Know Your Worth: Top Tips For Negotiating A Better Salary

Your Opinion
Published: 06.07.22

Negotiating a higher salary can be intimidating to say the least. Depending on how your company operates, pay may depend on seniority – in which case, there’ll be a clear path for growth. Similarly, your line manager may address your salary during a scheduled performance review.

However, if you feel you’re doing more than your role requires – all the while demonstrating initiative, reliability, and possibly even mentoring other employees – and aren’t being fairly compensated, it may be time to ask for a raise…

But first, know this

Before raising the issue with your manager, there are some important factors to consider. First things first, what’s the financial health of your company like? Ultimately, there needs to be money in the pot to fund your salary increase. If you’re aware of recent budget cuts or employee dismissals, money could be tight, and you’ll need to be sensitive with your timing.

Another common mistake people make when asking for a raise is equating longevity with quality of work. That’s why it’s crucial to take a hard look at your recent performance to ensure you’ve been achieving objectives effectively and consistently. 

Once you’ve ticked these boxes, it’s crunch time. Here are our top tips on advocating for yourself in the workplace.

1. Always have the conversation face-to-face

We appreciate it’s a nerve-wracking process, but if you send your request via email, you risk falling at the first hurdle. Your manager may assume you’re not serious about getting a raise, and it’ll also be more difficult to field any questions they might have. If you work remotely or an in-person meeting isn’t possible for other reasons, it’s worth scheduling a video or telephone call.

2. Be confident in your approach

This point may seem self-explanatory – and that’s because it is. If you’re not confident in your own abilities, how can you expect your manager to be? A sure-fire way to boost your conviction is by arming yourself with solid stats to support your growth, as well as records of any praise you’ve received.

3. Outline your long-term goals

While a pay rise serves to directly benefit you as an individual, it doesn’t hurt to explain how it will benefit the company too. By laying out your long-term goals, you’re making it clear that you’re committed to your personal development and invested in the company’s overall success. Short-term goals count too! If there are processes you think can be improved, present your blueprint.

4. Keep the focus on you

If you’ve been made aware of a colleague doing similar work to you for a higher salary, don’t bring this to your meeting. Put simply, gossip isn’t professional – and your manager won’t appreciate it. Instead, focus on the results you’ve been achieving and why your efforts are worthy of a raise.

5. Be professional, not personal

Remember that you’re in a professional setting too – a raise might help cover your rising energy bills or fund that getaway you’ve been planning, but your boss doesn’t need to know this. Avoid outlining why you need more money, and focus on why you deserve it.

6. Don’t give an ultimatum

The only time you should be giving your employer an ultimatum is if you’re in a position to walk away from the job. Put it this way – if you come across as entitled or demanding and you don’t have another role lined up, there’s every chance your manager might just call your bluff. Make a conscious effort to remain patient, calm, and collected.

7. Practise your pitch

And finally, practice makes perfect! If you’ve spent time rehearsing your points and anticipating your boss’ response to your requests, you’ll be equipped with solid answers to their questions when the time comes. Not only does this make the conversation easier for yourself, but it also shows that you’re not just asking on a whim. 

Looking for expert advice on how to secure a higher salary? Speak to our experienced team.

Sam Wason Selfie

Co-founder and Joint MD

Sam Wason

Scotland

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