How to Request a Higher Salary

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You have managed to write a CV and a motivation letter and completed an interview, in which you managed to ask for the money to meet your expectations (at least approximately). You were accepted.

Two, three years have passed and you think that you have shifted the company in the right direction. You are going to continue in this. However, your motivation, at least the financial one, is beginning to wither away and the money earned by you on a monthly basis does not correspond to your performance any more. If you are satisfied in your job in other respects and don‘t want to move on, you have two possibilities left. Either you will wait and hope that someone will notice you and the work done by you, or you will simply ask for a ask for a higher salary.

The waiting alternative works only in exceptional cases under several conditions:

  • Your benefits for the company must be distinctive enough for your superior to notice them.
  • Logically, your superior must be observant. In short, some people are not very emphatic and sensitive although they are not like that on purpose. Or they are perhaps just too busy.
  • And finally, your superior must not be one of the people who don’t notice anything on purpose. He/she must admit to have noticed your benefits and must be willing to appreciate your efforts. Hardly anybody wants to voluntarily pay more if he/she doesn’t have to. Even if the money is not paid directly from his/her pocket.

Nevertheless, there is a second alternative.

Requesting a higher salary is a rather difficult task and many people would rather avoid it completely. How do you ask in such a way that the whole process costs you as little nerves as possible and your request is disposed of affirmatively in the end?

Self-analysis

First sum up your work at the company up to the present day. Consider all your assets and shortcomings. In short, prepare pragmatic arguments to defend your salary increase. Before you go to your boss with your requirement, you should be really certain that you deserve it.

Opinions of your Surroundings

Map the situation on the market. You may find a lot of Internet servers where you can find wages in your field, classified by various specifics, e.g. by regions.

Ask those in your surroundings. But be careful. Ask rather indeterminate questions, e.g. about how your neighbourhood would appraise your abilities by remuneration. Select the persons you are going to talk with about this issue; don’t disclose your salary if it’s not necessary, especially not within the company. You never know who will use such information against you.

Set a target. A real one.

When you were asked about your salary in the interview, you talked in specific amounts. You may read more about this topic in our article called What Salary to Request in an Interview. However, if you are trying to increase your current wages, it’s better to use percentages; in this way, you will not leave a lot of room to your boss for bargaining. Always have your feet on the ground: ask for about 5 %. If you expect too much, they will most probably not bargain with you at all.

Be in the right place at the right moment

It is also important to time your requirement properly. Select a period of prosperity of the company. In other cases, you would just irritate a cobra with your bare feet.

Take in your superiors momentary mood. If he/she has had a bad day, he/she will hardly feel like discussing this delicate topic with you.

The Crucial Moment

Be careful, tactful and assertive during your "action"; never be insolent. Avoid emotional blackmailing, which will be discussed later on. If you observe the decorum, the worst thing to happen to you is a rejection of your requirement. Even in such a case, don’t forget the decorum.

Tip: Don’t resort to emotional blackmailing. For instance, spare your boss speeches about your children’s studies or the payment of your mortgage. These are not real reasons for an increase in your salary. Moreover, if your superordinate recognizes signs of emotional blackmailing in your conduct, he/she will easily become opposed to you and you will hardly be able to expect an increase in your salary in the near future.

Beware of threats to leave the company. If you are sure that it will be difficult to get a substitute for you and if you are able to present your thoughts of leaving the company in a decent way and you really mean it on top of that, they will perhaps really increase your salary in the end. However, take into account that if you do not proceed carefully (and the borders are really delicate), your superior may not only refuse to increase your salary, but also unpleasantly surprise you by giving you your notice.

Suitable Alternatives

If the management does not agree with an increase in your salary, try to solve the situation in a clever way. For instance, suggest that your boss introduce benefits; plant an idea in your boss‘ mind to introduce motivation and teambuilding events or foreign language courses paid for by the company for employees. Come up with anything new; not only will it increase your motivation, but the company will feel that it may benefit from it, too. There are lots of possibilities.

The most extreme alternative is your departure from the company. If you feel that the situation is unbearable in the long term, that you are not appreciated in your job, consider whether it is not better for you to find a job where you will be appreciated. Even in financial terms.

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