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Popping the question: The right time to ask for a pay rise

How to talk money with the boss and get what you deserve.

Image: Shutterstock/Pavel_D

This article is part of our Change Generation project, supported by KBC. To read more click here.

ASKING FOR A PAY rise can be a daunting prospect.

If you are good at your job, most decent companies will try hard to keep you and will be prepared to consider a salary boost if finances permit it.

So before you kick down the boss’s door demanding more money, here is some advice from the experts on how to navigate the negotiations nimbly.

Choose your moment

Some moments are better than others to ask for more cash. Recruitment company Monster.ie recommends using your performance review as an opportunity. The end of the financial or calendar year is also a good idea as these are times when the company will have a good idea of what their financial outlook is for the coming year.

If you have achieved something in particular for the company, such as securing lucrative new business, that may also be a good time.

Preparing to pop the question

You will want your boss’s undivided attention so book a meeting with them in advance. Before the meeting find out what you’re worth. The advice from IrishJobs.ie is to find out what the market rate is for professionals in your role by looking at salary surveys, or talking to professional bodies and recruitment consultants. Once you have that information you should prepare for your meeting.

Show that you’re worth it

It is not enough to just go in there and ask for more money, you should make it clear to your boss that you are worth it. Recruitment consultants Hays say you should look back at your appraisals and make a list of all of the objectives you have met in your role. If your responsibility has increased, you have gotten a new qualification, additional training or any recent achievements, you should highlight these.

Forbes say you should look forward too – don’t just talk about your past achievements, but about what you will do for the company in the future.

Aim high

You don’t want to seem greedy but you also don’t want to sell yourself short. You will have already figured out what the industry rate is, so you will be able to justify why you should be earning more than you are.

Monster.ie recommend asking for more than you expect but to keep the figure based in reality and be prepared to fight for what you want. Keep it calm though – losing the head generally won’t work.

Take your time

If you’re nervous, resist the urge to blather away to fill the awkward silence. Recruiters CPL advise making the silence work for you. Make the pitch you have rehearsed, then leave the ball in your boss’s court and resist the urge to accept or reject their offer on the spot.

If at first you don’t succeed… then what?

The worst your boss can tell you is ‘no’, so try to prepare for that and don’t get emotional if that’s what you get. Recruitment company Morgan McKinley advises against throwing down the gauntlet and threatening to leave if you don’t get what you want, as it’s likely to blow up in your face.

Forbes say that in the event of a definite ‘no’, then you should ask when it would be a good time to revisit the issue.

Have you bagged yourself a pay rise? If so, tell us how!

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