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'Tis The Season.... To Ask For A Payrise

17 Dec 2018

Mairead McConnell

The Christmas party season can prove expensive. Thankfully the festivities are followed quickly by January and your annual appraisal. A pay rise may just be in sight.

From work parties to Santa, from catching up with old friends to family reunions, Christmas season is filled with festive fun but the party season can prove expensive. Thankfully the festivities are followed quickly by January and your annual appraisal.  A pay rise may just be in sight.  But only if you can pluck up the courage to ask for it. (Don’t worry, no boss is as bad as Ebenezer Scrooge).

In 2014 a survey carried out across the UK and Northern Ireland showed that a staggering 46% of employees struggle to approach the subject of a pay rise with their employer, while 54% of employees felt underpaid for the work they do.  More than half of the 2,000 employees who took part in the survey had never asked their employer for a pay rise.  In 2018, these figures have barely changed at all!  The average annual income in the UK, according to the most recent “Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings” is £28,677 for full-time employees. Those starting off in the transport industry can look forward to an offer of £18-£20,000pa, those working in Quality can start off on £16,000 - £18,000pa and those in Supply Chain, £20,000 - £23,000pa.  These are stressful, fast paced careers that demand a lot of time and training to become the best in your profession.  But in order to progress, we have to overcome our fear of asking for more.  More training, more assistance and when the time comes, more money.

Here are some top tips to consider when approaching that difficult conversation with your boss:

  • We would all like to earn £100,000 pa but unfortunately, we also have to be realistic.Do some market research to find out the average pay for your role, what are comparative employees on?If you can’t find this information from friends, your social circle or family, try looking at job boards online or talk to a recruitment consultant.
  • If you are sure that you are on the lower side of salary ranges outlined, do ask for a meeting with your boss. How you decide to request a pay rise will depend on your boss and the kind of relationship you have with them. Raising the subject informally – at a bar after work, for example – might get results for some, but most managers prefer a formal approach.Remember to inform them briefly what the meeting will be about as nobody likes to be put on the spot.
  • Prepare!You will likely need to have figures or facts to hand about how you have contributed to the company and the success you have had in your role to date.Unfortunately we don’t get anything for free in this life so if you have prepared quantifiable stats to show the value you add to the company, you will be more settled and confident in approaching the meeting room.
  • When you start the meeting, start by expressing your thanks for what you’ve learned so far. Explain that you are happy with your employer, that you see long term career progression and, if you have some ideas that you think could be of benefit let your boss know that you have been mulling over ideas.Your employer will see longevity in your career and loyalty, these are qualities that they will not want to lose.Remember, you are looking for a pay rise, not handing in your notice.
  • Be honest.Explain that you have been looking at the market and that you are aware of the value of your skills and experience.Stress again that you don’t want to leave your current role, that’s not the driving force of this meeting, but you would like them to consider a pay raise for you. Do have a realistic number in mind but wait for them to mention a figure first as it may be higher and you don’t want to undersell yourself.

It is important to remember that in these tough times, with uncertainties about Brexit ahead, that some employers do not have a big profit margin and they may not be able to give you what you want.  But also remember, if you don’t ask you definitely won’t get.

For 2019 the greatest gift you can give yourself is recognition of your own strengths, courage to progress and trust in yourself to go further and do more.  Hopefully, with this in mind you will achieve what you need and/or want.

The team here at Brightwater NI would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very peaceful and happy Christmas and a wonderful, prosperous New Year.

For more information on Agri/Food, Supply Chain and Logistic positions currently available, or for information on the current market, please contact Mairead McConnell on 028 90 325 325.