There usually comes a point in your career when you’ll want to ask for a pay rise.
Asking can be very intimidating, but it’s an important part of progressing in your career. And while it may seem too frightening, not asking and becoming resentful is probably one of the worst things you can do for your career.
Here’s how to make the awkward process run as smoothly as possible.
Go in Prepared
Know the facts when it comes to your pay – for example when your pay last increased, whether you’re hitting your targets, how your performance and pay compares to your colleagues.
Looking prepared will help the conversation move smoothly, and show that you’re serious.
Have some statistics and facts that back up your strong performance. If you don’t truly believe you’ve earned a raise, it’ll be nearly impossible to convince a manager.
Know that it’s unlikely you’ll be granted a significant pay increase. Use some online tools to check the average pay for your job around the country.
Know that a standard pay increase is around 3.5%, so manage your expectations.
Pick Your Moment
A Monday morning is unlikely to be a great time to try to schedule a meeting with your manager. Try some point midweek, instead.
It’s also a good idea to mention to your manager what the meeting is about, rather than to spring it on them within the meeting.
Treat It Like a Job Interview
Although it may seem awkward or embarrassing, to earn a pay rise you have to sell yourself all over again. This time, though, instead of drawing on past professional experiences, draw on things you’ve done whilst at the company.
Times when you have taken the initiative or gone above and beyond are extremely useful when highlighting your value to the company.
It’s important when asking for a pay rise to emphasise your passion and connection to your company.
Mention how much it means to you to work there, and how you want to help towards an even better future together.
If your manager agrees to a pay rise, congratulations. It may be worthwhile following up after the meeting with an email, just to get it in writing. This should help speed the process along.
Don’t Be Disheartened
If your pay rise is refused, try not to take it personally. It’s more likely an issue with budget than anything you have done wrong.
Try to keep working as hard as you can to prove that you do deserve a raise, either now or in the immediate future.
Your manager is a mine of information about moving up the pay band, so ask them for advice and tips of what you can do.
Ask if there’s extra work or training that would improve your chances, for example.
Once you’ve opened dialogue on the pay rise issue, your manager will at least know that it’s something on your mind.
That way, it’ll be easier to bring up if the company’s budget changes, or you begin taking on extra work.
Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which helps career starters find the perfect job, in everything from sales jobs to marketing internships. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit their website.