With the cost of living soaring and the pandemic hangover hitting households hard, you may be itching for a higher salary.
If you’re in an entry-level job, there’s an art to asking for a pay rise. Everything from the timing to how you ask has to be perfect. Luckily, we’ve got the career advice you need. Read our guide before speaking to your manager.
Research the market rate
First things first, you need to know your worth to the company. Chances are, when you were offered the entry-level job, you took it without negotiating the salary. That is a mistake that all-too-many job seekers make. You might be so eager to land a new role that you forget to negotiate pay higher than your new employer’s advertised salary. If that’s the case, there are still steps you can take.
Ideally, you need to know how your wage compares to the industry standard. Knowing whether you are getting paid above or below the odds will help you out here. You can Google your job’s average wage and get fairly accurate results. Our How To Become blog series provides detailed information on salary expectations for various roles.
Understanding your salary expectations ahead of time is essential. When it comes to how to ask for a raise, you need to be savvy. Aside from the websites we have mentioned, you can look at job adverts, LinkedIn, salary surveys, and job description sites.
When you have an idea of the market rate, you can use this information to your advantage. Let’s say you’re getting paid less than other professionals in the field. Note this information and reference it when talking to your manager. You could say, “When researching this role, I found that the average salary for this role is £24,000, and I would like to come closer to that figure.” There’s nothing wrong with being assertive when asking for a pay rise you feel you deserve.
Get feedback from your employer
How long have you been in the role at hand? If you’ve been working for the company for a matter of months or years, it’s time to speak to your manager about gaining some feedback. Knowing whether you are exceeding their expectations will help you decide whether the time is right to ask for a pay rise or whether you need to wait it out.
Getting some positive feedback will give you the confidence to ask for a raise. For example, if you’re doing well in this specific role, you deserve to be compensated well. Directly after your performance review, you can decide if you should ask for a salary increase. Your current employer should understand that this is a natural part of your career progression. Make sure that your hard work pays off!
Understand your key goals
Let’s face it, a performance review is not all about feedback. You need to understand your key goals (or KPIs). When you’re in an entry-level job, you are expected to learn as you work. You should get career advice from your manager or mentor and reflect upon this during your performance review sessions.
One of the perks of entry-level jobs is that you will constantly be tracked. That means that it’s easy to tell if you’re progressing properly.
Ahead of starting any salary negotiation, speak to your manager about your key goals. It would help if you gained an in-depth understanding of where you are. Have you moved forward since last year? Where are you expected to be next year? Will your job title change soon? The more information you gather now, the more leverage you will have in a salary review.
Learn new skills
Upskilling may help you to fast-track your pay rise. The more skills you can offer your employer, the more valuable you will become. It’s all about making yourself indispensable to the company. The talents you want to hone will depend on your career.
However, there are some remarkable skills you may want to add to your repertoire. For example, if you want to boost your salary in an IT role, you could learn the art of programming. Should you work as a writer, you may want to learn more about SEO. Consider what skills will help your personal career progression, and then invest in your development.
Provide evidence of your talents
You already know you’re a talented worker, but can you prove it? Before you ask for a pay increase, take a moment to put together a bank of evidence. When asking for a higher salary, the more reasons you can give for your request, the better chance you will have.
Look back at the work that you have done so far. When have you exceeded your manager’s expectations? What projects have you significantly contributed towards? Can you quantify your success or achievements? Think about how you can showcase your accolades to your manager. When you have a face-to-face salary negotiation with them, you will have the opportunity to put your case forward. Back up all of your claims.
Choose the right time to ask
Now that you’ve ticked all of the above boxes, you need to get your timing right. Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong time to ask for a pay increase. If you have just started your entry-level role, you may want to ask for a pay rise before or immediately after your probation period ends. That way, you can get it sorted before signing a full-time contract.
On the other hand, you may find that your company has an annual salary review approach. If that’s not in place, you can ask for a salary negotiation after working for the business for around a year. Take a look at similar roles and make sure you have a salary range in mind before you have the meeting. You can use job adverts and social media for inspiration when working out how much you should be getting paid each year.
Now that you know how to ask for a pay rise, what are you waiting for? Ensuring that you’re getting proper remuneration for your work is essential. Once you know your market value, arrange a formal salary negotiation with your manager. Be bold and ask for what you’re worth. Your bank balance will thank you later.