Want a salary raise? 6 things to say & do

4 min read
HomeBlogWant a salary raise? 6 things to say & do
First of all, ask yourself these questions:
  • How good are you at your job?
  • How good does your employer think you are? How good do they expect you to be?
  • Do other people want you to work for them? If you left, would you be paid more?
You should ask yourself these questions because valuable people tend to be valued more. Self awareness is key before you have the conversation. If you’re wondering whether you should ask for a raise, always ask.

1. Plan, plan, plan

It’s a delicate conversation, so you will want to be prepared. Spend the time to summarise your key wins and find quantifiable results so your value to the organisation is undeniable. Tie these wins to how you are helping the company’s goals - both in ways where you have been able to directly influence or indirectly enable it.
Make sure you are proactively communicating your accomplishments, so that they’re not hearing about this great work for the first time. It’s easy to keep a running list of your achievements and responsibilities as they get done at the back of your notebook.
Think of this opportunity as a succinct highlight reel, and don’t forget to talk about where you have specialised skills, gone above and beyond, or made gains in improvement areas since your last discussion about your work. If other people have endorsed your work, make sure you talk about it!
Explain the hard work you’ve been putting in and highlight how this experience has increased your ability to perform on the job. It might also be a good idea to practice with someone you trust.
Some phrases you can use are:
“Over the last few months, I delivered…which drove X in revenue”
“I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve consistently gone above and beyond by…”
“Some of the feedback from others has been….

2. Understand the difference between total package and base salary

Different employers package their compensation in different ways, so make sure you keep that in mind since it’s best to compare like with like.
Be clear on whether your pay package is just your base salary and 9.5% superannuation will be paid on top of your salary, or whether it already includes superannuation. What about any other financial incentives like bonuses?

3. Always understand what the market is paying

Are you paid the average, or are you paid toward the upper or lower salary range of equivalent roles? If you can find a higher salary for your equivalent job description, or you know others in your business are being paid more, it might be useful to mention this information in your conversation. A handy place to start the research is GlassDoor’s salary estimate tool or compare salaries on other job sites such as Seek.
Some phrases you can use are:
“I’m aware that the market currently pays higher than my compensation”
“Based on my research, the industry norm pays…”

4. Start on a positive note

There are some things you can influence in this scenario to set yourself up for success.
Time the meeting well and make it clear in advance why you have called to meet. Make sure you gauge the day and time when they’re likely to be the most relaxed, a late morning Friday catch up after they’ve had some breakfast and coffee could be a good time.
Alternatively, if you feel like you can wait, for a performance review or after the company results have been announced, those are also good times.
Some phrases you can use are:
“I want to talk about growing my responsibilities and review some of my recent wins with you…”
“I’d like to sit down and get some feedback on my performance, could we find some time? If it’s ok with you, I’d also like to discuss my compensation at the end”

5. Be clear on the amount you are asking for

Once you’ve understood the industry pay range, it will give you an idea of how much to ask for. If you have a specific dollar figure in mind, that is fine too. A 10% increase is usually a good figure, you don’t want to reach piss off point by naming a figure that is way off base.
Some phrases you can use are:
“Therefore, my ask is for a package increase of…Does that sound fair?”
“I’d like to raise my salary to $X based on what I’ve outlined”
I’d like my salary adjusted to be on par with the value I’m bringing”

6. Ask your boss what you can do to get a raise

It’s a transparent conversation at the end of the day. If they say no to an immediate raise, set some goals together on how you can get there. Make sure they are clear on the reasons for why they’ve said no, so you’re clear on what needs to happen for a future raise.
If they’ve come back with a figure that you’re disappointed with, stay calm and ask how they’ve arrived at that number.
Some phrases you can use are:
“I’m curious….”
“Is that number flexible at all?”
“What would it take...Is there a better time for us to have this conversation in the near future?”
If you feel like your contribution to the company isn’t valued, look for a new job. When interviewing for a new position, be sure to clearly express your salary expectations!
If you’re ready to change companies, don’t forget to take your Super Choice form with you on your first day (ours is pre-filled for you). This is so they can pay your super into your Professional Super account, avoiding creating duplicate accounts and you’ll probably impress your new employer with how organised you are too!
No matter what your next move is, Professional Super is here to support you. We’re superannuation built for young professionals. Join us so we can help you make the most of the benefits that come from super, such as how to save for your first home with the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
Want zero fees for super balances under $1,000?