Conversations about money can often make people feel awkward, but learning to negotiate your salary is an important career skill. Without the ability to clearly communicate their worth to their employers, employees can be left feeling undervalued and as though they have reached a dead end in their career trajectory. At CareerWise, we are experts in all aspects of the workplace. Here is our guide to how to negotiate a pay raise.
Before launching in and requesting a pay raise, it is important to choose the right time. If you feel like you are worth more than you are being paid, consider if there are other factors in your favour before committing to the conversation. You should have been in your role for at least six months, if not a year, in order to prove your ongoing value. The company should be in a secure place financially – you do not want to be seen as a non-team player if times are hard. There should be something that has clearly prompted you to believe you deserve increased pay, such as taking on more responsibilities. Finally, if there is a performance review approaching, wait until then, rather than disrupting a pre-existing schedule.
If you are still ready to negotiate a pay raise, here are the steps you should take to prepare your case for your employer.
You need to make sure your request is realistic. Use online research, and if possible, conversations with fellow employees, to establish the average salary for someone in a similar role to yours. Your level of experience should also play a factor in your estimation of what you should be being paid.
Be ready to justify your request with specific information about how you have added value to your job role, over and above what you are already paid. Have you taken on extra responsibilities since you started? How has your role changed, and how have you expanded upon the original job description?
Be sensitive about the timing of your request. If the company is navigating a precarious financial situation, or there are major uncertainties looming, perhaps consider waiting before making your request. A lack of awareness of the overall picture could negatively impact your reputation.
Have a specific request in mind, and be prepared to be a little flexible. It is wise to have a range in mind – what is the lowest amount you would accept, and what is the maximum realistic raise you could achieve from this meeting? You should also consider options other than increased pay, that the company could reward you with, for instance, extra paid leave.
Assemble all of your research and put it together in a convincing and well rounded argument for why they should give you a raise. Try and anticipate any questions they may have about your work, and provide statistics to back up your case.
If possible, talk to someone who has managerial experience, so they can test any weak points in your argument. Try and keep your presentation less like a formal pitch, and more like a conversation where you are well prepared to counter any queries.
Timing is very important when it comes to requesting a raise. Consider asking at a time of year when things are going well for the company (especially if it is a seasonal business); or ask right after you complete a significant piece of work. In terms of the weekly schedule, early to mid-week is best – not on a Monday when everyone is catching up, and not at the end of the week when everyone is keen to get to the weekend. And also think about the time of day – mid morning is likely to be a time of day when your employer is not yet too fatigued, but has already dealt with the most pressing issues of the day. Try and find the time when they will be in the best possible mood.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. Many of our roles feature a hybrid element. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
Mike Morrissey has extensive knowledge of production, quality and engineering, having worked for Dell, Creative Labs and Tyco Safety Products /Sensormatic.
His expansive operational experience is grounded with training as a Six Sigma Black Belt.
As a lead auditor, he is very familiar with compliance and quality standards and has project managed the implementation of the environmental standard ISO14001. He has successfully utilised his project management and team leading skills in implementing numerous cost-saving and process improvement projects.
Since joining CareerWise Recruitment, Mike has graduated with a Diploma in Personnel Management from UCC and is a Chartered member of the CIPD.
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