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How to negotiate a pay rise for 2024

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Author: Roland Coombes

Roland Coombes is a veteran recruitment consultant, highly accomplished careers expert, and master resume writer with over 25 years of industry experience.


With 2024 around the corner, many workers are thinking about our future goals and also finances, and it’s estimated that around 10-20% of Australian workers will be seeking a pay rise (of sorts) in January.

I’ll help you embark on the exhilarating journey of asking for a pay raise internally. I know that for some, talking about money can be awkward, but when it comes to your hard-earned cash, it’s important to step up and ask.

So, grab a comfy seat, and let’s explore the art of putting more cash in your pocket.

8 Tips to help you through getting your payrise

1) When Is the Right Time to Ask for a Pay Rise?

When you’re thinking about asking for a pay rise, I believe timing is key (and procrastination your worst) enemy.  Here’s some ideal moments that you may want to consider

Annually or During Performance Reviews: Many companies have that annual performance review tradition, and it’s a great time to chat about your salary. But don’t wait for the next scheduled one if you believe you deserve more – request a mid-year review if needed.

After a Significant Achievement: Did you recently score a big deal, ace a project, or outperform your targets? Chances are, you are being notices. So this is your golden moment to request a pay rise, especially while your achievements are still fresh in everyone’s memory.

When You’ve Taken on More Responsibilities: If you’ve shouldered extra duties, especially outside your job description, it’s a solid reason to ask for a pay increase. It’s like saying, “I’m already doing more, can my pay check reflect that?”

Company’s Financial Health: Is your company rolling in profits and positive announcements, then I’d recommend jumping on the positive sentiment, so keep an eye on the financial health, and when your company or department is doing well, it’s a good time to ask. After all, it’s easier to share the pie when it’s a big one.

Salary Justification Strategy

2) Finding Out Your Salary Worth Through Salary Surveys

Before you roll up to your boss’s office, you’ve got to know your market value. I’m asked this questions many times, and here’s how to do it:

Online Salary Surveys: There’s a treasure trove of websites and tools offering salary surveys and calculators. Thankfully, I’ve done the hard work for you. Check out our article on the Top 7 Free Australian Salary Surveys

Talk to Peers: Did you know that networking with colleagues in your industry can be a game-changer. Discuss salaries discreetly, and you’ll get the inside scoop on what others in similar positions are earning. It’s a real eye opener.

Consult an HR Professional: Do you have any colleagues in HR or Recruitment. They can often provide more definitive data on salary ranges for your position within the company. Just ask and you shall receive.

Take into Account Location: Keep in mind that salaries can vary a lot depending on where you live. The cost of living and local demand for your skills can significantly affect your salary expectations.

Salary Survey Tool

The Hays Salary Survey offers a fantastic at a glance review of salaries.

3) How to Prepare for a Salary Negotiation

Getting ready for a salary negotiation is like preparing for a big game. Here’s your playbook:

Set Clear Goals: Know the exact figure you’re gunning for and the minimum you’d accept. This keeps you on track during the negotiation.

Gather Supporting Evidence: Collect a list of your achievements, extra responsibilities, and relevant industry data that back up your request for a pay rise. It’s like having your superhero suit ready for action.

Practice Your Pitch: I recommend that if you’re not confident, rehearse what you’re going to say. Look in the mirror or have a friend play the boss – the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. Also, I’d recommend that you take some notes in to the meeting with you. It’s a great strategy for staying on track.

Anticipate Questions: Be ready for any questions or concerns your boss might throw at you. It’s like knowing the possible exam questions in advance – you’re ready with the answers.

4) How to Negotiate a Salary Range

Negotiating your salary isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s an art. So here’s some ideas I’ve put together on how to go about it:

Start Higher: If you have a specific amount in mind, consider asking for a tad more. This gives room for negotiation, and you might end up close to your target.

Be Open to Benefits: If your boss can’t meet your salary request, think about other perks, like more vacation days or a flexible work schedule. It’s not just about the money; it’s about work-life balance too.

Emphasize Your Value: Throughout the conversation, highlight the value you bring to the company. Mention how your contributions have made a positive impact. It’s like reminding them, “This is what I’ve done, and it’s been great for us.”

