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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 28 September 2022

#AskJobbio: I've taken on more responsibility - how do I ask for a pay rise?

This week, Jobbio expert Dee Murphy tackles the murky waters of salary negotiations.

Meet careers expert Dee Murphy of Jobbio.
Meet careers expert Dee Murphy of Jobbio.

WITH OFFICE POLITICS, jam-packed email inboxes and tricky colleagues to contend with, the world of work throws up new challenges every day. Friendly and in-depth career advice can sometimes be hard to come by, but we’re here to change that.

Every month Jobbio’s Expert-In-Residence, career strategist Dee Murphy, will give her take on your current workplace conundrums, be it how best to deal with an overbearing manager or the smartest way to secure a promotion.

Have a question you’d like answered? Use the #AskJobbio hashtag on Twitter. This month, Dee’s tacking the murky waters of salary negotiations, with a question from Joe in Cork.

Dear Jobbio,

I’ve been in my current job for 11 months and am approaching my annual review. Over the past number of weeks, my role has changed and I have accepted more responsibility. I feel now is an appropriate time to ask for a salary review and I’m wondering how best to approach this. I know there are multiple staff members in the same position and I wonder how to best initiate the conversation.  

Hey Joe,

The fact that you’re due your annual review puts you on the front foot here, which is a good start. Plan for your conversation well in advance. Make it about motivation first, and money last – your strongest weapons are your performance and your potential.

Keep track of goals you’ve hit or exceeded. Focus on how your work has contributed to the success of the company, or even added to revenue. Adding value is your employer’s key performance indicator.

Next, outline how your role has changed and identify what pain points and problems you’re solving by taking on more responsibility. Your future targets should focus on even bigger wins for the company.

Your final bit of preparation is to research what the industry standard is for people in your role. If it’s a big jump from where you are now, that might be hard for your employer to swallow, so balance this out with whatever your own bottom line is (the figure that’ll make you happy).

That’s the preparation done, but negotiating is a whole other minefield. Here are my three key tips:

 1. Avoid using self-centred language. Phrases like ‘I want’ ‘I need’ and ‘I have to have’ are combative and don’t leave much room for negotiation. Instead, use collaborative phrases: ‘it would be great if’, ‘how about this’ and ‘would it work for us if’. These leave more room for compromise.

2. Remember, money isn’t the only perk. If there’s a lack of coffers in the kitty, break the deadlock by leveraging other benefits instead. You could push for the standard perks like equity, profit share, commuter expenses and health insurance, but don’t forget about other lesser-known benefits: paid training and upskilling qualifications, paid time off to do community service, a salary review every six months instead of annually, or a shorter working week. Often these are things that cost little to the employer, but mean a lot to you.

3. Always ask for feedback. If you don’t succeed in getting a bump in salary, ask ‘why,’ so that you fully understand the company position and are satisfied with the reasoning. If you’re told you need to prove yourself more before qualifying for a raise, lay out your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and present a plan of how you intend to reach them, including timelines. Then, ask to pencil in a review in a few months time.

Best of luck!


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