While the number of people in work has been improving steadily for a number of years now, the picture is far less rosy when it comes to take-home pay. In fact, it’s fair to say that average UK wage growth is moving at a glacial pace.
So how can you try to buck the trend in relation to your own job? It's important to stick to some fundamental negotiating principles for anyone looking to take the next big financial step in their career, despite the fact that wage growth, overall, is proving sluggish.
The one thing that applies to all the below is to make sure you approach the matter of a pay rise in a measured and methodical way. At the same time, always be bold enough to seize the initiative and approach your boss about a pay rise sooner rather than later.
Do your research
It’s vital to have a solid understanding of industry standards and general expectations for your role. If you feel undervalued, look at comparable job vacancies within your field and make a note of the average salaries and typical expectations and responsibilities. Do the same for roles you consider slightly more senior and try and build a well-researched case for a pay rise.
Draw on examples
Carefully consider what you can offer your employer in return for their investment. Start by listing examples of situations where you have gone above and beyond your job description and achieved positive results — thus building a case for why you deserve a higher paid position in the company.
It helps to quantify these examples with data-driven results such as sales figures or revenue you’ve helped achieve, or references from colleagues or happy clients.
Do it when it's quiet
Avoid approaching your boss when they are heading to a meeting or late on a Friday afternoon when productivity begins to wane.
Pick a time when things are more relaxed and workloads haven’t reached optimum level. Usually, after lunch is a good time to approach someone, and perhaps consider making the move on a Tuesday or Wednesday when there are less likely to be impending deadlines.
Is now the right time?
Finally, evaluate the state of your company before making your case for a raise. If personnel are being cut and business is slow, you might want to consider postponing your approach, no matter how deserving you are.