How To Ask For A Pay Rise, And Get It

PAY RISES are making a comeback but if you don’t ask, you may not get says JO FAIRLEY


Feeling undervalued? Here’s how Jo Fairley, entrepreneur and author, suggests you go about tackling the issue of a pay rise.

1. REQUEST A MEETING to talk about it, giving your boss some clue as to what the discussion will be about. You need to convey that you are able to represent yourself and your company, in person.

2. TRY AND DO IT WHEN THINGS ARE LOOKING POSITIVE, business-wise. Running a business is stressful. Running a loss-making business is even more so. Any boss is going to be more disposed towards handing out pay rises when things are looking rosy, from a cash-flow and profit perspective.

3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Figure out what other people are paid, for similar roles, both within and without. Make a list of your key achievements over the past year or so; tangibly identify how you’ve helped generate profits for the organisation.

4. DON’T OFFER TO DO MORE WORK FOR MORE MONEY. This may simply be undeliverable and come back and bite you, especially if it doesn’t go down well with a partner/family. This is about a reward for the work you do now. And if there’s no cash on the table, perhaps there are other benefits/incentives that can be negotiated: medical cover, share options, whatever. At the same time, it is helpful to work out how your employer and the organisation will benefit from your salary rise, in terms of what you hope to deliver in the next year.

5. DON’T USE BLACKMAIL by threatening to resign – or worse, do so hoping to be rehired. If someone hands in their resignation, mentally they’re already out the door. If someone resigns, I shake their hand, smile, wish them well – and figure out our next move. Nobody is indispensable, even when they’re convinced they are, and threatening to resign just shows lack of commitment.

6. DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL. It’s not your boss’s problem that you’d like money to buy a bigger flat or are feeling hard-done-by compared to higher-rolling friends with faster cars, flashier clothes. This isn’t about what you want. It’s about what you deserve.

7. DON’T CRY IF YOU DON’T GET IT. I wonder are tears in the office ever justified? But on being turned down for a pay rise? Never. There may be very good reasons why your approach didn’t work. (Like: the company’s doing badly or he or she thinks you really could try harder).

Jo Fairley writes for The Daily Telegraph and will speak at THE GLOSS Private Investment Dinner at The Merrion on June 1.

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