Wanted: more pay please

You’ve been working in the same place for years and while your pay hasn’t shifted since 2007, the cost of living - particularly utility bills and food - has skyrocketed. So how do you ask the boss for a pay rise?

In this post-GFC work climate, many employees may avoid asking for a pay review because they don't rate their chances of success.

But certain times of the year might be better than others to ask for a raise. If there is a skills shortage in your field, you could be in a stronger position than some, but employers might still take the attitude that while there are plenty of others out there looking for work, making you less indispensable.

Recruitment specialists at Robert Walters suggest first looking at how the company is doing and evaluate the general market conditions in your sector, and checking to see what people performing similar roles are getting.

Another important thing to consider are potential trade-offs. Instead of a pay rise, you could settle for some perks like gym memberships or a mobile phone.

Some of my mates in the HR business (yes I have some) tell me people should write down exactly why they think they deserve a higher salary, be it good results for the company or that they haven’t had a pay increase in a few years.

They also suggest you raise the issue face-to-face if possible, and have a back up plan if your request is denied. HR specialists say that the company might well call your bluff if you threaten to leave for a higher paid position. They suggest you find out whether they can replace you for less money than they pay you.

Barbara Safani at AOL News suggests documenting all your achievements during the year, and making yourself hard to replace by becoming the expert in one specific area. She also recommends you take on tasks that no wants to do, step in to do the job of a worker who has been let go which would make you more indispensable, and take on high-profile assignments, particularly when it’s close to review time.

According to Emma Johnson at Forbes, negotiating a pay rise in tough times means documenting everything and presenting it when you walk in to negotiate with your boss. It can be everything from sales numbers and  recruitment of valuable clients to specific innovations that you helped introduce that assisted the company or even saved it money.

If you don’t see any prospect of getting a raise, she suggests asking for alternatives. It can be anything from more time off or permission to work one or two days a week from home. If nothing else, it establishes a conversation with your boss that you can resume when things ease up.

Have you used any of these methods to get a pay rise or have you given up asking?