How to ask for a pay rise

Time to think about whether your own budget could do with a pay rise.

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Need a pay rise?

With the Federal Budget freshly released and the gender pay gap ever present, it’s time to start thinking about whether your own budget could use a boost.

It’s high time women started asking to be paid what they’re worth.

The latest gender pay gap shows Aussie men are still out-earning women by 16 per cent or $261.30 per week for the same full-time work.

So let’s talk about how to ask for a pay raise the right way, without burning any bridges.

1. Know your worth

Get online and find out what people in your role, in your industry, and with your level of experience are being paid.

There are three salary checker websites you can use:

Fair Work OmbudsmanCheck your current pay against the industry award.

PayScale.comCheck your current salary against the largest salary database in the world.

Indeed Salary SearchCompare the pay scale for multiple career paths at once.

2. Tell them why you’re worth it

Don’t assume anyone knows how hard you’re working – tell them why you’re worth the extra money.

Make a list of your main accomplishments and present it to your company when you ask for a raise.

Every win you contribute is another reason why it’s worth paying you more to keep you around.

Plan how you’ll negotiate if they reject your request or suggest a smaller raise.

You might accept a smaller pay rise for a week of extra paid leave per year, working flexibly from home one day a week, or employer-funded professional development training to help you get ahead.

3. Pick your timing

Ask when the company is doing well, your boss is not currently overwhelmed with stress, and you’ve been consistently outperforming your targets.

It’s helpful to know when your company decides its budget for the next financial year – so ask your supervisor or HR department if you’re not sure.

If your case is rejected, ask when a good time to follow up will be, and find out whether there’s anything else you can do to improve your chances next time.

4. Schedule a meeting and keep it private

Find out who the right person to talk to is – that might be your boss, or it could be the HR or finance departments.

Whoever it is, don’t surprise them in the elevator on the way to lunch.

Schedule an in-person salary review meeting, and let them know what it’s about so they have time to check their budget projections beforehand.

Keep the meeting to yourself – there’s rarely any reason why anyone else would need to know.

But if there’s someone that you consider a career mentor, it’s worth asking them for general advice before you schedule a meeting.

How much you get paid now can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing, financial goals and how much superannuation you have when you retire.

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