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Can I have a pay-rise please?

One of my now friends who I have met through the WTH (Women’s Tech Hub) pulled me to one side at an event a few weeks ago to talk about how to approach the topic of a pay-rise – her annual review was coming up and she’d never asked for a pay-rise before.

A little research later and I found that…. According to the Chartered Management Institute, men are twice as likely as women to ask for a pay rise – and just as shocking is the fact that three in five women have never even asked for a pay rise ever!

So a question absolutely worthy of this week’s blog post! Why aren’t we asking?!

Salaries are usually quite a personal topic, and potentially quite emotive too – it’s also a negotiation which not everyone finds comfortable – okay it kinda comes naturally to me but I do it every day and my dad (aka delboy) taught me the art of negotiation when I was younger and didn’t want to pay £1000 for my 1990 white corsa when I was 17! 10 minutes later, driving away in my first car with £200 off and a free fluffy dice and steering wheel cover, winning!

Anyway – negotiations make some people uncomfortable although you can’t let that hold you back! The key is preparation, take the following steps to help you with potential negotiations.

  • Know your worth: Give yourself some bloody credit, too often I hear ladies tell me about their amazing achievements at work and all too often it goes un-noticed because we don’t realise our worth! It’s not about what you are earning in comparison to colleagues (this can be counter-productive), but more about market value. Look at ads for jobs fitting your skill-set, what salaries are being paid in the local market? Also use salary checker websites like IT Jobs Watch to try and establish what the ‘going-rate’ is for those with your skillset – Please note – if you are on more than the average that doesn’t mean you can’t ask! You will just need to be prepared to perhaps build a better case!


  • Prepare your evidence: Be prepared to highlight the great things you have achieved, maybe you introduced a change that has seen an increase in productivity in your team, or you’ve completed a project well ahead of deadline day, or maybe you’ve gone above and beyond to meet a deadline – document it, maybe even obtain testimonials from colleagues and be ready to talk about it!


  • Deliver it well: Present your case clearly, be polite and graceful (no steaming in with ‘I want XYZ or I’m outta here’) but don’t apologise for asking! Be confident! Be Sasha! Also specifics are more likely to resonate and always base the conversation/evidence on facts. Timing is also key, perhaps book the conversation in, it is important your manager doesn’t feel ambushed and the whole process is done in a considered and adult fashion. It’s also important to remember that it’s just a conversation at the end of the day and nothing to be scared about.


  • Have a plan B – If your manager doesn’t agree to the pay-rise remain polite, ask for feedback on how you can work towards a pay-rise in the future. What can you do to add more value? Agree on an action plan alongside timescales that will warrant a pay increase in the future.

Having offered advice to many men and women over the years on this subject I am more than happy to continue to do so. A good recruitment partnership is about far more than just discussing a live job or setting up an interview up. If you have any career or work related questions and you would like some support with or fancy picking my brains about then please pick up the phone and lets have a chat.

Anyway, I’m off to ask for a pay-rise.

#itscominghome #womenrock

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