Want a pay rise or promotion? 5 tips for getting to yes | Women's Agenda

Want a pay rise or promotion? 5 tips for getting to yes

It’s a new financial year and as good a time as any to start thinking about how you’re going to ask for and receive what you want in your career. Be it a pay rise, a promotion or simply the opportunity to unfurl your wings and fly to the heights you’ve been dreaming of, it’s time.

The start of the financial year for most organisations is a time of new beginnings; including new projects, new opportunities and most relevantly, new budgets.

So how can you set yourself up to receive what you want in a way, which works for you, your manager AND your organisation?

These are my top 5 tips for helping you get to YES in this financial year, and take you one step further on your career path to earning what you want.

  1. Have a strategy for the pay rise/promotion you want and make it one you can adapt throughout your career. Women are excellent in asking for development and progression throughout their careers, but very reluctant in asking for the associated salary and rewards. In the long term, this can create being significantly underpaid in your career; if your career is moving forward, but your earning capacity isn’t. By having a strategy for your career which includes all three components (development, progression & earning capacity) you can make sure you’re always measuring your success and fulfilment on all three counts, and getting the money you want and deserve throughout.
  2. When asking for a pay rise/promotion, make sure you’re asking from a strategic ‘Win-Win’ perspective for both you and your employer. This means when you ask, you’ve considered how a pay rise will benefit the employer as much as you. Consider financial and non-financial return on investment and think in the short, medium and long term about how this works well for the employer and the organisation. Think outside not only the box of your role, but also your manager’s, and figure out how what you do truly adds value to the organisation. The more line of sight you can build between what you do and the strategic priorities of your company, the stringer your request for what you want. It’s far easier to get to yes when the other person sees the commercial win for them and the organisation, as much as you.
  3. ‘Seed’ your pay rise/promotion conversations, rather than surprising your manager by asking out of the blue. Pay is a deeply emotive subject for both employers and employees, and most managers would rather not have the conversation if they could help it (they would usually call me and ask me to have it instead!) Therefore, by ‘seeding’ your conversations and setting expectations early on about how you plan to develop, progress and earn what you choose (& how your employer will benefit in assisting you with all of this) when you finally ask, your manager has had time to think about the request and is likely to feel more prepared in his/her response to you.
  4. Own all of your accomplishments (your successes and so-called failures) and articulate them with confidence, certainty and charisma (in your own unique style). When you own all of who you are and are able to talk about your successes and failures, it engenders confidence in the other, because you don’t feel the need to hide when things didn’t go as well. It’s a given that we learn from our failures in this day and age, but when we still shy away of talking about the time we messed up, the person on the other side of the table senses it, and it doesn’t matter how much of a positive spin you put on it, they know you messed up and for most of us, it brings out our natural empathy and humanity. Share fully what happened and how you moved forward. It also helps people believe in your belief in yourself, when you do. Unequivocally. So don’t hold back. Own all of it and share it.
  5. Take ownership of your career process throughout your career. It’s your responsibility, not your employers. By taking full responsibility, accountability and ownership of your career development, progression and earning capacity, you hold the reins and stay in the driver’s seat. Most women imagine it’s the person on the other side of the table who has the power in the situation. This isn’t true. You’re the one with the power and can determine what you will do in light of all that happens to you in the journey of your career. You get to decide. So own your power and live it as your truth. Make decisions based on a true evaluation of yourself, the options and your employer. This way, we all win.

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