How to ask for a pay rise this year

You love your job, the boss is great and your co-workers have become close friends. But the gloss can wear off even the most rewarding role if you’re not being paid what you’re worth.

The problem is that asking the boss for a pay rise is never easy. If they say yes, they will have to justify it further up the chain of command. If they say no, there’s a risk of seeing your commitment falter, which can lead to reduced productivity. That’s why it’s so important for you to state a strong case to show you deserve a fatter pay packet.

Here are five steps to help you get a pay rise:

1. Use salary guides to know what you’re worth

Knowing what you are worth can put you in a strong position during salary negotiations, and a salary guide can be a valuable tool here.

To illustrate this point, according to the Robert Half Salary Guide, 89 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) in Australia are concerned about losing top talent in their financial and accounting departments, and many CFOs suggested they are willing to negotiate pay in order to retain quality staff.

Using a salary guide to assess what you are currently receiving compared to your peers will also help you decide if you should aim to negotiate with your employer or consider making the switch to a new company.

2. Understand market forces for your industry

In many ways, the macro-economics of your industry plays an important role on a company’s ability to increase wages. If your industry is doing well and your skills are in high demand, you may be able to leverage these factors to your benefit when asking for a pay rise. However, if the market is in a rough patch and redundancies are on the horizon, now may not be the right time to approach the boss. The trick is to understand the state of the market and ensure your timing in asking for a raise is opportune.

3. Specialise your skills

Specialist skills are always in high demand. According to Robert Half research, 94 per cent of Australian CFOs admit their struggle in finding financial professionals with the skills they need. This presents an opportunity for those willing to upskill. Finding your niche in the market could be your ticket to a higher pay packet.

4. Know what you want 

Bumping up your wages may not always be a possibility, and it is likely the boss will want a bigger commitment from you in return. When negotiating a salary increase, come prepared with a Plan B. This could include asking for a bigger bonus instead of a pay rise, more flexible working hours or a restructure of your role. Many employers are more likely to grant these alternatives than paying more, and in many ways the benefits can be worth more than an extra handful of pennies per week. The additional benefit is that you continue in a role you love without the need to re-establish yourself in a new job.

5. Be prepared and professional

It is important to keep your confidence and your cool when asking for a pay rise. The simple fact is you need to prove to your employer that you are worth the money you are asking. Consider creating a presentation outlining your successes and your strengths, as well as your vision for improving the role you are in. Being prepared and professional is likely to make your request for more cash far easier than shouting demands or threatening strike action.

When you’re trying to negotiate a pay rise be prepared to look at things from the boss’s perspective. Can they justify a salary increase higher up the chain? Can your firm afford it? What will the company get in return? Are you too valuable to be refused? If you’ve already played their side of the court, you’ll know what you are up against and how you can satisfy their concerns. With some clever negotiating it’s possible to love what you do – and the salary you’re paid to do it.

Make your days count when you love what you do.

Want to learn more about how to ask for a pay rise? Download the Robert Half Salary Guide to find out. Here are more articles on how you can ask for a pay rise:

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