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There are many milestones that we all go through during our careers. Our first job interview, getting promoted, and making the decision to leave a role for greener pastures. But one of the most daunting is approaching your boss and asking for a pay rise.

Research conducted by Forward Role Recruitment has revealed that a huge amount of people are wary about asking for a pay rise, with an overwhelming 61% saying that they have never broached the subject.

The statistics showed that men were more likely to ask for a pay rise, with 46% saying that they had done so, compared to just 30% of women.

If you feel like it’s time to moved up a rung of the career ladder, but don’t know how to start the conversation, then Forward Role are here to help you out. We have spoken to four industry experts who have real-life experience of asking for, accepting and rejecting pay rise requests.

Timing is everything

Asking for a pay rise is a big deal, and it is certainly not something that should be done on a whim. Don’t just stroll into the office one morning and book a meeting with your manager – there is a time and a place for everything. Consider the circumstances around the meeting, because the surrounding situation can have a big impact on the result of your request.

Eric Brantner, Founder of, says that employees should wait until they are indispensable to the team:

“It’s all about striking when the iron is hot. When you’re asking for a raise, you’re telling your boss that you’re performing at a higher level than what you’re currently being paid. So, you have to make sure you’re asking at a time where you’ve been really knocking it out of the park and exceeding expectations at work and are seen in the best possible light by your employer. Your great performance will be fresh in their minds, making them likelier to give you the pay increase.

“You see this happen in sports all the time; an athlete has a great season and wants his contract with the team to be renegotiated based on his performance. On the other hand, if you’ve just made a major mistake or you’ve been missing days at work, blowing deadlines or just phoning it in, that’s obviously not the time to be asking for more money because your employer will be down on you.”

Know how much you are worth

Part of having a well-thought-out plan for asking for a pay rise involves knowing how much you are going to ask for. This part can be tricky; it’s all about balancing your desire to receive a six-figure paycheque, and asking for a salary that you deserve. Many people are often under the impression that, if their manager grants them a pay rise, they will simply pluck a higher figure out of thin air.

But part of the nature of asking for a pay rise is having confidence in your abilities and being able to put a price on yourself. Although it may make you feel awkward, it is more likely that your manager will respect you for knowing your worth.

Will Craig, Managing Director at Digital Impact, gives his advice on going in with a well-rounded figure:

“In my opinion, there’s one thing employees always overlook in salary negotiations: knowing your market value. If you want to convince your employer to raise your salary, it makes sense to know how much your competitors are willing to pay you. After all, if you don’t know what you’re worth, how can you know what to ask for?

“Before negotiating a raise, I recommend you speak to your coworkers and your peers in the industry to get an idea of how much they’re paid. Complement that research with salary info from job advertisements posted online. That will give you a solid figure for what the market will pay for someone of your capability and experience.

“If you’re currently being paid less than that figure, that’s a great bargaining tool.”

Spend a little time browsing job boards, note down a few salaries that are being advertised for roles that are the same or similar to your own. Calculate an average and consider if you’re happy with it – this will give you an idea of the region you should be aiming for.

When it comes to salaries, there is no one-size-fits-all. While everyone may enter a role at the same level, as time progresses you will pick up certain skills and become more proficient in some areas compared to others. Using a tool like Salary Surveyis the perfect way to narrow down the field and get a better idea of your deserved salary. This is because you are able to specify things like the number of years’ experience you have under your belt, your annual bonus and any benefits that you receive.

Be prepared

It’s all well and good being able to walk into a pay review meeting and talk about the things you have done (more on this later), but what those in charge will want to see is how your excellent work has benefitted the business overall.

David Ingram, Managing Director at Bring Digital, says he wants to see people come to him with real and tangible proof of their efforts:

“It’s always easy to give a pay rise when an employee can tie their achievements back to real commercial value for the company. For example ‘I created a social media strategy that has driven £125,000 of new sales’ or ‘I reduced the need to outsource our human resources services, which has saved us £36,000 a year.

“If an employee can come to a pay review with a list of their achievements against expectations you set at a previous review, then it makes it much easier to sign off. For example, ‘you wanted me to improve my leadership skills, and I’ve taken a course, read the three suggested books and taken responsibility for the development of a junior staff member’.

“Both of these points come down to preparation; really taking the time to think about how your value to the company has increased since your last review, and bringing along the information that can evidence this.”

Make your case

This tip speaks for itself. But rather than walking into a room and reeling off a long list of your accomplishments, you need to relate it back to your actual job and the company. You also shouldn’t be afraid to shout about the things that you have achieved, because otherwise what’s the point in having the meeting anyway? This isn’t the time to be modest!

