You’ve done your research and you’ve finally plucked up the courage to ask your boss for a pay rise, only to have your request denied. What do you do next?
If all you hear from your manager is a resounding ‘no’, the director of Nourish Coaching, Sally-Anne Blanshard says your next move is to ask your employer what you can do to achieve the salary you want and to find out when the next pay review might be so you have a timeline to work with.
“You can’t be a career plodder. Career-climbers up-skill and put their hands up to learn new things and take on new projects which will make their resume more appealing in a new job search or promotional activity,” she says. “It’s career equity – to keep your share price high, continue to make it an attractive option.”
You also need to be open to non-financial rewards, particularly if market conditions mean your employer can’t afford to meet your pay rise request, no matter how well justified.
In this case, Robert Walters says it’s a good idea to be prepared for a ‘no’ and to outline a response in anticipation. Go into the meeting with a contingency plan and think about what you’re prepared to accept in terms of non-financial rewards such as extra training, further study or flexible work arrangements.
“Always be realistic about what you are asking for and the limits of your employer. Your employer might want to reward you with a higher salary but is unable to do so due to certain conditions,” Robert Walters says.
And finally, if your employer won’t give you the salary you want, Hays director Jane McNeill says it’s time to consider whether your employer’s reasons are justified and how much you like your job, taking your current salary out of the equation.
“Employees need to make the decision whether they want to stay where they are or whether they want to look into the market and go somewhere else where they may get more,” she says.
Consider whether you want more money because you believe you deserve it or because it will make your job, which you dislike, more tolerable. According to Hays, if you’re only wanting the extra cash to make a boring job less tedious, you’ll end up leaving that job anyway, whether you get a pay rise or not.