Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Want a Pay Rise? Wait until Friday; Psychology

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Want a Pay Rise? Wait until Friday; Psychology

Article excerpt


Asking for a pay rise is nerve-racking.

But, says psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud, there are several practical ways to make it easier and ensure success

THE last taboo in modern Britain is money - the question of how much we earn. Most of us keep this a closely guarded secret from friends, family and colleagues.

In doing so, however, we play into the hands of our employers.

For if we don't know how much we earn in relation to other people, how can we tell whether we are underpaid?

It is probably the case that those who earn the least are those who are most in the dark. To know what you are worth you need to know what others are paid for the same work.

Find out the going rate Contact agencies who supply temporary staff in your profession - and tell them you are considering doing some agency work. Agency rates usually bear some relationship to fulltime salaries, so you will at least get a clue.

Recruitment advertisements can also be good sources of information on pay scales, so study the job ads even if you're not looking for a new position.

You could also check out the website, which collates wages in many industries.

Calculate your own worth Work out how valuable you are to the company - this means calculating how much revenue you generate for them. In the public sector it is possible to calculate how much money it might cost the organisation if it were to lose someone as efficient as you.

The best time to negotiate a pay rise is when you are on a high - generating significantly more earnings for the organisation than when you first started at your current pay scale. If you can argue that your job is now different, then this is a strong case for saying your pay should be increased.

Be specific. Pointing out that the firm is now [pounds sterling]250,000 a year better off because of your work, or that you saved them the equivalent because of your intervention, is a much more effective negotiating position than vaguely saying you are a good worker.

The problem is, we are usually nervous when asking the boss for more money.

Because of this, we become unclear and ambiguous. yet it is specifics and clarity that impress most.

Pick the right moment The psychology of the precise timing of when to ask for more money is crucial and yet is usually handled badly.

Most workers tend finally to pluck up the courage to ask at desperate times when they frantically need more money.

Unfortunately, this is often during periods of general economic malaise - when the company may not be doing particularly well.

The best time to ask for a pay rise is when the organisation is thriving.

The boss is not only feeling good and in an expansive frame of mind, but is going to be more averse to rocking the boat and losing valuable staff just after record figures come in. …

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