Peter Brown, Senior Reward Consultant at Paydata, gives his advice on creating a convincing case…

“Most bosses are respectful of reasonable pay rise requests, so the best thing to do is just ask for it. However, it’s essential that you build a case for why you deserve a raise. Otherwise, you’re just asking for more money without a reason as to why your manager should even begin to review your current salary, let alone increase it. A manager will want to see any pay rise as justifiable, so it is important to consider the why.”

Peter recommends ensuring that you can answer the following questions during your pay review meeting, as these will help you to make your case about why exactly you deserve a rise:

  • “What have you contributed to the company since you started?”
  • “Have you taken on any additional responsibilities?”
  • “Have you completed a training course, managed a new team or started a new project?”
  • “Have you hit and/or exceeded your targets?”

It’s not all about what you say

Now comes the meeting itself, where all of your hard work and preparation is put to the test in what will seem like the most challenging part of the entire process. You will likely be feeling nervous and anxious and naturally may find yourself going from cool and confident to shy and modest in a flash. But there’s a delicate balance to strike with the way you present yourself; you want to be calm and relaxed, but not closed in, whilst also showing you are sure of your achievements but not cocky. It can be tricky to get right!

When we are in any situation, other people won’t just be picking up on what we say. We actually given out dozens of other different signals through our body language, the tone and pitch of our voice and our facial expressions. Even our emotions can be easily picked up on, and your boss doesn’t need to be an expert to recognise these subconscious signals.

What you want to avoid most is appearing too nervous or tentative, defensive or angry. Speak slowly and steadily, and maintain relaxed eye contact with the other person, without staring them down. Keep your voice strong yet reasonable and you will come across both confident and convincing.

The ‘yes’ you’ve been waiting for

Congratulations! You’ve impressed your boss and next month you’ll receive the higher salary that you deserve. But now certainly isn’t the time to rest on your laurels. Show the senior management team at your company that you appreciate their faith in you, and that you are dedicated to achieving bigger and better things for the business and their customers.

How to deal with rejection

Once you’ve finally worked up the confidence to speak to your boss and established exactly what you were going to say, it can feel a little embarrassing and frustrating if you receive a rejection. But the way you handle it will say a lot about your character, and your manager will be looking out for your reaction.

The first step is to accept their decision straight away; arguing back isn’t going to change anything. However difficult it may be, keep your emotions in check and try not to let your facial expressions or body language portray any feelings of anger, disappointment or upset.

Secondly, tell them you understand and then proceed to ask for the reasons behind their decision. This could range from issues with your performance to financial problems within the company itself. If it is the former, show your commitment and enthusiasm to improving by asking for an opportunity to make a plan – with input from your seniors – on what you need to achieve in order to get that all important ‘yes’ next time.


Young adults lean towards ‘on-the-job’ learning as 6 in 10 say pandemic has impacted educational plans  



Young adults lean towards ‘on-the-job’ learning as 6 in 10 say pandemic has impacted educational plans   1
  • Six in 10 (61%) of 16-25s agree learning ‘on-the-job’ is the best way to get on the jobs ladder in the current environment
  • 59% would rather study a degree subject connected to a profession than one they are good at
  • 59% believe tech sector offers strong career opportunities and is voted most futureproof sector by 16-25s following the pandemic
  • QuickBooks launches free online programming course with Amigoscode to help young people kickstart their tech career

Nearly two thirds (63%) of 16-25s have seen their future educational plans impacted by the pandemic, new research from Intuit QuickBooks1 – the financial software provider – reveals, with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 driving young people to look for faster and more secure ways to get jobs.

And with more than half a million young people now unemployed – a rise of 35,000 from the previous quarter2 – six in ten (61%) 16-25s agree that learning ‘on-the-job’ is the best way of getting on the careers ladder in the current environment.

With COVID-19 highlighting the importance of more ‘futureproof’ career options, the technology sector has been identified by 16-25s as offering particularly strong career opportunities (59%).

To help young people kickstart their tech career, QuickBooks – home to top UK tech talent – has launched a free online programming course with Amigoscode.

Careers-focused learning takes priority 

If they were to attend university or study for a degree, 59% of 16-25s would rather study a subject connected to a profession than one they’re good at, while nearly a third (31%) would only consider studying for a degree that would help them get a job in a sector that is likely to grow in future.

