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Talking money is an interesting topic. We all need it and we all want more of it. But many employees feel too awkward to ask their employers for a pay rise. Why? Too often it's a matter of the on-going commitment, they think, is required to a business or company once a pay rise has been granted. Many employees believe that if they ask for a pay rise, then they're forced to 'stay-on' and do their time in order to prove that the rise wasn't a waste. Other employees are intimidated by the outcome of asking for a pay rise. However, most managers are too busy doing their own work to note down all of your achievements. To get a pay rise, be your own best advocate and document why you deserve one. Your boss will need to justify your pay rise to his/her boss so documented reasons will make this easier.
So what's the best approach to ask for a pay rise?
Know what makes you worthy or deserving for a pay rise. Are you working additional hours? Are you doing tasks that were not originally outlined in your job description? Have you brought new ideas or initiatives that have substantially helped the growth of the company? Before you approach your boss, it's important to have a list with concrete examples of how you've helped the business and gone beyond your initial 'calls' of duty. Demonstrate the value you have to the company and find out why you would be difficult to replace based on the strength of the current employee market.
Another crucial step in preparing your pay-rise pitch is finding out more details surrounding the pay-review process at your particular organization. Some employers review the pay structure of their employees on the anniversary of the employee joining the company, others work on the 'don't ask, don't get' system and require a more proactive approach on behalf of the employee to ask for a pay rise. Most businesses create budgets around a financial year which include allocating funds for new staff and pay rises for the additional staff. You can ask what the process is and flag that you will be preparing a written request for a pay review.
Don't ambush your boss. Send him/her an email outlining why you would like to meet up before a time and date is arranged. Pitch to them why you think you are deserving of a pay rise (generally). This means that on the day of the meeting, they will have a response and a more accurate idea of what the business can offer you.
On the day of the meeting, look professional and dress appropriately. When asking for a pay rise, give the reasons why you are deserving of one first, your value to the company and then state what you would like to be paid. Don't mention your personal situation or the reasons behind why you may need more money. More importantly, don't beg, plead or become aggressive.
Be prepared for a 'no'. Sometimes a business is simply unable to offer a pay rise. In this instance, come prepared. Bring a list of courses you'd like to do as an alternative to a pay rise. This shows your willingness for self-improvement and interest in contributing to the productivity of the company no matter what. Also ask the employer's permission to ask again for a rise in three months time.
If your employer states an outright 'no' and doesn't even recognise your achievements or worth to the business, say 'that's OK' and begin looking elsewhere.
Note: Not getting a pay rise that you are entitled to means that you have been underpaid. If this is the case, contact your union or use the Fair Work Ombudsman
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