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When is the best time to ask for a pay rise?

Timing is EverythingRecent labour market figures published by the CSO contain good news on the Irish economy.

Ireland’s unemployment rate continues to drop (6.3 % August 2017), Irish property prices rises by 12.3% and retail sales increase by 11.9% in the year to July.

It is worthwhile noting that recent surveys estimate that 60-70% of companies in Ireland will offer between 1-3% pay increments in 2017 / 2018. With all these positive indicators in the market place, when is the best time to ask for a pay rise?

Salary negotiations can be difficult

This is always a difficult question and salary negotiations can be difficult. Many people don’t ask for a raise or negotiate a salary offer because it makes them uncomfortable, they’re nervous or they don’t want to seem too pushy. Also more often than not the person has an unsuccessful outcome. This can be attributed to a few factors. Poor timing, being unprepared for the negotiation process and generally being unreasonable.

There is no perfect time, however, often a window exists in September. Most budgets are prepared for the following year so maybe this is your time.

Here are some other aspects you should consider before putting in your request;

When is the best time to ask for a pay rise?

  • Has your job changed?
  • Have you taken on extra responsibility?
  • Are you now managing people?
  • Are you consistently over performing?
  • How is the organisation performing; is it profitable?
  • What are other similar companies doing in the market place; do your research?
  • How are you performing within the company?
  • What value are you adding?
  • When was your last pay increase?
  • Preparation – “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin

Ultimately, pay rises are achieved by those who show their employer they are too valuable to lose and are therefore worth that little extra. No matter how much you think you deserve a pay rise, if you haven’t prepared properly you will most likely have a negative outcome.

Timing is key! The time you choose to ask your manager for a rise is almost as important as preparing a good case for one. First thing on a Monday or last thing on a Friday aren’t a good idea. Neither is in the middle of a big, stressful project. You should;

  • Prepare to ask the question – Rehearse your pitch
  • Research the market
  • Prepare to justify the pay increase.
  • Show you are worth it.
  • Take your time and don’t rush the question – stay calm.
  • Listen to the answer.
  • An increase may be rejected if it is deemed too outlandish.

If your manager refuses your pay rise because they don’t believe that your achievements warrant it, you can ask for a clear list of expectations and agree a future date to review your progress.

With all these positive indicators in the market place, when is the best time to ask for a pay rise?

Article by Mike Morrissey (Director, CareerWise Recruitment)

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