However, almost half (45%) of 16-25s are now reconsidering attending university at all. A quarter (26%) believe it is now more important to get on the job ladder than get a degree, while 19% don’t want to go to university because they are worried about their safety.

As remote learning becomes the new norm, more than a quarter (28%) of 16-25s now plan to carry out an online university degree (such as those offered by the Open University) instead of physically going to university.

Technology sector is voted most futureproof 

The research reveals 16-25s believe the technology sector is the most futureproof (40%), ranking significantly higher above the second most popular option (construction – 27%).

Almost a fifth (19%) of the 16-25s surveyed already have a career in the technology sector, while 34% are considering it – rising to 38% of those aged 16-19.

Of those who are interested in the sector but are not currently considering it, the biggest barrier is simply not knowing how to get a job in this area (32%), closely followed by having never received any information about the sector from careers advisors etc. (30%). A quarter (25%) don’t think they could afford to undertake the necessary training or qualifications to get a job in the sector.

Ben Brown, Head of Engineering at Intuit QuickBooks, comments: 

“With COVID-19 causing economic uncertainty and driving unemployment levels, young people are increasingly looking for ways to fast-track onto the careers ladder. And getting straight into the tech sector, which has proven to be resilient in the face of the pandemic, is particularly appealing. Technology, after all, is the fuel that has allowed many other sectors to continue operating.

“On-the-job learning is common in the tech sector, but to be a successful candidate, applicants need to demonstrate genuine interest and enthusiasm by having carried out their own independent learning. Employers can enable this by creating opportunities for young people to take part in free training courses and taster sessions, which helps them to gain valuable skills and decide if the sector is for them.

“QuickBooks engineers frequently host and coach participants through Code First Girls sessions – which are aimed at women looking to learn more about programming – and we are thrilled to be partnering with Amigoscode to offer a free programming course.”

Nelson Djalo, Founder of free coding resource Amigoscode and Software Engineer, comments:

“The perception of not having enough knowledge is the main barrier to young people getting into the technology sector. Skills can be built over time – passion, drive and a willingness to learn are the most important qualities to have. People from lots of different backgrounds and interests can get into the sector, and there are a whole host of roles aside from programming and software engineering.

“I offer programming courses and coding tutorials because I believe the sector should be accessible to anyone. I’m pleased to be partnering with QuickBooks to offer a tailormade course for anyone who is interested in getting into the industry and wants to learn more about programming.”

The Amigoscode x QuickBooks course is available here as a video, and here as a playlist. The 2.5 hour course and video playlist covers the basics of programming; the basics of Python and a project task (building a CV). Participants will also build a portfolio which could be the starting point of their tech journey/career.

Watch Nelson’s other tutorials on the Amigoscode YouTube channel here.

Case studies of young QuickBooks software engineers are available on request. 

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Five things to consider when organising a remote work Christmas party



Five things to consider when organising a remote work Christmas party 2

By Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Christmas is usually a time of cheer and celebration, and the perfect way for employers to incorporate this in the workplace is by organising a Christmas party for their staff. However, things will have to be a little different this year due to the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While the easiest, and cheapest, option for employers is to not go ahead with their annual festive plans, in the spirit of keeping Christmas alive some may choose to organise a remote party.

There are, however, some important things that employers should be aware of.

  1. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for employers to keep their employees’ wellbeing in mind, much more than ever before. This is why, even with something that can be considered a ‘treat’ for employees, people who are working carers, have been struggling with work-related stresses, may not want to partake in a Christmas party this year, however well-intentioned it may be on the employer’s part. It is therefore advisable that remote parties should be optional and not constrained to a certain timeframe in which staff must be in attendance.
  2. Employers should ensure that those in attendance do not feel excluded from any activities during the party. For example, if an employee does not drink alcohol and a virtual wine tasting activity makes up the bulk of the event, such a person would not be able to contribute to the fun and may therefore feel left out. Consequently, it may be better for employers to ensure that there is a wide range of activities available that cater to the individuals who are attending.
  3. When attendees and potential attendees, have been established and the activities have been finalised, it is in the best interest of the company to send out emails to them. It should detail what is expected of them at the event and highlight that the same conduct is expected of them at a remote party as it would be at an in-person event. It should also outline that the same disciplinary procedures would apply in a situation where an employee commits a form of misconduct during the event.
  4. Similarly, employees should be made aware that the same grievance produce applies – to ensure that if company rules are broken by an employee or a grievance with the company itself, the affected employee will be able to raise this with the company.
  5. Finally, while employees can use their social media accounts in their own personal time, including at work social gatherings, employers must ensure that the use of social media should be done in a manner that does not adversely affect the company’s reputation.

