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How To Negotiate A Pay Rise And What To Do If You Don't Get It

Posted on 03 Oct, 2022

If you’ve been in your current position for any length of time and you’ve performed well in the role, you might believe you deserve a pay rise. Between rising energy prices, increased cost-of-living and soaring rates of inflation, securing a pay rise is becoming ever more important for many within the design industry.

In this article, we take a look at how to go about negotiating a pay rise for yourself and what you can do if you don’t get the answer you were hoping for.

Negotiating a pay rise

Always remember that negotiation is a two-way process and should be treated as such. You, as the employee, want to be compensated for your hard work. On the other side of the table, your employer wants to know they’re getting a good return on their investment – which is you.

The first step is to schedule a meeting and then make sure you are fully-prepared for that meeting. Pay negotiations are never as simple as asking for more money. You need to consider the situation from your employer’s perspective too. Those financial burdens we discussed at the top of the article? The company will be feeling the impact of them too.

Things to consider

So what should you bring up in your meeting? First of all, you need a proven track record of good performance in the months leading up to your request. If you’re going to sell yourself on what you bring to the team, you need to provide evidence of this. You should also present a business case for your pay rise. What will more money do for your performance? This isn’t just about offering to do more work, but showing that you want to grow in the role. That’s a great sign for employers, as it demonstrates commitment to the company and could lead to development opportunities down the road.

Know what you’re worth

Treat your pay rise meeting as you would an interview for a new position. Research the going rate for other people in your role from the local area and with your experience, and from that, set a benchmark for the salary you believe you deserve. If you’re currently earning the industry average (or close enough) then you may need to prepare yourself for an unsuccessful result.

What happens next?

The meeting will go one of three ways. Your manager will agree to a new salary (likely with some new duties included), they will ask for some time to consider their response, or they will flat-out refuse. If it’s the former – great news! If it’s the middle option, be sure to chase them for their response, but don’t be too pushy. Give it a couple of weeks before broaching the subject again.

Alternatives to a pay rise

If the response is negative, your employer should be able to explain why. Don’t be despondent – there are alternatives to an increased salary that can be just as beneficial. Enquire about a new job title, additional paid leave, flexi-time arrangements, hybrid working patterns or working from home full-time. Ask for clients that you know will look great in your portfolio or CV. Whilst none of these equate to financial recompense (apart from the annual leave), they can improve your work-life balance, your mental well-being, or your future prospects.

If none of these tips assists you in getting the pay rise you deserve, then you are welcome to give us a call on 01920 486125 for further advice. It may be though, that's it's time to start looking for a new job elsewhere. Register with Careers in Design today for the latest industry vacancies and professional advice and guidance from our experience team.

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