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How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 12:09

Negotiating a pay rise can be a tricky task for any employee, but if you've done your research you'll reap the rewards. By Victoria Murray

If you're not sure why you deserve a pay rise, why should your employer be?

Too often, employees find themselves unprepared when pay discussions arise. Read your position description before having any pay discussion, says Carmel Ackerly, director of client solutions for AIM Victoria.

"Do some background research on your job," Ackerly says.

"Go online and visit Career One or Seek.com and scan the newspapers. That way you can get an idea of what your remuneration is worth and also the market standard."

Scott Martin, general manager of sales and training for AIM Queensland & Northern Territory, agrees: "Do your homework. Know how much you are worth and where you sit in the market."

Many people find pay discussions difficult for fear of rejection or appearing ungrateful, says Shani Langi, managing director of brand agency PLAY Communication.

"Nobody wants to feel there's a vast gap between how much they think they are contributing to a business and how much the business thinks they're contributing," Langi says.

So prepare examples of new responsibilities since your previous review, advises Kellie Rigg, general manager of HR services firm Randstad.

"Communicate your commitment to the business and use examples which support this," Rigg says.

Employees working for smaller companies might think they are at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating and securing a pay increase. But Langi says this is not the case. "They can be more visible to senior management and therefore are able to prove themselves on a regular basis."

And, if you can, try to time your approach to coincide with a successfully completed project or task.