To conclude, remote parties are the perfect way to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to and that employees are rewarded for their efforts, there should be a mutual sense of responsibility on the part of the company and its employees.

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Reasons to remote manage in a socially distanced world



Reasons to remote manage in a socially distanced world 3

By Paul Routledge Country Manager D-Link UK and Ireland

As the world continues to adapt in varying degrees to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and enterprises will find themselves adjusting to more permanent, new ways of working, problem-solving and service delivery. Governments and global leaders have already introduced new measures to support these adjustments, and as a result we have already seen many companies re-evaluate how they work as well as how teams are organized and provided for. As the pandemic remains a fixture of this year of which the impact will continue to be felt in the year ahead, it’s becoming clear that the role of technology and the innovation therein will be key to ensuring businesses can weather ongoing the crisis.

For many businesses, until recent years, the vast bulk of network management was conducted and carried out on location at the client site. However, the value of remote network management has fast become an asset to businesses in the 21st century – giving IT service providers more capacity to manage a larger number of customer sites at any given time.

In addition, remote network management solutions play an important role in increasing transparency across sites by providing a complete view of the status of different networks via comprehensive interactive dashboards and informative management systems. For example, Nuclias by D-Link offers an easy to set up network management solution that provides flexibility to make onboarding, studying, troubleshooting, and reporting network activity quick and easy.

For IT service providers, establishing new ways of working is particularly important. As they seek alternative methods of supporting customers in different locations, many will be looking to the advantages that remote network management has to offer.

Before the pandemic, D-Link Europe explored the state of play of network management and challenges its partners were facing in this space. The study found that, 75% of IT service providers in Europe were already using remote access tools to support or manage network infrastructure on customer sites, yet a quarter (25%) were still relying on in-person visits to resolve network issues for customers.

Interestingly, the findings show that the larger the number of clients a provider has, the less likely they are to use remote management tools. Only 22% of European IT service providers surveyed provide more than 50 customers with remote management services. Complete adoption of remote network management methods will be a gradual process, yet the pandemic and the government restrictions in place across much of Europe have a part to play in creating the circumstances where in-person visits occur much less often if at all.

As a result, it is likely we will see a more permanent adoption of remote networking management systems – as businesses work hard to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and an unpredicatable year ahead. The point of this will not only to provide network management services in a more efficient and less time-consuming way but also to uphold the safety measures now expected of most workplaces.

This is particularly pertinent in an environement where businesses are limiting contact in the workplace and adhering to safetymechanisms also seen more widely in society – including technologies such as group temperature screening cameras as well as track and trace systems. There is a clear opportunity for IT service providers to make the most of remote networking management tools’ benefits to uphold the safety and health of their own employees, as well as personnel at client sites by reducing unnecessary human contact.

An additional benefit to be reaped from remote network management is how IT service providers can economise on time spent travelling to and from client sites, in addition to time spent resolving issues on-site. D-Link research found that 60% of European IT service providers spend between four to six hours per week installing and configuring new wireless or wired networks at client sites. This additional time spent travelling to and from client sites puts employees at particular risk, especially as they often travel long distances to get there.

What’s more, in terms of the time technicians usually spend at client sites, when it comes to configuring a replacement wireless access point, only 31% of providers feel they can keep this service under one hour. Remote network management allows technicians to use this time more effectively. Nuclias by D-Link, for example, will enable administrators to stay on top of any management tasks like creating guest networks, adding Wi-Fi to additional locations, updating devices and upholding network security.

Furthermore, IT service providers will be able to offer their clients more benefits, by providing centralised management and more visibility of their network, allowing them to act on network disruptions and problems before they become pervasive issues. Nuclias Cloud is designed for smaller businesses who lack in-house IT skills, such as hospitality and retail chains. These companies can benefit from easy network expansion and implementation of updates without the need for additional training.

Remote management solutions, like Nuclias, are also well-placed to support the growth of IT service providers as they look to offer more managed services. Not only do they enable teams to provide deployments but also increased administration services and supervision of client networks; resulting in improved reactivity to issues and better quality of service. The added advantage of unlimited scalability, thanks to the use of cloud-enabled devices, means providers can also keep resources and costs low – generating a more significant return on investment.

Right now, it still feels like there is some way to go before normal life resumes – however, as the long-term impacts of COVID-19 become more apparent, companies worldwide will need to continue to relying on innovative technology to tackle workplace concerns. With solutions such as remote network management playing an important role in supporting service providers and their clients as they do.

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