How to sensibly negotiate a pay rise

Progression within a company is a natural part of most jobs, with more responsibilities added to reflect experience gained as time goes on. With this, of course, comes the issue of a pay rise. Discussing money can make us Brits cringe so hard our necks hurt, but it is a part of getting a fair deal at work, so it’s something that needs to be addressed; but in the right way.

Time it right 

If your company has a set pay review period, it’s a good idea to coincide your request for a pay rise at this time. Sensitivity to the organisation of the company will be appreciated, management will already be evaluating staff performance, and you’ll avoid getting labelled as a bit of a pain. If they’re not as structured as this, perhaps bring it up at your next appraisal or one-to-one.

Do your research

You need to get an idea of your value, to give your request for more money some credibility. Research similar roles in the company, and in your industry, through people you know well enough to ask, online salary trackers, or recruitment consultants.

Build your case

Put together examples and evidence of successful projects you’ve been involved in, skills that set you apart, your relationships with key team members and/or clients, and your dedication to the company. Include all the data you can – figures, timeframes, and include the names of any colleagues willing to back up your value. You’re essentially asking your bosses to pay you more, and, quite rightly, they’ll want to see why they should.

Present your case

Set a meeting with the relevant people, and make an effort not only on the day, but on your preparation too.  Make sure you know what you deserve, and show why, through the evidence you use, and the way in which you present yourself. Going in all guns blazing demanding more money isn’t going to get you anywhere; quiet confidence is the way to go.

Discuss, negotiate, and think carefully 

Be ready to outline your boundaries and flexibility during the discussion, but also be prepared for some negotiation. The happiness of both parties is what makes the working relationship a good one, so everyone needs to be satisfied with what’s agreed, to save resentment and problems in the future. When you are made an offer, make sure you take enough time to consider how close it is to what you asked for, and how you’d feel once you’d accepted.

End on a good note

Whether you get the pay rise or not, it’s important to be gracious about the decision. Either way, make sure you thank those involved for their time and consideration.