So you’ve bagged yourself a job and you’re into your second, third or fourth year there. Maybe you’ve taken on more hours, have been put in charge of some accounts/projects or even have your own little team of juniors who you get to boss around? Or perhaps you have been given a new job title?

Well, in these situations, it’s likely that you’re going to be able to get a pay rise. But how do you get one? We don’t really know, so here’s a chat we had with life coach Rebekah Fensome, who can give you some expert tips on how to negotiate a pay rise without putting anyone’s nose out of joint:

When’s best to ask for a pay rise?

If there isn’t any money to give out, there isn’t any money to give out. You want to ask when the tax returns have been done and the company knows how much money is about. Around spring-time is good.

How do you get your boss to talk to you about a pay rise? Do you email them?

It needs to be face to face. If you have an appraisal coming up soon, that’s a great opportunity to express this. You need to request a special meet up and you need to outlay why: “I would like to meet up with you because my circumstances have changed” Don’t necessarily highlight “Oh, I’m coming in for a pay rise” but it’s better to wrap it up in something else: “To discuss my role and responsibilities moving forward”

So basically use office lingo as a euphemism?

Yes.

What if your boss keeps on fobbing you off?

You have to do it in a lighthearted way. Even if you have to wait 3 or 4 weeks, just have it as a constant reminder, it might be every Monday morning: “Oh we didn’t get to do that last week, can we get it in when you’re around this week?” Be helpful and positive, but assertive and firm.

Once you’ve got the meeting, what do you have to prepare?

Make sure you’ve got your stats, your figures, your back-up. You’re not just going in there. Have a whole script and a whole strategy worked out.

Oh, like a handout? Do you give a printed handout to the boss?

No, definitely don’t use a handout. Maybe have your notes in front of you.

Should you get the waterworks going?

Rather than an emotional angle, you need some rational stats. Your salary needs to be quantified by how much value you give the business. If you’re not in a sales role, so you don’t know what you’re directly bringing to the company, you might say: “My value was this and it meant 30 hours a week, but now I have three people to manage – which shows an increased skillset – and my hours have increased by five hours a week.”

You need to explain why you’re worth it, rather than “I deserve it”.

If you’ve got a colleague doing the same job as you but earning more, do you mention them?

If it’s a secret and not meant to be common knowledge, it’s not advisable. But if it’s an openly discussed thing – it doesn’t tend to be like this – then fine, you can bring it up. The concentration should be on you and your network, your skillset and what you bring to your company. Try to avoid comparisons as much as possible. If it gets down and dirty then maybe resort there. Otherwise, avoid that area as it gets really sticky.

That sounds great, thanks!


And this is what our anonymous case study has to say about his pay rise: “I worked as a Content Writer at a mid-size digital marketing agency in Leeds. At my last annual review, my manager promoted me to Content Manager. He described it as a “carrot and stick” promotion, that wouldn’t come with a raise but should inspire me to keep working hard.

“I politely challenged him, saying that I already work really hard and I’d pursued every avenue available to me up to this point to develop my role and increase my skillset. I also said that if he wanted to introduce me to clients as a manager, then it was only fair that he pay me accordingly. He’s a reasonable enough man so he went away and spoke to our CEO, and the end result was that I got a 4k pay increase.”

Rebekah Fensome can be contacted on 07889761272 or rebekah.fensome@gmail.com. Her website is rebekahfensomelifecoach.com