Do you feel overworked and underpaid? Well, you certainly aren’t alone. But before you start looking for work elsewhere; perhaps it’s worth asking for a pay raise?

Negotiating a salary increase isn’t difficult – as long as you approach your employers professionally and armed with the right information, it should be a breeze! Follow these tips to salary bliss.

1. Get your timing right – If you’ve been recently promoted or given more responsibility, it’s important to discuss any changes to your salary before you accept the new role.

2. Don’t rush into anything – If you’ve been at the company for some time, or have recently discovered that a colleague earns more than you; remember that factors such as time in service, experience and qualifications can make all the difference.

3. Consider your weaknesses – How did your most recent performance appraisal go? Did your employer raise any issues that needed addressing? Have you taken the appropriate actions to rectify those problems? This is a subject you must be prepared to discuss.

4. Know your worth – Do some research, comparing your earnings in relation to others in the industry, and know what the current standard rates are.

5. Test the waters – Understanding the financial situation of your employer is also crucial when considering salary negotiations. Approaching your employer for a raise when your company is experiencing a downturn may come across as insensitive, and you may create unnecessary stress for your employers. Choosing your moment and preparing your case will be a big help.

6. Fight for your rights – If you feel that you deserve a raise then be prepared to give examples of your skills, experience, knowledge, achievements and commitment to the role. Many employers admire workers who stand up for themselves.

7. It’s not only about you – Your employer needs to know that you are worth the money that they are going to spend on you. Discuss previous examples where you have excelled in your role, or demonstrated your commitment to the company, then talk about how you plan to continue contributing to the company.

8. Be positive – What are your ambitions? Stress that you enjoy working at your company and that they are playing an important part in your career aspirations.

9. Decide what to compromise on – If your employer can’t meet your salary demands perhaps you can look at negotiating your benefits, responsibilities or hours.

10. If the answer is no… ask for feedback. Sometimes things are beyond your bosses’ control. There may be a freeze on pay rises, or there may just be no budget available. However, if your employer’s response relates to your professional capacity find out where you can improve. Getting answers to these questions will help you gain a clear view of how you need to work to get a positive result the next time.

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