Employment experts have shared their top tips for giving you the best chance possible of getting the raise you’ve been dreaming of, as the cost of living crisis deepens
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Asking for a pay rise at work can be terrifying. Now, with the cost of living crisis only deepening and inflation rising to a 40-year high of 9%, getting some extra cash out of your boss has never been more important.
But wanting a pay rise and successfully getting one are two very different things.
To help, the Mirror has spoken to a range of experts from across the industry, from recruitment specialists to FBI negotiators, to work out the best tips for getting those extra pounds in your paycheck.
Careers expert at LinkedIn Charlotte Davies told us: “With the rapidly rising cost of living, thinking about asking for a pay rise is likely to be at the forefront of many of our minds at the moment.
“Asking for a pay rise can sometimes feel daunting and a little uncomfortable. However, with a little bit of prep and practice, you can help to make these conversations seem a lot less intimidating.”
How to ask for a pay rise at work
Davies explained that the place to start is by doing your homework, a point backed up by many of the experts we spoke to.
Amanda Lennon, employment partner at law firm Spencer West, said it’s vital that you start off by doing your research on the market.
“Before asking for a pay rise, it is important to think about your role and how your current salary compares to the market. Use your network, speak to recruiters and look at job adverts to find out the salaries for similar roles.”
Once your research is in order, Davies said that picking your moment is vital.
Gary Ashworth, chair of recruitment firms InterQuest Group, Albany Beck and Positive Healthcare, said: “Timing is vital. There’s no point trying to speak with your boss about a bigger pay packet if they’ve just come out of a board meeting that’s gone wrong and there’s steam coming out of their ears.
“Instead, opt for a day where the environment appears cool, calm and collected and your boss is in high spirits.”
He added: “Rehearse your case – there’s no such thing as a list too long when it comes to showcasing why you deserve a pay rise.”
Former FBI negotiator Chris Voss, who runs the Art of Negotiation class on MasterClass, explains that the trick to achieving what you want is all a matter of helping your boss view the matter in the right way.
He says opening the conversation with “how can I be more valuable to you?” is more productive than opening a meeting in a way that simply comes across as you asking for what you want.
He adds it’s also valuable that you frame the conversation in terms of ‘we’ – as in the company and its future – rather than just you and yours.
Bosses need to see the benefit to the company as well as what you’ve done in the past as evidence that you can continue to help the company grow.
Jessica Bondy of career mentoring service Bondy & Beyond said it’s vital you prepare your evidence and “gather information that will help you make your case”.
“Think about what they might ask you to allow them to say NO and have the answers already thought through,” she advised.
Explaining why you should be given raise is important for helping your boss come around to your way of thinking.
Amanda Augustine, careers expert at TopCV, said: ‘‘Before you approach your manager to ask for a pay rise, build your case.
“The reason you deserve a raise isn’t about your wants and needs; it should be about the value you bring to the company and the information you’ve uncovered regarding the current job market.”
She added: “Start by evaluating your performance since your last pay rise. In order to justify this raise, be ready to discuss how you’ve met or exceeded your goals, and how your role has evolved since the last time your compensation was reviewed.”
But what does this look like from the employer’s perspective?
How can bosses help employees get their pay rises?
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Alan Price, the CEO of BrightHR, said it is in the employer’s interest to make sure their employees have a regular opportunity to discuss their working situation.
He said: “This gives both the employer and the employee a defined opportunity to discuss their salary and any potential anomalies with this.”
A pre-planned meeting, he says, will make employees “more comfortable asking questions or raising concerns with their pay since the conversation is already scheduled”.
Doing this removes the scope for employees to look elsewhere.
He said: “Those who are not confident starting such discussions may instead choose to resign from their position and look for opportunities, with higher salaries, externally.
“When employers initiate the discussion, they minimise the risk of unresolved concerns building up over time, leading to greater dissatisfaction, demotivation and ultimately lower retention rates.”