The cost of living crisis shows no signs of easing any time soon. Average wages have been increasing, but struggling to keep up with rising day to day costs, leaving many of us finding it increasingly hard to get by. The UK is experiencing a rise in living costs not seen for almost 40 years, with the most notable rises coming from energy and food prices, with current inflation sitting at 10.7%.
According to the Office for National Statistics, overall average pay rose by 6.4% between September and November 2022. At first this sounds positive, but when you dive deeper and adjust the figures for rising prices, wages actually fell in real terms by 2.6%.
I want to ask my employer for more money, but where do I start?
Asking your boss for a pay rise is never going to be easy, but knowing your worth and not being afraid to ask for it can help boost your chances of success.
BBC News recently put together a really useful guide with 5 top tips on how to ask for a pay rise. Below is a summary of their findings from their interviews with recruiters, a manager and a workplace psychologist. You can also read the full article here:
Five tips for when asking for a pay rise
1. Choose the right time
Choose your moment wisely. Rather than spring this on your manager, schedule a time to discuss your pay in advance and allow time for you and your boss to prepare. Be specific and up front that you would like some time to talk about pay. This preparation will ultimately facilitate a more productive conversation.
Be mindful that you will have the best chance of successfully negotiating more money if you pick a time when the business is doing well.
2. Bring evidence
Prior to the meeting, prepare your evidence for why you are worth more and give valid reasons for your request. Have clear in your mind any recent achievements or examples of how you have developed yourself to be able to further support your team or your line managers.
According to Stephanie Davies, a workplace psychologist, this evidence also helps your manager rationalise why you should be paid more.
Also consider what you want to do next. If you have aspirations of moving up through your organisation, make sure you can share a plan of what you would like to do over the coming year.
3. Be confident
Be confident and know your worth when asking for money. If you followed steps 1 and 2, you will have every reason to be!
Often people don't feel confident because there is a "stigma" around talking about pay, says Glassdoor's Jill Cotton, but it's "an important part of work".
Women and people from minority backgrounds can often find it particularly hard to ask for more, adds psychologist Stephanie Davies.
Her advice to them is to ask for a mentor or role model, who can help guide them through those conversations.
4. Have a figure in mind
Most experts agree it's best to have an exact figure in mind before embarking on a conversation about pay. The key to this is to do your research. Take time to review job adverts on line for comparable jobs and have a clear figure in mind before your meeting.
5. Don't give up
Not all salary discussions will result in a pay rise but do not be disheartened. You’ve still opened up the conversation and your boss will know your desire to earn more money. It might not be the right time for the business, so be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for a review again at a later date.
Remember also, that there are other ways you can try to negotiate your work life and increase your chances of progression (and more money!) down the line. Consider asking about flexible working or opportunities for further training and development to help you reach your goals.
Finally, if you feel that your employer isn’t giving you what you need or recognising your value, don’t forget that there are always other opportunities out there!