How to prepare for a salary negotiation

5) Tips for Navigating Through the Salary Process

Navigating a salary negotiation can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips to make it smoother:

Stay Cool and Professional: Keep your emotions in check. Be professional and confident during the negotiation. It’s business, not personal.

Listen Actively: Pay close attention to what your employer is saying. Understanding their perspective can help you address their concerns and negotiate effectively.

Don’t Rush: Take your time to evaluate an offer or to make a counteroffer. It shows that you’re taking the process seriously.

6) What to Say When Asking for That Pay Rise

Alright, it’s showtime. You’ve done your homework; now let’s put it into words:

Open with Gratitude: Start by expressing your appreciation for your current role and your enthusiasm for your job. It’s like saying, “I’m happy to be on this team.”

State Your Request Clearly: Be direct about the pay rise you want, based on your research and accomplishments. It’s like saying, “I’ve done my homework, and here’s what I need.”

Highlight Your Achievements: Showcase your contributions and successes. Talk about how they’ve positively impacted the company. It’s like reminding them, “This is what I’ve done, and it’s been great for us.”

Discuss Future Value: Explain how the pay rise will motivate you to do even better in the future. It’s like saying, “With this pay rise, I’m going to do even more amazing things for the company.”

7) How to Get a Promotion and a Pay Rise

If you’re thinking big and want a promotion along with a pay rise, consider these steps:

Set Clear Career Goals: Define your long-term career goals and talk about them with your manager. They can help you find the path to that promotion.

Seek More Responsibilities: Show your readiness for a promotion by taking on extra duties and excelling in your current role. Step up and say, “I can handle more.”

Invest in Professional Development: Consider additional education, training, or certifications to make yourself an even stronger candidate for a promotion. It’s like leveling up your skills.

2024 Free Salary Surveys

8) What to Do If Your Boss Says No to a Pay Rise

Sometimes, the answer is “no”. But, it’s not the end of the world – just a bump in the road. But don’t take the negative, Here’s some tips I’ve put together on what you can do:

Seek Feedback: Ask your boss for specific feedback on why your request was denied. It’s like saying, “Tell me how I can do better.”

Request a Follow-Up: Enquire about a follow-up discussion in the future. It shows your commitment to improvement. It’s like saying, “I’m not giving up.”

Continue to Excel: Keep doing your best and documenting your achievements. Your persistence shows your dedication and can eventually lead to a pay rise. It’s like showing them, “I’m here for the long haul.” 

In conclusion…

Asking for a pay rise is a significant step in advancing your career and improving your financial well-being. With thorough preparation, a well-thought-out negotiation strategy, and a bit of perseverance, you can increase your chances of receiving the pay rise you deserve.

Remember, it’s about acknowledging your hard work and dedication. So, put these tips into action, and may your bank account grow alongside your confidence and career satisfaction.

But don’t forget, I’m here to help. Getting your Resume into shape can also be a game changer.

Best of luck on your journey to that well-deserved pay rise!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When is the right time to ask for a pay rise?

Timing is crucial. Consider requesting a pay rise during annual performance reviews, after significant achievements, or when you've taken on extra responsibilities. It's also a good idea to monitor your company's financial health.

2. How can I determine my salary worth?

You can determine your salary worth by using online salary surveys, talking to peers in your industry, consulting your HR department for internal data, and considering the cost of living in your location.

3. How should I prepare for a salary negotiation?

Preparation involves setting clear goals for your desired salary, gathering evidence of your achievements and contributions, practicing your negotiation pitch, and anticipating questions and concerns your boss might raise.

4. What's the best way to negotiate a salary range?

Start by asking for a slightly higher figure than your target to allow room for negotiation. Be open to discussing benefits if the salary isn't flexible, and emphasize your value to the company throughout the negotiation.

5. What tips can help me navigate the salary negotiation process successfully?

Staying calm and professional, active listening to your employer's perspective, and avoiding rushing into decisions are key tips for navigating the salary negotiation process effectively.

6. What should I say when asking for a pay rise?

Start by expressing gratitude for your current role, state your salary request clearly, highlight your achievements, and discuss how the pay rise will motivate you to contribute even more to the company's success.