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The Graceful Guide to Getting a Pay Rise

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The Graceful Guide to Getting a Pay Rise

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Asking for a pay rise can be scary, painful and you might worry that it will be perceived negatively.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be like this.  Here are three simple things to keep in mind when it comes to getting paid your worth.

1. If you’re worth a pay rise, it doesn’t mean your boss will give you one without you asking

Its easy to say to ourselves ‘oh, I’ll just wait for my boss to give me a pay rise at the next salary review’.  Whilst this does happen from time to time, there are several problems with this approach:

  1. You’re putting your destiny in someone else’s hands.
  2. Your boss is busy and getting a pay rise for you might slip off their to do list despite their best intentions.
  3. Your boss doesn’t know everything you do and all the ways you are providing value to the company.  Quite often, there can be big gaps in the understanding your boss has over what you do and what you actually do.

As human beings we are more likely to take action on something if we are being held accountable by someone else.  If you ask your boss for a pay rise and they agree to do the paper work to get try get you one, they are much more likely to actually follow through and do it.  If they think to themselves a couple of times, ‘oh yea, I should really get so and so a pay rise’ it’s much easier for that to slip of their to do list.

Does this make sense?

Consider this: If your boss has been thinking they should organise a pay rise for you, having you ask them for it actually helps them get it done for you.  In effect, you’re helping them do their job.  You might even provide them with some information about the value you bring which makes it easier for them to put the justification together on why you are getting a pay rise.


2. It’s okay to ask outside your pay review

You might be thinking that it would be greedy or inappropriate to ask for a pay rise outside the salary review process.  And you know what? Sometimes that can be the case.  If you’ve started a new job or got a good pay rise in the last 4-5 months it can come across greedy if you ask for a pay rise.

However, there are plenty of times when it is appropriate to ask for a pay rise outside a salary review.

Consider this conversation:

You: “Hey boss, when is the salary review process again?” 

Boss: “Oh yeah, it’s coming up in a few months isn’t it?  We do everyone’s salary review in November.”

You: “Cool, I’ve been working really hard this year to over-deliver and I’d like to talk about the value I bring to this company and how I can be worth a pay rise”

This conversation could very easily lead into a follow up meeting where you and your boss discuss the value you bring to the company.  From there, you might get a pay rise right away or you might be get some things to work on.  Your salary review is so much more powerful if you can show you’re already doing what has been agreed as worth a pay rise.

On an unconscious level, if your boss knows your expecting a pay rise based on a conversation you’ve had they will be more likely to push harder for your pay rise.  As human beings we dislike letting people down and there will be the fear in the back of their minds that you will quit and find another job if you don’t get a pay rise.

You can have a conversation with your boss almost anytime to discuss the value you bring.  This can lead into either a pay rise, or, a list of actions you can take to secure a pay rise at the upcoming salary review.


3. Asking for a pay rise can be as simple as discussing the value you bring to the company 

You might be worried that asking for a pay rise will make you look greedy or un-grateful and this is a really common thought that people have.  Relax.  It’s totally possible to ask for a pay rise in considerate way that comes across well.

To start with, think about all the value you bring to the company.

  • What do you do over and above your job description?
  • What systems have you created that saves your company time and money?
  • Where do you fill gaps that would otherwise go unfilled and create problems?

Chances are, if you get your job description out and compare it to what you do now, you will find LOTS of things you are doing over and above the call of duty.

Once you have a list, go and have a chat to your boss about it.  They probably don’t realise half the things you are doing.  In fact, you might even get a pay rise just by taking your boss through all the value you bring to the company.

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