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Five steps to getting a pay rise

Coming into any new year you want to make sure that you kickstart it with a bang – and for many people one of the biggest motivators in terms of productivity at work could be to secure a pay rise. Pay rises are funny things – many people associate them with specific periods in the year when performance reviews kick in but! There are also those who put pen to paper, build a business case and pitch for one based on current performance. In any case, whether its built around a performance review period or you go hunting for one because you feel you deserve it, the key is being prepared. Here are five things you need to know now:

Know your worth

Always make sure that you know what your role is worth and the experience you bring to the table. You will often see pay scales and pay grades for role types. The best thing to do is try and fit within the scale and use that as the basis for how you have arrived at your net worth. Sometimes a company will already have scales so make sure you know what they are. If not, there are many job platforms such as Adzuna and that have them. By knowing your worth, you will know what the scale difference is between where you are now and where you would like to be. If you do not have a pay scale that’s fine – value your contribution and work based on what you are doing now or have done.

Know your work

Never walk into a pitch for a pay rise without knowing what you have achieved and that you have the evidence to back it up. My advice is to try and identify as many as ten things that have been done exceptionally well through-out the course of the last twelve months and make sure you have the evidence such as an email or letter from a customer, feedback from an internal staff member or project member – even feedback from the public. Also make sure you identify all the other things you have been participating in. As an example, it could be you are the floor fire warden, or the occupational health and safety volunteer on your floor. Knowing what you have done and having the evidence to back it up will strengthen the business case.

Write a proposal or a business case

A good proposal or business case will show all the first two points but in reverse order. Always open with what you have done and the evidence to back it following the formula for how much of a pay rise you are looking for. Never email it or print it off and leave it with your manager – ask for a meeting and pitch it to them – essentially walking them through the proposal. Then, once the verbal presentation has been completed hand the document over for consideration.

Know your timing

Timing is everything! Firstly, you don’t want to make the pitch when your manager is over worked or at the busiest during the week – therefore lay off Mondays and Tuesdays. Secondly, never wait until late in the afternoon – chances are your manager is busy, getting tired and just wants to go home! Therefore, a morning coffee is always a good start or on a Friday around lunchtime. But, always judge your timing based on your managers mood and workload. You never want to get someone in a grumpy moment.

Be realistic

When asking for a pay rise always be realistic. Never over reach with the amount involved and never under reach. Try and find the balance which is why knowing what the value of your role is.

Try those five things and you will increase the chances. If the answer is no, then ask why and ask what you need to improve on to secure a pay rise. What this also does is give you a sense of a couple of things. The first is what you might be worth if you chose to look around for a new job and the second is whether a no means its time to move on anyway.

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