Whether you have been in a role for a some time or if you are being interviewed for a new job, securing a higher salary depends on being well prepared.
Planning a compelling argument as to why you deserve the salary you are seeking will stand you in the best possible position to achieve your goal. The more legitimate reasons you can present to your employer or potential employer, the better.
Research the market rate
Researching the current market rate for someone in your role with your skills and experience can provide you with a solid base when deciding what salary to pitch for. The Robert Walters salary survey app provides information on global salaries across a variety of sectors.
It is also worth bearing in mind that your recruitment consultant will be dealing with this sort of information on a daily basis and will have a good sense of what is achievable, so don't hesitate to ask them for advice.
Wherever you fit with the market rate for your role, you then need to come up with considered reasons for your proposed pay rise.
Discreetly raise the issue
When you first raise the issue, do it discreetly and away from your colleagues. Booking half an hour with your line manager in a private meeting room is better than a ‘quick word’ because it allows you to outline exactly why you deserve a higher rate reason-by-reason.
Be confident in your arguments
During the discussion, you need to present a clear and confident argument for your pay rise. Unless you genuinely believe you deserve more money, you will have trouble convincing your manager. Again, this will primarily come down to the amount and type of preparation you have put into the meeting.
Whether you have been in a role for a while or you are being interviewed for a new job, you need to prepare a compelling argument as to why your employer should be willing to increase your salary.
It is also important not to get agitated when your manager questions your arguments or shows some sign of disagreement with what you are saying. Throughout the meeting, you need to demonstrate a clear understanding of your employer, where you fit in the organisation, and the role and how your skills add value.
Seek additional responsibility
Taking on more responsibility at work is often key to securing a higher rate. Not only will this mean you are doing more work for the same money (and therefore provide a compelling argument for why you are worth more), but it will also show that you are interested in growing outside of the current job specification. Employers usually value this ambition and are generally keen to retain people with this quality.
Professionals that proactively up skill - through extra training, courses and gaining additional qualifications - really make themselves stand out. For example, projects professionals with experience of new cutting-edge technical training have additional skills that other staff at a similar level may not have.
However, it is important that any up-skilling is relevant to the role – otherwise it will not have nearly as much impact when you use at as a reason for a higher rate.
Work experience or internships
If you are in between roles, be open to work experience and internships to gain exposure to different ways of working than you are used to. Working for reduced or no income is a powerful indicator of your willingness to learn and future ambition and can be used as a selling point in interview or when rates are being negotiated further down the line.
Find out what you're worth with the Salary Survey 2020.