Let's Talk: How to ask your boss for a pay rise

 Everything from petrol to pears seems to be more expensive at the moment. That’s why it could be a good time to look for that pay rise you may have been putting off asking for. 

It won't be as simple as doing a L'oreal and telling your boss ‘it’s because I’m worth it’s in order to get your pay hike. 

There’s a way to do these things, and that’s why we have called in the experts to help.

Asking for more money doesn’t come easy to most people. Sure your boss may ask you to do a bit of extra work here and there but when it comes to asking for an increase in salary we tend to shy away.

According to career coach Sonya Cooke, the best time to ask your boss for a pay increase is Friday afternoon.

“Steer clear of asking on a Monday and mid-morning or after lunch appears to be the most productive times to ask. Friday early afternoon is an excellent time as people are generally in better form and it also allows your boss to reflect over the weekend."

“Equally important is your own headspace so balancing this piece out is just as salient.”

Sonya said that face-to-face will always have the biggest impact when it comes to negotiation around a salary increase. If that’s not possible have a video call but approach this conversation with the same level of preparation you would for a job interview.

"Think about what potentially is happening in your boss' life. Are they under extreme pressure or have they just received some good news from the recent work they have delivered," said Sonya.

As CEO of Cognate Health and President of Cork Chamber, Paula Cogan has been faced with such requests from staff over the years and she also recommends picking a good time.

“No point in asking when the company is fast approaching a key deadline, as the focus will be on achieving that priority,” she said.

“While most companies will set out KPIs for individual employees to achieve, know how you have gone above and beyond in delivery or assisted to achieve a key overall goal for the organization.”

Paula also says you should show an overall interest in the company and come up with some solutions for issues that may not be directly within your remit.

“Also know your worth, and benchmark against similar roles in your own sector," she added.

Sonya also says that you should consider the financial position your company is in.

“While some companies have thrived considerably during the pandemic, others have undoubtedly struggled. But even if your company is scaling back on recruitment or trying to cut costs, it really is in their best interest to retain their top-performing employees. So take a step back and reflect on your current overall position.”

When it comes to getting that pay rise over the line it is vital that you know and shows your value.

“The only person in charge of their career is you. It's imperative that you know your value and what your worth is in the current marketplace," said Sonya.

If a pay increase is not feasible, look at your overall package. This might include being included in a pension scheme, asking about doing a course, remote work, or being part of a private medical insurance contribution.

“Be creative in how you frame your ask but most importantly come knowing your value to the organization," said Paula.

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