How do you negotiate a pay rise during a recession?

In your mind, the prospect of asking for a pay rise during an economic meltdown may not be dissimilar to setting your own hands on fire. Why would anybody pay you more for doing what you already do, especially when there are whispers of redundancies or a Ski Sunday-style slide in trade?

Well, your boss may not entertain the idea, but they won't even consider it if you don't ask. Here's the beef: you work to live, you don't live to work. Chances are that affording your basic standard of living is becoming increasingly difficult as every shade of household bill goes stratospheric. And if we're honest, unless you're running the company you work for, its primary concern is not you right now.

That's why you need to look after number one. You need to sell yourself, but not like a two-bit hooker. That's just wrong, unless you are a two-bit hooker, in which case negotiating a pay rise shouldn't be much of a problem. Not that we're suggesting for one moment you sleep your way to a better deal, but... never mind. Wikihow has plenty of advice if you want to negotiate a few quid more, without spending a deeply dissatisfying night at a Premier Inn with the chief exec.

1. Know your company's policies.

Are you supposed to have annual performance reviews to determine your salary? Do salaries advance according to a fixed schedule or rank? Who can make the decision (or ask for it to be made)? Read the employee handbook (and company intranet, if you have one), or better yet, talk to someone in HR.

2. Know what you're worth.

Find out the usual salary range for those who do what you do in your region or area.

3. Prepare a list of your accomplishments.

You can memorise the list or present a written copy to your boss for his or her reference. If you choose to present a written copy, have somebody proofread it for you first.

4. Make your case.

Pay particular attention to problems you have worked on, and how you helped solve them. Why are you worth more money to your employer? How have business operations and profits improved since and because you've been there?

5. Set time aside.

If you just walk up and ask for a raise, you'll seem unprepared, and like you don't deserve one. You don't have to give too much advance notice. Just say when you walk in to work in the morning "Before you leave, I'd like to speak with you." If your boss is really busy or disorganised, you might want to make an appointment.

There's plenty more information over on WikiHow. Now go et 'em, tiger. Rarrr!


1 comment

  • Katlyn T.
    I always enjoy reading such insightful posts by a person who is so obviously well-informed on their chosen subject. I'll be following this blog with much interest. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing this site go from strength to strength!

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