Negotiating Your Pay? Here's What To Do (And What Not To Do)
In the UK, it’s safe to say we are all feeling the pinch when it comes to the cost of living. Inflation is taking its toll: food shops are getting more expensive, petrol and diesel is going through the roof and even a casual trip down to the local pub is more expensive than it was 12 months ago with a pint of beer now costing an average £3.95 according to CGA.
Now, whilst being supermarket savvy and coupon connoisseurs goes a long way, our best shot at easing the strain on our current accounts is to secure a pay rise. I am going to list some very important do’s when it comes to negotiating a pay rise but first, some very important do not’s…
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Think of yourself as a football agent. If you were trying to convince a football club to give your client a pay rise then you would go all out for them. You would list all of their positives and sell them as the best thing since sliced bread! So why not do this for yourself? You need to be the star player AND the super-agent who does everything they can to secure a better deal for their player. Being overly humble, as much as it is a good trait to have, can come across as you being content and not too eager to push for the raise and as a result may push you to the back of the queue as far as salary reviews are concerned. Before going into negotiations it is important to list all of your strengths (so you can sell yourself to the max) and all your weaknesses (so you can be prepared for any counter arguments that may come your way).
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
There will likely be a colleague at work for whom you know earns more than you whilst doing little work at all… unfortunately, that’s life, but it is crucial you don’t bring it up. Your boss has most likely put your colleague on the salary they are on and thus any complaints about it are inadvertently questioning your manager’s judgement. This is not the way forwards. Instead, refer back to the previous point and think about what you offer, sell yourself with all your strengths and highlight your importance to the company.
...time for the Do's
Do… Your Research
If you aren’t reasonable with your initial request then your negotiations are going to be over before they have even begun. So how do you make your request reasonable? Well, you need to do some simple research: find out what people with a similar role as yours earn and also find out the range of that salary by area in the UK. If you’re in London, then make sure you compare salaries with other roles in London or else you will most definitely be selling yourself short.
Do… Try And See The Bigger Picture
Don’t panic, this isn’t me trying to suggest you accept no for an answer, this is me suggesting that you don’t have to only consider salary. When it comes to a 9-5, particularly in a post Covid-19 world, money is not the only thing of value that a job can offer you. If you have children then remote working days could be of benefit to you and if you have to travel between different offices then perhaps a company car would be of benefit to you. Think about your work-life balance and identify aspects which could benefit from added value; this is going to shape your initial request when going into negotiations.
Do… Time It To Perfection
As the saying goes, timing is everything, and that is certainly the case when it comes to speaking to your boss about your salary. This, if nothing else, is about common sense. If it’s the end of the month and you know the team are up against it when it comes to deadlines then perhaps now is not the best time to ask for a pay rise. If you recently made a bit of a ‘booboo’ at work then, again, perhaps now is not the best time to ask for a pay rise. And finally, if you only just joined the company then of course now is not the best time to ask for a pay rise! Okay, so you get it, you know when not to ask for a raise. So when should you?
Getting a pay rise is by know means a certified outcome but by reading the above points you should feel more confident and prepared going into a salary negotiation. Trust your gut, back yourself, and use some good old common sense.
Until next time,