How to get a higher salary

How to get a higher salary

Abraham Lincoln famously said, ‘Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Effective bosses in the work place notice the ‘trees’ in their companies. Sometimes they need a little help though.

So, let’s say you want – and believe you deserve – more money than what you are currently making. You want to stay in your current job. The bottom line is that you will have to ask for that pay raise. Asking for a salary increase takes most people out of their comfort zone.

The following tips should set you on the right path when negotiating for that salary increase.

Step 1: Know your value

Start off by tapping the knowledge of recruiters. Research the market remuneration rates for your job in the location where you work. You could also consult a trusted mentor. Keep in mind that there is a considerable difference in pay rates in, let’s say, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Delve into learning as much as possible about positions similar to the one you are holding.

Step 2: Create a plan of action

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First of all plan how you are going to do this. Organise your thoughts. Prepare yourself.

Preparation should include making two lists - a list of the goals you have accomplished for the company and a list of your current responsibilities as well as those you have added to your job. Be realistic and objective when compiling your lists.

Put everything down on paper if only to give you peace of mind. One sheet should suffice.

Go through your plan of action until you feel confident and secure in how you are going to present yourself and your request.  Remember, practice makes perfect.

Once you have prepared yourself, make the first move by making an appointment with your boss.

Step 3: Choose the right time

Don’t underestimate the importance of timing the meeting well. Keep in mind when your employer generally adjusts salaries i.e. when performance reviews take place in order to ensure that you schedule the meeting well in advance. Also bear in mind that the rate of inflation and the company’s budget play a role.

Step 4: Be upfront with your boss

Give your boss an indication of the pay raise you would like to see. Don’t raise this point at the start of the conversation with your boss. Set the scene. As already mentioned, discuss company goals and the responsibilities of your position within the company.

Step 5: Act self-confident

Keep the following in mind whilst talking to your boss. Show confidence. Be honest. Don’t be pushy. Offer to take on more responsibility. Negotiate possible ways you could come out with more that might not be linked to a cash increase, such as an increase in your fuel levy or travel allowance.  Never compare yourself with what a colleague might be earning.

Step 6: Be open and genuine

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Lastly, be open – establish a personal connection with the interviewer.

Old jobs vs new jobs

If you are negotiating a salary for a new job, use the same modus operandi.

Research the market pay range. Name your price. Make a list of your strong points and what you can bring to the company. Act with confidence and honesty.

Old-school values to empower you in the workplace

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Join the old school!

Joining the old school has become a lesser known trend known as the social innovation of returning to your roots i.e. embracing traditional or old-fashioned ideas.

In an article, the Huffington Post once listed the five core values for the work place as: integrity, accountability, diligence, perseverance and discipline. Putting it simply it means: don’t lie, take responsibility for your actions, be persistent in your work although at times it might feel like drudgery, never give up, and last, but not the least, follow orders though never neglect to question orders when you feel the need arises.

To this can be added, be on time. Do not stay off work unless you really have to. And be fun. No-one likes working around a moaner. Be happy, outgoing and approachable.

Believe in yourself and stick to your values – that makes negotiating your worth so much easier. When you land that higher salary, you will know that you have truly deserved it!

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