5 Steps to getting a pay rise

Despite the fact that job satisfaction is not just about pay, it is still one of the most important factors for it.

Some companies successfully influence their employees’ satisfaction using other factors beyond salary. Factors include enhanced rewards and recognition schemes, increased amounts of annual leave days, job security, flexible hours, options to work from home, development and progression opportunities.

However, if you feel that the benefits provided by your company are not sufficient enough for you to accept being on a lower pay than you would have expected, perhaps now is the right time to take the necessary steps towards a pay rise. Aside to the benefits package, this is also the case if you have not had a pay rise in over 3 years. Below you will find the 5key steps to getting a pay rise. These steps include demonstrating, justifying and evidencing why you deserve something extra.

  1. Get certified

There are a number of globally-recognised certifications for different professions. For example, employers highly value and expect Project Managers to hold thePRINCE2®certifications. Professional certifications enable candidates to evidence that they have gained and/or improved the relevant professional knowledge, skills and competence. You need to ensure that you are certified for your current job role as it is the easiest way to demonstrate to your employer that you possess the relevant profession’s knowledge, skills and can operate at a desirable level of competence.

It is important to note that certified professionals tend to earn about 20% more than non-certified. For example, a PMI® Survey conducted in 37 different countries suggested that the median salaries of professionals holding Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification was on average 23% higher comparing to non-certified professionals.[i]

Liucina Bogdevic, Director and Founder of SkillPoint, an e-learning provider of professional certifications, said:

“You need to take personal responsibility for your Continuous Professional Development (CPD). The critical word being ‘Continuous’ as your professional development needs to remain constant throughout your career to become a better version of yourself and gain the recognition and remuneration you deserve. “

Therefore, it is important to ensure that even when you are certified for your current job role, you do not stop there. You can expand your professional knowledge and skills by undertaking other certifications within your profession, which will show to your current and prospective employers that your knowledge and skills are constant, current and competitive. Alternatively, you could undertake training and get certifications for professions which will enable your career growth, e. g. IT specialists that would like to become IT Service Managers should consider gettingITIL® certified.

  1. Demonstrate good performance

The next step is to ensure you demonstrate good performance in your current role. Instead of assuming that you already demonstrate good performance, ideally ask your line manager and your colleagues for feedback. If the perceptions vary, you would need to clarify and gain a clear understanding of what is expected of you and how your performance is being tracked and measured. Make sure you accept their feedback as perception is reality, work on the areas of improvement that you and/or your colleagues have identified and do not forget to share your achievements as well. Repeat these actions until you are recognised for your good performance and are considered an achiever by your line manager and colleagues. Remember: ‘It is not about being the best, it is about being better than you were yesterday’ and if you can get people to recognise that you are getting better, you are definitely on the right track.

  1. Take on more responsibility

If you are already performing well in your current job role, it is time to take on more responsibility and demonstrate to your employer that you are not just meeting their expectations, but are actually exceeding them. You need to evidence that you have the skills and capabilities to carry out tasks beyond your normal remit.

There are number of ways to take on more responsibility and this does not necessary have to be an official arrangement. One option is to volunteer for an additional piece of work that would demonstrate your capabilities, skills and competence further. Another could involve you offering to provide support to your line manager with their own line management responsibilities to enhance and demonstrate your leadership skills. For example, you could lead some team meetings on your manager’s behalf or support new or underperforming colleagues with their own development by helping them learn relevant aspects of their job in need of improvement. Some companies also offer secondment opportunities to enable their staff to obtain new experiences, new skills and to take them out of their comfort zone with different responsibilities.

There is no single method to take on more responsibility, it all depends on your current job role, the team, internal arrangements and the skills that you want to develop. Your Line Manager, a member of HR or an Employee Development colleague would be best suited to guide you as to your options on developing and evidencing skills and capabilities beyond your current job role, so take an opportunity to have an informal discussion with them.

  1. Ask for it

Once you have completed the previous steps, the next is to ask for a pay rise. Arrange an opportunity to meet with your line manager and ask whether they would consider increasing your pay, or alternatively and in the scenario of small and / or private companies, engage the owner. Even if you are in public sector, salaries are often subject to line managers’ discretion and can be negotiated within the pay ranges set for roles. If the pay rise option is not viable, try discussing with your line manager alternative options such as promotion opportunities to get the desired pay rise.

  1. Get a new job

If none of the above steps have enabled you to get a pay rise, you have the choice to either repeat some of the above steps, to repeat all of the above steps, or, and as a last resort, you could consider getting a new job elsewhere. This could be the same role within a different company that is willing to pay more, or a higher-level position which is highly likely to bring you more responsibility and better pay.

Each of the steps covered above will require you to input a lot of time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end as it will enable you to demonstrate your value and achieve your desired pay rise.

PRINCE2® and ITIL® are registered trademarks of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. | PMI® and PMP® are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. | SkillPoint® is a registered trademark of SkillPoint Ltd. All rights reserved.

[i] Project Management Salary Survey (2018).

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