The best way to ask for a pay rise

How to negotiate a pay rise the right way.

While the cost of living has recently skyrocketed, the average wage has failed to keep up – so even if you haven’t actually had a pay cut, it might still feel that way.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s likely that you feel ready for a pay rise. But how do you actually go about asking for one?

WATCH: 5 Money Tips from a financial coach. Article continues after video. 

Roxanne Calder, recruitment specialist and author of Employable: Seven Attributes to Assure Your Working Future, says it’s easy to see why many of us avoid these conversations.

“It is a delicate negotiation and, like any event significant to us, requires effort, thought and practise,” she says. Here, Calder shares five ways to help you out…

Keep Calm

Calder says keeping calm means maintaining a positive outlook.

“Feeling disgruntled because you have not had a pay rise is normal and part of the psyche of preparing for a battle,” she says.

“Try not to hold onto these dissenting thoughts. Recall positive aspects of your job and employer instead. Positive or negative, these thoughts transfer to your body language and demeanour.”

It’s also important to see both sides and remember that your boss may be struggling with issues of their own, such as rising business costs.

“Seeing the other side is the 101 of smart negotiations,” she says.

Octavia Spencer says Jessica Chastain helped her score five times her salary on a joint project. (Credit: Instagram)

Have your facts ready

Calder recommends using job advertisements, recruitment agencies and salary guides to find out what people with similar roles, education and experience are getting paid.

“Do you receive other benefits such as additional superannuation, health insurance, bonuses, training, etc?” she asks.

“All these count towards your total remuneration package.”

It’s also important to consider our current economic environment. “With inflation inevitably follows some form of a slowdown,” Calder adds.

“Be savvy in your approach, in what you ask for and think big picture.”

Review your job description

Next, take an honest look at your performance.

“Consider your job description as the contract or agreement of duties and responsibilities in return for your salary. Are you meeting everything described?” says Calder.

“Take your time to review the past 12 months plus and include acknowledgements and feedback.”

Robin Wright famously negotiated to receuve the same salary as her House of Cards co-star, Kevin Spacey. (Credit: Instagram)

Choose your price

“Have a realistic salary range in mind and pitch according to the facts,” advises Calder, who also says it isn’t a time to barter.

“Salary negotiations are sensitive for both parties,” she explains. “A high pitch as a chancer could erode your credibility and integrity, and damage relationships, so be mindful.”

If things don’t go your way, resigning does not have to be the next step.

“Instead, look to other benefits to negotiate – working from home, additional superannuation, annual leave, training, etc,” says Calder.

Practise makes Perfect

Calder says this is something people often forget to do. “When practise is neglected, two outcomes typically occur,” she explains.

“At the last minute, you baulk at the figure and ask for less, or your dialogue comes across as blunt and demanding.”

While it might feel strange, she recommends doing a few rehearsals.

“Say it out loud. Smile and use eye contact,” Calder advises.

“The more you become accustomed to saying the figure and why, the easier it will roll off your tongue. Take notes with you. It is totally OK and expected. It will help you to remain calm and composed.”

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