We know that money can't buy happiness – but having as much of it as possible certainly doesn't hurt. When it comes to negotiating a pay rise in the middle of a cost of living crisis, though, it may feel like you're fighting a losing battle.
Every worker should be paid their worth – and it can often feel like this isn't the case. Luckily, we've got some sage advice from some seasoned professionals to share with you.
Here are Juno's six tips for getting a pay rise:
1. Understand that companies will expect you to negotiate
While the actual act of negotiating can feel – you know – cringe, uncomfortable, or even perhaps like you're asking for more than what is possible, the biggest thing to remember is that it's almost certainly expected of you.
“Most of us believe that we’ll be penalised if we negotiate," Alexia and Margot say. "The reality is that a study revealed that 84% of employers expect job applicants to negotiate a salary during the interview stage. If in doubt, picture them looking more surprised if you don’t!”
2. Find out your market value
This is an interesting one. It's weird to view ourselves in this way, but we are HOT COMMODITIES, and it's helpful to know where you rank and how much you are worth from the perspective of a business.
So how exactly would your market value be defined? “Your market value is an estimation of how much you should be earning based on your job title, years of experience, skills and location. This will anchor your negotiation,” Alexia and Margot advise. They've also given some simple steps to follow to research your market value effectively.
Search online “You can look up average salaries for your job title at different companies. Glassdoor is a great job search site where employees disclose salaries, job perks, alongside reviews for large companies.”
Speak to recruiters “We know they’ve got a bad rep. But recruiters in your industry will have a very clear idea of the current trends, of what each employee is getting paid at other companies, and how your talents should be valued. They’ll be able to tell you an exact number of what you could be getting if you were to work somewhere else.”
Chat to your colleagues “Remember, companies are the only ones who benefit from keeping that information away from you. A polite, tactful conversation will be mutually beneficial as you’ll both leave with a point of comparison.”
3. Pick your three numbers
Essentially: find your absolute ideal salary amount, the number you'd settle for, and the number that you know is too low and suggests you should walk away from the table. Knowing your limits is everything in this game. Alexia and Margot have come up with an excellent way to remember this nugget of advice:
Top end salary amount: think of it as “reaching for the stars”
“This is the highest number you can say out loud without exploding in laughter. Dream big. Of course, this figure still needs to be rooted in market research.”
Middle-range salary amount: “fine by me”
"This is the number you would be content to leave a negotiation on.If your employer ends up negotiating down your ‘reach for the stars’ number, you could still walk out with a smile on this figure.
"It should be a figure where you can live comfortably. Your overheads will be covered and you won’t be worrying about money."
Too-low salary amount: “Thank U, Next”
"This is your exit number. The bar has gone too low. As there’s a lot at stake here, you’ll need to be certain what this figure would be for you: Picking this number will depend on you and how much you like the potential job.
“For example, you might be happy to take a salary cut to work for a start-up that aligns with your values and where you love the team. What’s crucial, however, is to figure out how much money you would need to cover your outgoings. No matter how good the work culture, it won’t cover your bills.”
4. Show how you’re the solution to all their problems
It's all about the problem-solving attitude. If you can present yourself as the answer to a question the business is asking, you can use this as leverage to ask for what you need in return – more money.
“If you’re negotiating at an existing company, make sure to highlight your past achievements. Unless you work directly alongside your boss in a two-person company, it’s easy for a few achievements here and there to go under the radar,” Alexia and Margot advise, adding the following three tips for making yourself the solution:
Gather hard evidence: Pick stories you want to tell that demonstrate your successes.
Show cause & effect: Demonstrate how your work positively impacted your employer and delivered results
Quantify your accomplishments: Put a number on your contribution to your workplace. Did you plan three successful events last quarter? Did you train 25 new employees?
5. Negotiate the full package
Alexia and Margot stress that a salary pay rise is one of many things open for negotiation, here are some other factors to consider:
An annual bonus or a signing bonus: “This is more likely to be found in large tech, banking and legal companies. A signing bonus for employees at mid or senior level is usually around 20% of the agreed gross annual salary, but they’re highly negotiable.”
Equity in the company: “Often done in startups, you become owner of a small part of the company. If the company is successful and gets sold for a large amount of money, you could cash out big!”
Other perks: “These can be a whole treasure trove of goods! From one-time to ongoing cash perks. These could include a relocation package, work-from-home days, commuter benefits or car allowances, childcare costs, language lessons or spouse assistance – the list goes on! Make sure you check out the full range of perks that could be available for you.”
By Charlie Ross for Glamour