how to ask for a pay rise this year - and get it!

The start of a new year brings fresh professional focus and new resolutions, and after a busy year, no doubt topping many workers wish lists this year is a pay rise. Simply done, right? Not so – in fact, asking for a pay rise, regardless of what industry sector or role you work within can be one of the most daunting tasks to accomplish in your working life. With some careful planning and insider knowledge, you needn’t worry.

Here are Randstad's top tips on how to ask for a pay rise (and more importantly, get it) this year:
  • Go through the right channels: Don’t just blurt out the fact you want a pay rise at your next work-in-progress meeting (or worse, engage in petty gossip behind your managers back) – find out the proper process involved for your business (many organisations employ a 6/12 month review in which lies the perfect excuse to bring up your request), and set aside a time with your manager to meet and specifically discuss your salary requirements.
  • Remember that histrionics will get you nowhere: You may think that by throwing a tantrum, or threatening to go to a competitor will help in the negotiations process, but in actual fact this will more likely hinder your chances of a successful raise. In essence this is a business transaction, so it’s important to stay calm and professional at all times - remove your emotions and stick with facts and figures.
  • Be prepared: Do your research - there’s no point going in to your boss and asking for ridiculous sums of money without getting your facts straight first. Conduct some research online and find out what the average salary for your profession/location is currently fetching. Also, write down a list of any major key wins you have had within your role throughout the previous year, as well as any ideas you might have which could contribute to business growth throughout the coming year - show your boss just how valuable you are to the company, and why you deserve this raise.
  • Wait for the right moment: Find out the months your business forecasts its budgets in – for most Australian businesses, the first day of a financial year falls on July 1. This means all additional funds for pay rises and new headcount will need to be prepared no later than the month of May; so make sure you are already in discussions with ‘the powers that be’ by no later than April, in order to take advantage of the new financial year.
  • Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to ask! With continuing uncertain economic times, you’d be forgiven for bowing to the gloom and doom, and shying away from even bothering to ask for a raise - but as they say, nothing ventured is nothing gained. Just think – at the very worst, all that might happen is your company may not have the budget available at this particular time to grant your request. If this is the case, use the rest of your meeting as an opportunity to outline your development plan with your manager on the necessary steps required for you to take during this waiting period so that you can achieve your salary expectations when the next budget year rolls around.
Are you planning on asking for a salary increase this year? What are your top tips on a successful pay rise negotiation?
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