Remember that in many (if not most) circumstances, it will be up to you to ask, and make a compelling case, to boost your salary a bit in 2017.
But we know it’s not easy, and for some it’s downright horrifying, to go through the process. Obviously your boss and company need to watch the bottom line. But remember, if you have been pulling more than your weight in the past year, you totally deserve to be acknowledged for that. And if you are an important member of your team, it is unlikely that your bosses will want to risk losing you or having an unhappy chappy in the office next year.
Think about it - if you’ve accomplished your goals this past year and especially if you have gone above and beyond the call of duty at work, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for additional compensation.
Here are our top tips for asking (and getting) that raise:
Take stock of the current situation: Before you go barging into your boss’s office, demanding a raise – stop and take stock of the situation. Now would be a good time to dig out your employment contract and review your responsibilities. You may feel like you are doing way more than is expected of you, but in fact you are only doing what you are contracted to do. Go through your contract carefully and tick off the things you are doing and make a list of anything extra.
Get a feel for the market: Do some active research into the salaries on offer for people currently doing the same or similar job as you. There are a number of online calculators available that can help to gauge where you fit on the pay scale depending on your qualifications, experience and location. Look out for similar jobs that are being advertised, especially with competitor companies and see what potential salary is on offer. By doing this you will be better able to understand the actual value that you add to the company. If you find that you are being underpaid, then use this to help negotiate a raise.
Collate the Evidence: Claiming to be working harder than you are being paid for is not going to get you anywhere. Your boss is going to want see strong and tangible evidence to support a request for a raise. Keep a notebook handy and jot down important tasks that you have completed which go beyond the remit of your current role. You may have assisted in a project with another team or completed an additional course or qualification for example. Where applicable – maintain a portfolio highlighting your key achievements.
Be tactful: Find a suitable time for you and your boss to sit down and discuss a potential raise. Asking for a raise after the company has just had to retrench people, for example, is probably not the best time. Be confident and polite in your pleas and keep things professional – you are there to ask for a raise because of your great delivery record, not because you want to purchase a new car or go on a luxury holiday.
Be patient: It is unlikely that your boss is going to agree to a raise immediately so don’t expect an answer straight away. She may need a few days or weeks to think in through, consult others or put the proposal to a board of directors. Use this time to your advantage and showcase what a professional and hardworking asset you are to the company.
It never hurts to breathe some fresh life into your CV and your motivation. Show your commitment to lifelong learning by signing up for an exciting short course or distance learning programme. For more information, check out the great offerings from The Independent Institute of Education's campuses across South Africa.