare to give ourselves the best odds of hearing the word ‘yes’?
Firstly, you need to ask yourself if you genuinely deserve or are entitled to an increase and is now a good time to ask. So you need to do some research & ask yourself the following questions:
- How long has it been since I last had a pay review?
- Has my role changed recently & have I taken on more responsibility?
- Am I performing well in my current role?
- How does my salary compare to others doing the same role within the business or in other similar businesses?
- How well is your current company performing? I.e. if they are making redundancies or have just announced record losses for the year then this might not be the best time to ask for more money.
So if you answer yes to one or more of the above questions then it may be time to go in and ask for the money, but when you go in to this meeting what preparation do you need to do in advance of this?
Like asking for money from anybody you need to be prepared & justify why you feel you are entitled to a pay increase. Gathering some supporting evidence would be a great starting point which could include some of the following:
- Proof of outstanding performance which can include letters of recommendation, positive emails from management/clients or good results on projects you have worked on.
- Compare your original position description to your current role, highlighting additional responsibilities you have now & how your role has changed from when you joined the business.
- Look at salary surveys (which can easily be found online) highlighting how competitors are paying people in a similar role with the same experience as you.
- Show how your salary has changed since you have been with the business & show evidence of when your last review was.
Asking the big question
Anything regarding financials is important & not something you can do on email or in the pub after work, so you need to book in a meeting with your manager. I would make sure it is in both of your diaries with a meeting room booked & make sure they know the reason for the meeting so they know exactly what to expect. A few points to keep in mind during this meeting are:
- Present the evidence justifying why you deserve the increase in a professional manner, hand them the info on a printout highlighting the key points.
- Suggest an actual figure as to what you are looking for so they know what additional money you expect.
- If they can’t answer at that time, find out when they will have an answer & book in a follow up meeting so it doesn’t get ignored again.
If you prepare & present in the correct manner, a pay increase is not guaranteed but it will increase your chances. If you do get your increase then I would still suggest that your next review should be in 12 months’ time, which will make the process a lot easier next time round. If you feel you have justified why you deserve an increase but still didn’t receive it then maybe it is time to have a look at your options & talk to some other companies, but just remember if you are looking for a pay increase then it is usually a lot easier to ask your current manager rather then moving companies to get the increase you feel that you deserve.
Written by Andy Malek