If you're unhappy with your current salary, you may be thinking about how to go about asking for a pay rise. But how do you do it without sounding threatening? And how do you know what is a reasonable request?
It can be challenging to talk about money at work. You don't want to come off as greedy or ungrateful, but there are ways to negotiate a salary increases without resorting to resignation threats and an angry approach. Here are a few tips we've learned from candidates we've worked with to help you get started:
1. Do your research
Consider why you want a higher salary and present your business case using evidence. Are others in equivalent roles in the same market receiving a higher package, or do you feel the value you add is worth more than your pay? Ensure you have your facts and figures in order. Market salary guides* and information from current live jobs may help show that others in your position from different companies are earning more. It is also worth noting any additional responsibilities you have that are not recognised within your job description and pay rate.
*Contact us for more information on salary guides, we have them for all our tech markets and one of our specialist consultants will be happy to send you the relevant market information.
2. Ask at the right time.
Sometimes securing a pay rise is all about timing. If the company you work for has suffered a poor month in sales or has just let some staff go, it undoubtedly isn't the best time to ask for more money. It's not wise to ask your manager publicly and put them on the spot, either. It may also be worth leaving it a while if you have fallen out with your manager or can see they are in the best mood.
3. Focus on the future
When discussing a pay increase, try to focus on the future rather than the past. Instead of dwelling on all the times you've been underpaid or feeling like you're owed something, focus on what a raise would mean for your future at the company. How will it help you hit your goals? What kind of impact will it have on your work? By framing it in the future, you'll sound more like an asset than a liability.
4. Avoid ultimatums
It can be tempting to tell your manager that you'll quit if you don't get a pay rise, but that's the worst way to go about asking for a pay rise in our experience. Not only will you look bad, but it could also come back to bite you. Leaving without a job to go to can be an extremely stressful experience. If you are genuinely considering leaving and don't get a raise, it's better to keep that card close to your chest and state that you're open to other opportunities.
4. Be willing to negotiate
Remember that there's room for negotiation when it comes to salaries. If your company can't meet your exact request, see if there's some middle ground with which both of you can be happy. Perhaps there are some other benefits or perks they could offer instead that would make a positive impact. For example, an offer of remote work might reduce the cost of your commute or the hours required for childcare. The important thing is to stay calm and be willing to talk things out until you find an arrangement that works for both of you.
5. Thank them for their time either way
Even if the outcome isn't what you wanted or are happy with, thank them for their time and effort. It shows that you're still interested in working at the company and appreciate their willingness to have this conversation with you – even if it didn't go exactly as planned. If you are considering leaving you will likely want a glowing review too - being polite is essential.
6. Don't just quiet quit - Seek pastures new!
We've heard more and more about the dawn of quiet quitting. However, there are mixed reviews about the benefits to the employees' trailblazing with this approach and we aren't convinced. In our experience, feeling your job is just a job and giving up on the drive, passion, and enthusiasm means a poor relationship with work in the long run. The tech industry is thriving, so if you aren't happy with your role and salary and you haven't had success with the above tips, there's likely somewhere else offering something to suit you better! Get in touch with our consultants today; whether you are in UX, Product, Development, Growth or Data, there are many inspiring opportunities on offer.
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