Scenario: you’ve been in your role for over a year now, and your day-to-day has developed over time. You have more responsibilities and you’re working across a growing variety of projects and teams. You enjoy your work, the people, and the opportunities – but there’s a sticking point. You have yet to see a pay rise that matches your growth.
Asking for a pay rise might feel overwhelming, especially in the current economic climate. In a competitive industry like IT or digital, a strong case with the right evidence behind you can transform a difficult conversation from nerve-wracking to convincing and get you one step closer to the pay rise you’re asking for.
Here are some tips on how to ask for a pay rise in 2023:
Do your research
Before you schedule a chat with your boss, make sure you do some investigating. Define what the average salary is for your role and experience level. Make sure to include any specific technical skills you have under your belt in your search, such as industry certifications or relevant qualifications, as these can significantly impact your earning potential. It’s important to have a good understanding of what similar positions are advertised for to ensure you’ve got the right figure moving forward.
With this information, you can establish a reliable benchmark and a wider salary window that you’d be satisfied with.
List your achievements
Your hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Make sure to to jot your achievements down – be specific and quantify as much as you can. This will help to clearly justify your request. Prepare a list of your accomplishments, labelling how each has benefited your workplace. Focus on improved outcomes and initiatives, or areas where you’ve simply gone above and beyond. You may wish to refer to previous performance reviews, or to compare your current job requirements against your original position description.
The rising cost of living could be an important consideration in your request, but what if you’re looking for more than the typical CPI (Consumer Price Index) increase? Bringing a range of evidence to the table can make your pay rise pitch hard to ignore.
Get the timing right
Locking in the right time to discuss your pay rise is crucial. Make sure your purpose is clear. Name the meeting appropriately – you’d like to discuss or review your salary. Schedule it in ahead of time to allow your manager to prepare. You don’t want to put them on the spot with your request.
Consider picking a time that aligns best with your company. Avoid peak periods where extraneous requests may go straight to the bottom of the pile. You might choose to align with the typical timeline of reviews or when salary adjustments are processed to avoid being knocked back purely for logistical reasons.
Once you’ve gathered your evidence and scheduled a meeting with your manager, take time to perfect your pitch. Approach the scenario with professionalism and composure. Don’t get too personal in your request by listing reasons for your pay rise that are outside of the office. However, it may be appropriate to highlight inflation and the rising cost of living if your workplace hasn’t already offered a CPI increase.
With a solid amount of evidence and the composure to match, it will be hard to ignore your pay rise pitch.
Be prepared to negotiate
Be ready to talk numbers. You’ve already established your salary window, so keep these figures at the forefront throughout the discussion. Don’t cut yourself short, either. Start with the median amount within your salary window giving you room to move both up and down comfortably. Justify any amount on the table with the evidence you prepared earlier.
Finally, be prepared to leave your meeting without a concrete figure locked in. Your request may go through various hoops before your pay rise is set in stone.
After the meeting, send a follow-up email to your manager. Summarise your pay rise request in writing and thank them for their time and consideration. Your email should be concise and should include the key points from your discussion, such as the evidence presented and any figures considered.
Have a back-up plan
Ultimately, the final decision lies outside of your arena. It can be worthwhile creating a back-up plan in case your request can’t go ahead for any reason. This could be revisiting the pay rise in the next quarter, or extra benefits such as investing in your professional development or funding your certifications.
Asking for a pay rise is not a one-time event – it’s a process. Keep track of your achievements and contributions consistently throughout the year. Have regular reviews with your manager about your progress, career goals, and future within the company.
If it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped, you might start thinking of looking elsewhere. Sometimes, it works out to be the right decision in the long run – and changing jobs can get you more pay. At Paxus, we have an incredible team that are ready to help you find and secure your next role. If you would like to find out how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Paxus office.