There are many reasons why one may want to ask for a raise at work. Your personal situation may have changed, with your current salary no longer matching your lifestyle. You might have been in your role for a long time without getting any uplift and feel like you are not being fairly compensated anymore for the increased amount of responsibilities. Maybe you have realised after discussing with peers in your sector that your salary is simply not up to market standards.
No matter the reason why you feel like it is time to broach the topic of salary increase with your line manager, there are a few things you will need to first consider - and prepare! - in order to optimise your chances of success. From conducting thorough research to finding the perfect timing for a compensation review conversation, our team has gathered the main points you need to keep in mind when thinking about asking for a raise at work.
Conduct Thorough Research to Know Your Worth
Start by getting a full picture of the market through extensive research. From specialised pay calculator websites to niche salary surveys - like our compliance recruitment one - you should start by assessing what the current market rates are for positions similar to yours.
Make sure to pay attention to industries and sectors - for instance, a Compliance Officer for a small hedge fund won’t get the same pay as a Compliance Officer for a fintech. Try to conduct a highly-targeted research: it will be the best way for you to properly assess the salary banding for your current role. If you find out that your income is already above the national average, don’t assume you won’t be able to negotiate a raise. You will simply need to make a compelling case backed with evidence.
Draw Attention to Previous Successes
Once you have sorted out the range you should be asking for, sit down to dig through your past successes and put them on paper. Make a list of accomplishments, including specific instances and data to back you up. The more precise you are, the better.
Outline how you have added value to the business, taken on more responsibilities, overcame previous obstacles or boosted efficiencies. Make sure to put your commercial hat on when drafting the list: how much money have you been able to generate for the firm? Or how much money have you made the business save? Try to establish how your actions have impacted the bottom line. And if you are in a position to do so, buff up your case by adding some client or customer testimonials.
Be Realistic With the Number
It is important to be aspirational, but not irrational with your request. If you present your line manager with a figure that is significantly higher than your current income - or even the industry average - you will need to have solid arguments to back your case.
Sometimes, asking for a massive jump will work out, especially if it is linked to what you are intending to accomplish in the future. Are you looking solely for a salary increase here, or maybe a promotion? If you are going for the latter, then you must clearly communicate this to your manager. You are looking for more than a figure - you also want a larger range of duties. By bringing this up, you will be showcasing loyalty and commitment; two highly-regarded factors for a business.
Timing Is Everything
As explored in our article When Should You Bring Up a Salary Discussion in partnership with non-profit organisation HerCapital, timing plays a crucial part in salary negotiations. After all, it is a sensitive topic and you wouldn’t want your line manager’s bad day to affect the outcome of your discussion.
Catching your manager at the right time will be essential. As discussed in our HerCapital article, certain occasions will be better than others for salary discussions. Funny enough, studies have also shown how it is best to catch your line manager on a Friday in the morning after their coffee. As stated in a Forbes article, “One study showed what is called the morning morality effect; people tend to have higher levels of moral awareness in the morning and make less ethical decisions as the day wears on. In order to get a well-deserved raise, it may make sense to take advantage of your boss's morning morality (after the coffee, of course)”.
Confidence Breeds Success
Whilst this may sound obvious, one must not forget it! Confidence will increase your chances of being successful in your endeavour. When going for the salary raise, make sure to maintain a professional demeanour, to speak deliberately, to stick to facts and most importantly to present yourself in a positive light.
Being completely confident in the number you are asking for as well as the reasons why you are going for it will show conviction - making your interlocutor more inclined to listen and be receptive to your points.
If you have been thinking about asking for a raise at work, now might be the time to start preparing. Whether you want a bit more colour on the market and salary bandings or simply want to consider your options outside of your current position, make sure to reach out to headhunters in your field to help you out. If you happen to be within the legal, cyber security, risk or compliance recruitment space, get in touch with Rutherford’s compliance recruiters now for a confidential conversation.