How to ask for a pay rise

Securing a salary that's in line with your worth as an employee can help you save towards retirement and other long-term goals.

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Being able to negotiate your salary effectively is an essential skill in today’s competitive job market. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that’s often overlooked in our educational system and even in many professional development programs. Yet, the importance of knowing how to ask for a pay rise cannot be understated. 

Securing a pay rise will help you to keep up with inflation, save more towards retirement (or whatever your goals may be), and ensure that you’re fairly compensated for your contribution to the company. That’s all well and good, but it’s essential to do your prep and have a strategy in place for asking. Read on as we discuss more.

Recognising your value: When is the right time to ask for a pay rise?

It should go without saying that if things are not going well for the business, it might not be the best time to ask for a pay rise. But when exactly is the best time to broach the subject? Businesses work in cycles, with budgets generally set out and signed off towards the end of a financial year for the following year. So it makes sense to ask around this time. 

There may be other opportunities during the year however –

After significant achievements: If you’ve recently completed a major project, exceeded your targets, or made a significant contribution to the company’s success, it might be a good time to ask for a pay raise. Your accomplishments can serve as evidence of your value to the organisation.

During performance evaluations or appraisals: Many companies have scheduled performance reviews where your contributions and progress are discussed. This can be an appropriate time to discuss your compensation, especially if your performance has been consistently excellent.

When you’ve taken on additional responsibilities: If you’ve assumed extra duties or have been promoted without a corresponding increase in pay, it’s reasonable to discuss a raise.

Preparing your case: How to quantify your contributions at work

Preparing your case for a pay raise requires demonstrating the value you bring to the business and the contributions you have made. Some key points to consider are –

Document your achievements: Start by creating a comprehensive list of your accomplishments and contributions. Include major projects you’ve worked on, successful outcomes, and any improvements you’ve brought to the team or company.

Compare past performance: Compare your current performance with your past performance or the performance of your team or department before you joined. If you can show significant improvements or growth, it strengthens your case for a pay raise.

Showcase leadership and initiative: Highlight instances where you’ve taken on leadership roles, mentored colleagues, or initiated projects that positively impacted the organisation. Leadership skills and initiative are highly valued in the workplace.

Show continuous learning: Emphasise any professional development or certifications you’ve earned since joining the company. Demonstrating a commitment to improving your skills shows that you are a valuable asset to the business.

Market research: Understanding your worth in the current job market

There’s no reason these days to not have a very good idea of how much you should be earning compared to your peers. There are plenty of salary surveys that break down compensation by job type and industry, so this data is easily accessible. 

Depending on your role and industry, you may be able to demand more than you’re currently on. This is especially true if you’ve been headhunted for another role with a higher salary, where you can use that figure as leverage in discussions with your current employer.

If you’re considering a change, get your journey started and check out our job listings here at Recruit Ireland: 


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