7 Tips for Negotiating a Pay Rise

For those of us who don’t work in sales or finance it’s difficult enough discussing money, let alone asking outright for it, so here are a few tips to help you secure that pay rise.

  • Check your contract. Some companies will be really clear about when your appraisals are. For those that aren’t, ask for a meeting with your line manager but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
  • Do your homework. Find out what your market rate is by looking at adverts for jobs similar to yours. Speak to your recruiter – any recruiter worth their salt will want to keep in touch with you between job-moves and they should have a really good idea of your worth in the market.
  • Think carefully about why you should have a pay rise. Have you outperformed your colleagues? Have you regularly met and exceeded your targets? Are you performing duties above your paygrade? Also think about why your employer should invest more money in you – what will they be getting out of it?
  • Get your timing right. Has the company just secured a big new client? Or have they just invested heavily in a rebrand?
  • It’s not all about money. Will an extra £2K a year make much of a difference after tax? Perhaps you could negotiate a later start or an earlier finish to aid the school run. Or maybe a season ticket loan so you don’t have to fork out a lump sum. Improving your work-life balance or your cash-flow may be more valuable to you.
  • Make sure you’re armed with a written proposal – it doesn’t have to be a huge, laminated document, just something your line manager can go away with. They may not be the final decision-maker so arming them with your research may help your case.
  • Make the first offer. You should be confident enough to do this if you’re well prepared. Research shows that making the first (sensible) offer helps to secure discussions in your favour.

This article by the Financial Times gives some similar advice about negotiating a pay rise, and if you’d like any further advice, call your friendly neighbourhood recruiter for a chat on 020 7359 8244.

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