Ten tips to negotiate a payrise

1. Do your homework
job ads, recruiters, and colleagues to find out the pay range for your
job.  Then work out the skills you need to claim the top 10 per cent of
that pay range.

2. State your objectives clearly
When you ask
for a meeting, don’t talk vaguely about “prospects”  – be clear that
you want to talk about your contribution to the organisation and that
you’re asking for a pay rise.

3. Be clear about what you want
Are you really
after a pay rise, or would your life be improved by something else,
such as flexible working or more varied work?  Know exactly what you
are asking for.

4. Create the right impression
Make sure you
look, act and sound like a person already holding down a job paying the
kind of salary you want. Don’t try to negotiate a pay rise in an old

5. Make your pitch
Your opening needs to be
about your contribution, and not about money.  Talk about what you have
added to the role and how you have made a difference.

6. Bid, don’t complain
Managers get defensive
when it comes to pay issues.  No matter how carefully you make your
case, what they will hear is “I’m unhappy”.  Be careful to ensure that
you communicate how much you enjoy the job, particularly those parts
where you have extended your job content. 

7. Don’t talk about your bottom line
Don’t be
tempted to talk about what you “need” financially, or about your
financial commitments or pressures. Talk about the value you add to the

8. Let your boss shoot first
Keep your cards
close to your chest. Try to find out what your employer is prepared to
offer before you say what you would like. Even if your employer asks
“What did you have in mind?” it’s worth at least one attempt to find
out what might be possible.

9. Negotiate like a pro
Don’t believe that the
first offer, particularly if it’s made quickly, is the last word. 
Relate your proposed total salary in monthly terms to the annual bottom
line contribution of the job, and be aware of how much it will cost to
replace you.

10. Assert yourself
Stand up for yourself. 
Demonstrate exactly the same robustness and negotiation skills your
employer expects you to use in the job.

Compiled by Lauren Thompson and John Lees, author of How To Get A Job You’ll Love